Secrets to Successfully Asking for Referrals Revealed by Find the Edge Expert, Heather Townsend

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Heather Townsend has explained how businesspeople can ask for referrals from their clients, without running the risk of damaging their relationships, in an article published on Find the Edge today.

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We don’t make referrals on request. We make referrals when we spot an opportunity for someone in our network.

Prematurely asking for a referral is one of the best ways to permanently damage a promising new business relationship, Heather Townsend has said in a Find the Edge article published today.

She uses her post on the business site to explain how to ask for a referral, without making the other party feel uncomfortable, and the importance of understanding why people make referrals.

She said: "We don’t make referrals on request. We make referrals when we spot an opportunity for someone in our network.

"We then proceed to actively make the referral because we firstly want to help out someone we know, and secondly enjoy the status, recognition and appreciation - which goes along with being helpful.

"When you understand how and why people like to give referrals, then it becomes much easier to help them find referrals for you."

Townsend uses the post to provide three tips for anyone looking to solicit referrals, and explains how to spot the best opportunities to ask for one.

She also describes why simply asking for advice from the other person is a better tactic than directly asking for a referral, and highlights how businesspeople can use LinkedIn to their advantage.

Townsend said: "Previously, the contents of our network’s little black books were pretty hard to read. LinkedIn has changed all that, however, and made our network’s network pretty transparent.

"Therefore, you shouldn’t need to ask, ‘who do you know’, because if you are connected on LinkedIn, you know most of whom they know already.

"When asking for an introduction, you need to have a genuine reason that will benefit the other person."

The article can be read in full here:

Heather Townsend is the award-winning author of 'The Financial Times Guide to Business Networking' and a successful business coach. More about her work can be read here:

Kenny Goodman, founder of Find the Edge, said: "Asking for a referral doesn't have to be painstakingly awkward.

"Following Heather's advice will help both parties feel comfortable with the process, and the results can be incredibly beneficial."

Find the Edge is a business website where 'Expert Panellists' are able to share their knowledge with the wider business community.

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