People in networking regularly ask for “anyone” who wants whatever service they are offering, little do they realise that they are unlikely to get anyone! Many will ask for start up businesses – but again they are unlikely to get many referrals. I like to try and think outside the box where ever possible.

For start up businesses think about printers, website designers, accountants and solicitors – why you ask? Well most people who are contemplating setting up in business will either speak to an accountant or solicitor to help them to start up, alternatively they will ask for a website company to set up their website or a printer to design their business cards – so providing you are not in competition with these guys, they can be a great source of referrals, so ask for them.

I came across an architect who was asking for anyone who might want to change the use of a building or extend the building. When I questioned him further I found that professional property investors were a great source of business for him, so ask for them! Also some of the best jobs were converting properties to become disability compliant where people had suffered an accident and were confined to wheelchairs. Interestingly he had never asked for introductions to personal injury lawyers.

If you are trying to decide who to ask for, think of who is currently a good client, can you get more of them? Use your 40 second or 60 second pitch at your networking event to ask for more of the same and to explain why you want the introduction – tell the story! People in the room are far more likely to introduce you to their best client if they can see how you are going to save them time, worry or money.

Plan your “pitch”

  • Your name and company
  • Why your clients think you are good
  • Who you are looking for – be as specific as possible
  • Your name and company

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