How to Ask for Referrals and Get New Clients (4 Templates)

How to ask a LinkedIn contact for an intro (even if you don’t know them well)

Subject: Send an InMail message

Provide a positive comment about a specific detail from their LinkedIn profile to open the conversation.

In a non-salesy way, mention how you can help their LinkedIn contact.

Ask them if they can pass along a prewritten message, which sounds like less of an ask than setting up an introduction.

Mention which professional networks you’re a part of and let them know you’re willing to return the favor.

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How to ask someone you know professionally for a referral

Subject: Can I ask for a favor?

Provide a positive comment about something they’re doing work-wise or in their personal life to open the conversation.

Ask them if they know anyone who may be interested in achieving a key result your services deliver. Don’t sound too salesy when describing these key results; you don’t have to hard pitch someone you already know and they wouldn’t want you to hard pitch their contact either.

Provide them a prewritten message to make it easier for them to refer you. This also lets you control how your services are presented to their contact.

Express your thanks ahead of time.

Let them know you’re open to returning the favor.

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How to ask your email contacts for referrals

Subject: Personal work update

Simply provide an update about your work and briefly describe what you’re doing now (no need to be salesy).

Ask if they know anyone who’s looking to achieve a key result your services help with.

Provide a pre-written message to make it easier for them to refer you.

Simply express thanks to let them know you appreciate their help.

To further express your thanks, offer to jump on a 30-min consulting call with them to share insights and strategies related to your services and expertise. While most of your contacts may not take you up on the offer, this shows them you’re willing to provide value in return.

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Tired of worrying about how to get new clients?

You've probably heard this before: polish your website, become a thought leader, set up ads, compete on job boards, network...What do all of these have in common? You have to wait for leads to come to you. The reality is, when we need a new client, we typically need one asap. Instead of waiting and watching the bills stack up, it's actually it's possible to proactively reach out to your ideal clients and get hired. A lot of people think cold email doesn't work because most of the best practices aren't well suited for getting new clients. So when they tried it, all they talked about was what they do, their benefits or past results. This may check a few copywriting 101 boxes but no matter how great your benefits or results are, the prospect has no clue how you'll actually be able to apply your skills and experience to help their business. The key to overcoming their skepticism? Come up with a few valuable improvement ideas related to your services tailored for your prospect's business and share this in your first email to them. This is what I call the VIU (valuable ideas upfront) approach. Now you’re not just offering them skills and experience prospects have to figure out how to put to use (they just won't reply), you’re offering them ready-to-go solutions to improve their business. Here's an example of this approach in action:
Come across your comment about LeadBot

In one sentence, mention where you discovered this prospect to open the conversation.

Mention that you'd like to share your process for achieving a goal related to their product and related to your services.

Break down 2-3 key steps in your process. To demonstrate your value and expertise, share steps that are insider knowledge, someone who doesn't do this for a living may not be privy to.

Ask them for an initial call, framed as a brainstorm session so the prospect of taking away valuable ideas entices them to join. The call will give you a chance to further demonstrate your value so they would want to hire you to implement your process and achieve results for them.

This approach is part of Art of Sales, our proven sales system to help you reliably get clients (by doing what everyone else isn't doing). Click here to learn more.

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How to ask a friend for an intro

Subject: Favor 🙏

Since this is your friend, a casual greeting works great.

Simply ask if they can do you a favor.

Mention which of their contacts you’d like to connect with and brielfy explain in a non-salesy way how you can help them.

Express your thanks and offer them to treat them to something they like.

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Tired of worrying about how to find new clients? A lot of methods take a long time to pay off: network, set up your ads, compete on job boards, polish your website, wait for leads. There's something you can do today to proactively put yourself in front of your ideal clients and get hired. Learn more
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