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Heather Townsend

The Excedia Group


Read more from Heather Townsend

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10 easy phrases to use to get referrals from your network and clients


After the summer holidays, and a little bit of a break, I'm raring to go! Therefore, it's time to crank up the business development effort, to make sure that your 2014 has a cracking start. Over the next few weeks, I'm going to be focusing on how to generate more referrals from your clients and network.

How many cosy chats have you had when networking, which have gone precisely nowhere? How many events have you attended where you have left without even a sniff at a potential new client or introducer? Is it just me, or other trainers and coaches great to talk too, but very rarely lead to any mutual introductions or referrals that turn into real work? Perhaps it's just me...

However, armed with a few simple phrases you can elegantly ask for help, particularly from your current clients. The key to asking for leads or help is to NOT demand anything, but to ask for the other person's advice.

All of these 10 ways of asking for leads can be adapted to your own circumstances. For example:

  • I see you work for Widget and Co, do you know anyone in their HR department?
  • If I want to know more about the challenges retailers have with employee turnover, can you recommend a good place for me to find out more information?
  • I was thinking that approaching Simmons and Simmons may help me gain a new client, who else would you recommend I approach?
  • It's great to meet you, I know that your CEO, James Johnson, is pretty hard to reach. Can you recommend any of his direct reports?
  • Would you happen to know anyone in the HR department at ABC Repairs?
  • It's really interesting to hear that you attend this networking group. I'd love to be able to give a presentation to the members of this very impressive group. Who do you recommend I talk to about giving a presentation?
  • I hope you don't mind me asking you, but who in your organisation looks after coaching for your company?
  • Since you run this group and know the members much better than myself, who would you recommend I talk to if I want to find more clients in the retail sector?
  • As someone who has got the teeshirt and definitely earned their stripes, what advice would you give to a newbie like myself to find clients in your industry?
  • Would be OK for me to ask you, who in your network would you recommend I talk to if I wanted to...?

Download our free guide to building your personal networking strategy to make sure that you are coming into contact with the right people who can give you leads, introductions and referrals

Author Credit

Heather Townsend helps professionals become the Go-To-Expert. She is the author of the  award winning and best-selling book on business networking, the ‘FT Guide To Business Networking’ and the co-author of ‘How to make partner and still have a life’. Over the last decade she has worked with over 300 partners; coached, trained and mentored over 1000 professionals at every level of the UK's most ambitious professional practices.

Heather blogs regularly at Partnership Potential, How to make partner and Joined Up Networking

Author Profile Picture
Heather Townsend


Read more from Heather Townsend

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