For Agents

Agent Advantage

Get a digital profile, improve your SEO, get recommended and get referrals


Get inbound, appetite-matching referrals delivered to you in real-time

For Insurance Companies

Insurance Company Advantage

Increase awareness, engage with more agents and drive the business you want

For Associations

Association Advantage

Give discounted subscriptions to your member agents and increase their digital reach



The IA Advantage blog, sharing top clicks and insider tricks for independent agents


The latest news releases


The IA Advantage Podcast, bringing you insurance consumer trends and insight from influencers around the IA channel


Catch up on past issues of the IA Advantage Newsletter


Agent Directory

Browse our the national directory of independent insurance agents

Insurance Company Directory

Browse our national directory of insurance carriers, MGAs and wholesalers

Live Shopper Feed

See who's shopping on right now!

Find an Insurance Market

Locate an insurance provider for your customers


Help Desk

Get support for your Advantage product

Agent Log In

Sign in to manage your Advantage profile

  1. Help Topics
  2.  » 
  3. Best Practices
  4.  » The Secret Sauce for Closing More Consumer Choice Referrals

The Secret Sauce for Closing More Consumer Choice Referrals

Brett Sivits

Our most successful agents give their top five tips for improving the closing ratio of your referrals.
Published: September 7, 2023

First, let’s start with what a Consumer Choice Referral is. It’s simple. It’s a consumer who is on shopping for insurance right now. Based on the pages they visit and the information they give us, we present that consumer with a list of local agencies we explicitly recommend based on their specific needs and what we know about the agents’ territory, service specializations, and appetite preferences.

Here is the key. That perfect prospect for your agency, that fits your preferred appetite, sees your agency in that list of recommended agencies. They can select your agency and say, “yep, I would like to talk to those people.” We don’t think they are interested in buying insurance; we know they are. We don’t think they match your appetite; we know they do. We don’t think they are interested in talking about insurance right now; we know they are.

But we want to deliver more than just exclusive high-intent referrals to you. We want you to take advantage of the opportunity to win those new customers and write those policies. So, the question is, how can we help you leverage those referrals?

5 Best Practices directly from some of our most successful clients

“Fast, Fast, Fast.”

We live in the age of; no one waits to buy anything anymore, including insurance. Referrals don’t age well. Referrals are not like fine wine or cheese (though I don’t know why you would want to eat old cheese!)

A workflow that ensures immediate contact with a referral is required to turn referrals into customers. You have a consumer’s attention for minutes rather than hours. They may look at your competitor’s site in seconds, and you may have lost your chance.

“Let them know who you are first!”

Of course, the gold standard of a referral is that the customer picks up the phone when you call and talks to you. Let me ask you. How often do you answer the phone when you don’t know who is calling or recognize the number, let alone have them in your contacts? Personally, I answer almost never! So, let’s not value the referral on a customer’s unwillingness to answer the phone immediately.

Plant your flag early. A phone call is always a great idea because you never know who will respond, but then let them know you are by sending a follow-up text or email. Over 98% of consumers read their text messages as opposed to listening to voicemails. Send your contact information and a link to your website. Most importantly, let the customer know you will be calling back.

“There is no right way.”

Communicating with modern customers should be more than just a one-channel affair. The watchword in the industry is Omnichannel Communication meaning we are talking to customers via multiple interrelated platforms. It is more straightforward than it sounds. Call, send a text, send an email. Ensure each communication channel brings the consumer back to the same place and that you can engage with them there. Try multiple channels and vary the frequency, and don’t give up!

“Engagement isn’t just one thing.”

I LOVE self-checkouts! Why? I don’t want to engage in small talk with the cashier (I know that makes me a jerk). Does that make me less valuable to the grocery store? Nope. It probably makes me more valuable.

Engagement should be more than one thing, starting with the simple and getting more complicated. Customers want to interact with you on their terms, and we all must be flexible enough to adapt to the customer.

  • Brick and Mortar Location
  • Voice Call
  • Texting
  • Online Forms
  • Online Appointment Scheduling
  • Web Chatbots (AI and Non-AI)
  • Etc. Etc. Etc.

Whether you are talking to someone on the phone, by email, or by text, you should always use the magic words of Consumer Choice Referrals, “I can help.”

“Some referrals require nurturing.”

Unfortunately, not every referral will immediately convert to a customer, but that doesn’t mean the referral has no value. Maybe they need more time to be ready to commit. Maybe they are early in the process and are just shopping prices. Maybe your carriers won’t write that type of business today. Maybe they don’t fit your current appetite or risk profile.

However, it’s important to remember that they selected your agency, and all those reasons can be temporary! The sales pipeline is an age-old concept; some customers may need time. Will they be buying a new home or opening a business next year? Keep track of everyone!

It can be as simple as adding them to your email list and keeping that spark alive. Check in occasionally, connect on your socials, and find a way to keep your name in front of the customer so when conditions change and they are ready to sign, you will be ready.


If you did these five things, would you convert every Consumer Choice referral from Definitely not, but you will convert more of them!

Have you got any questions? We are happy to help. As a Advantage Customer, you always have access to our team of Client Success Specialists. We can always help with your profile, but we can also consult with you on your internal process to take advantage of the referrals you are receiving from

How to reach us? Simple, you choose the channel you are most comfortable with. (See what I did there?)

About the author

Brett Sivits is the newest member of the senior leadership team at He has spent the last 15 years building client experiences for on-premise and SaaS clients in the public and private sectors. Brett worked as a front-line Client Success Manager and is now striving to develop and lead client service teams that deliver consistently high service levels. He also managed support, implementation, and professional service teams and has worked as a Product Manager, Implementation Consultant, and Sales Account Executive.

More Posts

FAQ: Advantage Producer Subscription

IIABA agents now have unlimited access to our Claim-it® platform through their Advantage Producer subscription. With Advantage Producer, IIABA agents no longer need an Advantage profile on to connect with high-intent, appetite-matching, inbound,...

What Is Advantage Producer?

Advantage Producer is a standalone subscription type that is totally unique to our line of Advantage products. Unlike the other Advantage subscription types, Advantage Producer does not include a customizable Advantage profile. Instead, Advantage offers IIABA agents... Get Started Guide

In this guide: Signing in Basic Info Personal Lines Settings Commercial Lines Settings Additional Information Team Members Ratings and Reviews Manage Notifications How to Sign In Follow these steps to get signed in to your dashboard so that you can manage your...

Customize Your Claim-it Settings

  0:00 Introduction and Logging In You're going to want to open a browser window and go to This is one of the ways that you'll be able to log into your agent portal with us. Once you load, in the upper right there's...

Get Recommended on

Ready to take it to the next level?

Sign up for a free demo and let our experts show you what Advantage can do for you!

Share This