My insurance agent isn’t a music therapist; he doesn’t work with children, or even play an instrument. But he did teach me a lesson that has been extremely valuable to my private music therapy practice and teaching studio.
The fact that my insurance agent is also my husband has no bearing on this particular story…I promise! But it does come in handy when I need business advice, considering Zach has earned the title “Agent of the Year” in his multi-state region for the past two years. He knows his stuff, and I know where he lives :)
Anyway, back to that valuable lesson. Not so long ago, I asked my husband/agent what sets him apart from his colleagues when it comes to sales performance. His answer? “I ask for referrals.”
It’s that simple. Simple, yet often overlooked as a business strategy. Zach doesn’t assume that people will decide to call him instead of the other hundreds of insurance agents in Illinois, and he doesn’t spend any time cold-calling prospective clients. Instead, he asks his existing customers, those whose trust he has already earned through exceptional service, to refer their family and friends to him.
I’m no stranger to word-of-mouth marketing. However, I’d never thought to directly ask the families with which I work to send new referrals my way. So in preparation for my upcoming summer session, during which I’m hoping to add 20 or so new students, I took a cue from Zach and did just that.
My families jumped at the chance, and even said that they’d been hesitant to do so in the past because they knew how booked up I already was. Now, less than a month later, I have an active waiting list of 15 (and counting) new students who are willing to wait until June to begin receiving my services. Word of mouth is a powerful thing — especially when those mouths belong to loyal and satisfied clients!
The next time I receive an email from a fellow music therapist asking how I “advertise” my services, I’m going to respond with a link to this blog post. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that make the biggest impact, and I have my husband (the star insurance agent) to thank for reminding me of that.