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How Often Do You Go Back to the Well of Referrals?

by Bill Cates

By Bill Cates, CSP, CPAE

On a recent group coaching call, one of the members of our elite group told us how he had used the VIPS Method™ to generate several introductions that turned into new clients. (The process works – if you work it).

He asked, “I want to go back to this client and ask again, but I’m not sure if or when I should do that.” The good news is that you can continue to ask clients for introductions, but you have to be mindful of two very important things.

The Situation and Relationship are King

Your ability to read the situation, the client’s personality, how well they are connected, etc. is a huge factor into how soon and how often you can go back to the well. Were they perfectly willing to introduce you to others? Happy to do it? Or did they engage in this with some reticence? Do they have an “open personality” where they let you into their life easily and will, therefore, let you into the lives of others easily?

What Happened Last Time?

When you decide to go back to the well, you want to make sure that you always refer back to what happened the previous time. If they didn’t provide referrals/introductions, then you have to bring that up first. If they did provide referrals/introductions then you want to acknowledge that as well.

Here are a sample “script” that illustrates this concept. We pick this up after the “V” in the VIPS Method™ (The Value Discussion):

Bob, I’m sure you recall that the last time we got together you introduced me to your sister Sandra and your friend Pete. And, as you know, I’m now working with your sister. She seems to be pretty happy with the process so for. Pete and I, on the other hand, are playing a little bit of tag, but I know he’s interested in sitting down with me. I appreciate these introductions and the trust you have in me and the work I do to feel comfortable suggesting others take my call.

As you well know, I’m on a bit of a mission to make sure everyone makes an educated decision when it comes to my area of expertise. I have a couple of ideas I’d like to run by you that might trigger another person or two who should at least become aware of the educational process I bring. May I run this by you to see what comes up?

Of course, your words will vary, but you get the idea. Pay attention to their personality, their relationship to the referral process, and acknowledge previous conversations.

What is working for you when it comes to asking for referrals and introductions? Really! Tell me! I’d enjoy hearing from you. Send an email directly to me at

Referral Coach