Have you ever asked for something, received exactly what you requested, then realized that it was not quite what you wanted?

Perhaps this happened the last time you mustered the courage to ask a business acquaintance, “If you know anyone who could use my wealth management services, would you please introduce them to me?”

Having the best of intentions, the individual likely responded, “I’d be happy to. Let me think about it.” And that was the end of the discussion. Or perhaps they gave you the name and number of a few folks who weren’t a good fit for your practice.

Sound familiar? Then it’s time to start engaging in a more focused, results-driven request for referrals. Below are a few tips:

Be specific.

Once you’ve earned their trust, most people will likely want to help you grow your business. You just need to take the guesswork out of it for them.

If your target market is physicians working in the DC area, take the time to search LinkedIn for “physicians”. Filter your search by selecting:

  • “People”
  • “Washington, DC Metro Area” (Locations tab)
  • 2nd (Connections tab)

This search will give you a list of doctors in your area with whom you share a common connection.

Now you can make a specific request of your 1st-degree LinkedIn connections, “I am building a referral-based, wealth management business that caters to the unique needs of busy physicians. I noticed that you are connected to several doctors on LinkedIn. I would appreciate 15 minutes to review the list with you and develop a strategy for getting introduced. What is your availability next Tuesday?”

Make it easy.

Once your acquaintances agree to make the introductions, offer to draft a brief email or LinkedIn message that they can send to the physicians they are introducing you to.

Prepare. Ask. Succeed.

The referral-generation process that I described is not for the meek or ill-prepared. It’s bold. It takes thought and prep work. But, it’s impactful. I have used it countless times to help my ambassadors, help me grow my business. And I encourage you to do the same.

If you have earned the right to call someone an ambassador of your success (through your integrity, stellar service and professionalism) you have earned the right to ask for what you need to succeed. As one of my favorite storytellers once said,

“Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it.”

– Maya Angelou