One of the best methods of networking is to personally reach out to your warm connectors —and let them know what services you’re currently offering!
Your warm connectors are people you know—hence “warm”—and who enjoy helping/connecting people—hence “connectors.”
You probably know at least a dozen such people. Maybe you know 50–100, or more. Start making a list — I’d love to know what number you get to. Some sources to look for your warm connectors include:
- Your email “sent” folder (people you’ve sent emails to)
- Your mobile phone history (whom you’ve called or texted)
- Your LinkedIn contacts
- Your list of Facebook friends and perhaps also your followers
- Your Google+ followers
- Your Twitter followers
- Perhaps you have a spreadsheet or other way of listing your contacts
When was the last time you reached out to your warm connectors about referring business to you?
Most business owners neglect this simple, effective method. If you do this regularly, and thoughtfully — with full intention to help your connectors as well — you’ll be top-of-mind for your network.
And you’ll get new client referrals!
Elements of a good referral request email:
- Friendliness & Conciseness
- List characteristics of your ideal client (e.g. profession, age, marital status, interests/passions)
- List the few key problems that your ideal clients would love help with
- A few of your best credibility indicators
- Offer the referee (the potential client) something useful e.g. free 30-minute exploratory/coaching call, a useful article or video, etc.
- If appropriate, offer some incentive for a successful referral, such as: a free session, a discount on your services, commission, a donation to their favorite charity, a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant.
- Be clear how you want them to refer you (e.g. “I’d be very grateful if you can think of 3people to forward this email onto.”)
- Say you’re open to helping them too—and truly mean it! Be specific if you can.
Here is a sample email:
Subject Line Ideas:
- know someone who wants to grow their business?
- [Referral Request] Friends who want to grow their business
I hope your week is going well!
[Here, give them a genuine appreciation for something they posted on social media recently, or their newsletter, or if they’ve been looking for a resource, share your suggestions with them.]
Today I’m reaching out to see if you know any Coaches or Healers who are passionately wanting to grow their business. I just opened up new availability in my 1–1 marketing coaching.
(Please reply and let me know how your [business] is doing — how can I help?)
I love guiding business owners into:
* creating online offerings so they can reach a bigger audience
* being found by their ideal clients online
* scaling up their income by enrolling more (or higher-end) clients
* simplifying the technologies they actually need, including social media, and showing them how to use it mindfully
A couple of recent clients have said this about me:
- “George Kao’s Coaching has been a lot more effective than any of the other business coaching I’ve invested in.”
- “George’s solid expertise in marketing along with his hands-on support have been instrumental in helping me actualize my heart’s desire.”
…see more of my client reviews at: www.georgekao.com/coaching
I would be very grateful if there were 2 friends you could forward this email to, or make a quick email intro and I will follow up with them.
If they are considering hiring a business coach, I’d love to offer them 30 minutes of free private coaching — whether or not they sign up with me. The call is primarily about helping them. I spend only a few minutes at the end of the call answering any questions they have about my services. To schedule the free coaching, have them go here: [the link to your scheduling system.]
Given the values you and I both share —integrity, authenticity, true livelihood—I especially welcome your referrals. I will take great care of them.
What about you? Reply and let me know what you’re working on [if you can, mention a specific project you know they were working on] and how I might support you!
Another example, adapted from the book $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau:
[Sent to a warm contact]
I wanted to let you know about a new project I’m working on.
It’s called ….. And it’s meant to serve (type of person) to help them (main benefit).
It’s important to them / now because …
If you like the idea and would like to help, here is what I’m needing at this time:
Action Option 1
Action Option 2
Eg introductions to (referral partners)
Send this link to 3 people who could benefit as I’m giving away (comp session)
Join my newsletter to keep updated and get (content)
Thanks for your time!
Another example is from audio business coach Nathan Lively who uses this sequence:
[A paragraph of personal connection first, e.g. “How’s it going with your job? How’s the family doing?” …but being a bit more specific is better. Really do care!]
Hey I’m looking for more clients for my coaching program. Is it cool if I tell you little bit about it to see if you might know anyone who would be interested?
The person writes back “Sure!”
Nathan sends back an email with more info, like the sample I already shared above.
If the person comes back and says not sure how to refer people, Nathan sends a more simple guidance on how to refer. Here’s his version:
Well, I know you run into a lot of audio people and I think this would be something perfect for you to have in your bag when someone says,
* Do you know how I can find more work? OR
* I’m in corporate audio right now but I’d like to move into concert audio. OR
* I’d like to grow my business, but I’m not sure what to do.
Just as important as sending referral requests is to Send Gratitude, and to Follow Up:
- Send a personal thank-you email to everyone who replies to say they’ll help, or actually refers someone!
- Send a follow-up request, for example every 6 months, or for those who do refer, follow up every 3 months with gratitude for their previous referral.
- Most business owners don’t even request referrals, let alone follow-up. If you do both (and do it courteously, thoughtfully) you are going to be top-of-mind and get the referrals.
Here’s an example of a follow-up email, used with Doug’s permission:
I am following up in keeping with my intention after speaking with you of checking in from time to time. I wanted to let you know that I have 10 open coaching slots for February for complimentary 30 minute “Expand Your Reach” sessions to see if it would be a good fit. If you know anyone who is looking for another way to get their message out in the world, I would definitely love to speak with them. The best way to reach me is through [Doug shared his email; instead I’ll share his public FB page.]
Things are going really well with coaching! Right now at least 2 of the top 10 podcasts in self-help, health, kids and family and spirituality and religion on iTunes New and Noteworthy are from the Stand Out and Be Heard community.
How are things going for you? Definitely let me know when you are opening your coaching program again. Also, would love to have you back on The Coachzing Show!
If you have received any effective emails that has gotten you to refer clients to someone, or if you yourself have sent an effective email, I would love to know! Contact me, or comment on this article and share your letter if you’re open to it—it can help many others to create their true livelihood.
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George Kao is a marketing coach who values authenticity, service, and personal growth. He has advised more than 500 clients and been featured on 100+ webinars, telesummits, podcasts. To get his best content via a monthly email (including major updates to this and other templates), subscribe to his free email newsletter at www.georgekao.com/email