Let’s talk about the one thing you can do right now to get a new 5-figure corporate client every month.
(Warning: it’s not fancy. It’s not sexy. It’s kinda basic but most people do it wrong and therefore don’t get results.)
Ask the people you know for referrals and be very specific about what you ask them to do.
No, I don’t mean that you should try to sell to your friends and family 🙅♀️. I mean ask those who have connections with your ideal clients for introductions and insights.
When I first started my business, I had a lot of resistance to this step, even though I knew it’s the fastest way to get five-figure clients. A bit of mindset work was needed (topic for another post) and, most importantly, HOW I actually asked for them.
What most people do wrong
Most people say something like “please pass my details on to ANYONE who could use my help” when they ask for referrals. 🙄
This is a mistake. This approach is far too vague and thus very ineffective because it puts a lot of mental effort on the person you are asking for the favor of a referral.
Put yourself in their shoes:
❌They have to make assumptions about who you want to work with (“Anyone who can use my help” is too vague, what roles do you mean? Companies? Industries?)
❌They have to make judgments about if your expertise is right for someone they know (they’re not an expert in your business, how would they know the range of things that you can help with?)
❌And if they are friends and have not worked with you, how can they trust that you are good at what you do. If they know you for your dance moves on a night out rather than your knowledge of your topic they might worry what others think of them if they recommend you.
Being unclear on those things makes it hard for people to refer you!
When asking for referrals and introductions, the overriding goal is to make it easy for others to connect you with prospects.
How to make it easy to be referred
That means you need to be very clear and specific about 3 things:
👉 Who do you want to be referred or introduced TO
👉 What you want to be referred or introduced FOR
👉 Why they can feel “safe” when referring you to their network (safe meaning they will not be embarrassed by your behavior or results in relation ot the people they connected you to)
The first step is to select the people you want to be referred TO.
Identify exactly who those people are. You should have already identified who your ideal client is, now turn this abstract avatar into a person with a name that you want to speak to.
The fastest ways to do this are:
- Using LinkedIn, go through the connections of your connections (these are the 2nd connections to you) and find the people that fit your ideal client profile. For example, if your ideal client is female leaders in fintech companies, look at who are 2nd connections that fit your ideal client profile and ask your mutual connection to make an introduction.
- Go to the company website of a connection who you want to use as a referrer (e.g. a previous client) and check through their “our team” pages. Find people who look like your ideal client and as your contact inside the company if they could introduce you to this person.
- A third way works well if you have a good working relationship with an existing client. Here you ask them detailed questions about who could use your services. Asking questions such as who are their peers (people in similar roles as them) and what are their struggles. Who are people running similar projects or having similar priorities as them. Then ask to be introduced to those colleagues.
When making the actual request, be very specific about what you want to be referred for.
Don’t leave it up to them to guess – spell it out in detail. You might even want to give them a few sample phrases to use. Such as “ABC is an expert in XYZ and helped us achieve 1,2,3” – anything to make it super simple for them to refer you.
This also means reminding them of the challenge you helped them with and put it into a larger context.
For example, if you helped improve your client’s team collaboration, you could say you want to be referred for helping reduce meeting times and increase team efficiency by creating conditions for better collaboration. Just like when you presented your offer to your initial client, you want to be clear about the outcomes and results you can bring to the person you are being referred to.
When you are asking existing or previous clients to make a new connection, they usually know the quality of your work and are willing to make the introduction.
But what if you are looking to be referred for something different or by someone you have not worked with?
Give them good reasons why they should trust your skill/expertise and experience.
That means telling them about the results you have achieved for others (individual or corporate), highlighting any case studies you have and the qualifications and training you have.
When asking a friend who doesn’t know your work, make sure you tell them in a sentence or two what qualifies you as an expert in your topic and why they won’t be embarrassed if they connect you to people in their network.
The importance of applying these steps
When you apply these three steps in your requests for referrals and introductions, you should see an easy doubling of referrals coming your way and this should allow you to add one new client 5-figure client from referrals every month.
Personally, 90% of my corporate clients come from referrals this way.
So if you’re not getting enough referrals (or clients from any source) and this keeps you from having a reliable comfortable level of income in your business, send me a DM.
How to go faster
In my 3 months, 1:1 program I help you develop a simple but powerful strategy to leverage your network without ever worrying about being sales-y or desperate so that your diary is always filled with prospective client calls and paid work.
I work with you on focusing on the right niche that you are excited about working with, help you with your marketing message so that you attract only those prospects who are right for you, and teach you how to have simple but effective sales conversations and create proposals that convert at approximate 80% of the time.
Following my program you should be able to generate 2-3 conversations with prospects per week, typically starting in email/LinkedIn messenger, then moving to discovery calls and close 1-2 new clients per month @$5k-$15k while delivering repeat work at $8k-$25k+
If you’re interested in the program, the next step is to DM me and we’ll have a chat to see if it’s a good match for your business.