Dear Friends & Colleagues:

This week’s excerpt from my new book, How To Win Client Business, is from Chapter 14: Making Friends in a Natural Way. In this chapter, I discuss an important mindset shift for aspiring rainmakers: Using our professional ecosystem to make new friends is highly appropriate when it’s based upon a genuine desire to help others.

In addition to the text excerpt below, I’m providing a short 5 minute audio version as well – narrated by me. So, if you’d rather listen to a sample from Chapter 14 in lieu of the text excerpt, simply click here. (Note: If your preferred format is audio, the audiobook is now available on Amazon and is beautifully narrated by Barry Abrams – one of the best in the industry.)

Here’s this week’s excerpt. I hope you enjoy it!



Chapter 14: Making Friends in a Natural Way

How to Get an Introduction without Seeming Pushy


It’s wonderful when someone recommends or introduces us to a prospective client.

Genuine introductions and referrals carry respect and trust like electrons through

a copper wire. It assists us in building our professional ecosystems effortlessly and



These types of introductions don’t always happen on their own. What if we

want to meet someone who shares a mutual connection with a friend or colleague?

I’ll share with you my approach. My approach may not be the only way, but it’s the

only approach that feels comfortable to me.


I never ask for a recommendation from a colleague. If recommendations are

to work effectively, they have to be heartfelt and given freely. To me, it’s like kindness.

You can’t make someone offer you kindness, and it’s not very effective to ask

someone to be kind to you.


Many of the most successful professionals I speak with share a similar philosophy.

One example is Charles Moren, a senior sales engineer with R.L. Matus &

Associates headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. Charles recently revealed

that he “never asks for recommendations or referrals.”


If you help solve someone’s problems, they will come back again the next

time they have a similar problem. And if you help them often enough, you

will begin to build a personal reputation for what you do. Word will spread

naturally among the people in the industry – and that is the best way.


If someone is a raving fan of yours – and we all have at least a few – then

recommendations will happen organically. Following the rainmaker skills, we’ll

receive more than our fair share of referrals when we:


  • Create a strong personal brand identity
  • Demonstrate our professional expertise
  • Build our professional ecosystem
  • Develop trust-based relationships


For me, that’s as far as I’ll go in opening up the referral or recommendation

pathway. Like kindness, referrals work best when they are given without asking.


I realize there may be some among us who readily ask for a referral. I feel

more comfortable in providing well-deserved referrals to others without expecting

anything in return. As with kindness, I have experienced that it comes back to us

many times over. It’s a karmic worldview, perhaps, but it’s an approach that feels

right to me.


Introductions are a different story. Asking for an introduction is different than

asking for a referral. A referral is an unsolicited recommendation from a colleague

to a prospective client. Like kindness, referrals work best when they happen naturally,

but I have no hesitation in asking a friend for an introduction to someone I

wish to meet. If I’ve proven through my work and actions that I am worthy of an

introduction, then I have no trouble in asking for one.


The conversation may go something like this example with Jean, a client for

whom I have done good work and have established a solid relationship:


Me: “Jean, I would enjoy meeting your friend Omar, who you serve

with on the executive board of Habitat for Humanity. I haven’t met

Omar, and I would like to get to know him. Would you be willing to

introduce us?”


Jean: “Sure, I’d be happy to do that. Would you like me to send him an



Me: “That would be great, or I’d be happy to take you both to lunch. Let

me know what works best for you two?”


Jean: “I’ll reach out to him and see what his schedule looks like.”


Me: “Thank you, Jean. I really appreciate it. Please let me know if I can do

the same for you.”


Here are a few rules of thumb that I consider when asking for an introduction:


  1. It has to be from someone with whom I have solid relationship (not someone

I just met).

  1. I have to feel confident that the individual I am asking respects my professional

credibility (they have to respect my work).

  1. I am not pushy or overly persistent (don’t be human spam).
  2. I have to accept that the introduction may not occur (if the introduction

doesn’t occur, I drop it quietly).


I have found that when we invest the time in helping others, most business

professionals are willing to do the same for us. I don’t give with the expectation of

receiving, but I have found that in being considerate and generous to others, we

often receive the same treatment. Call it karma, what goes around comes around,

or the golden rule – whichever the case, helping others succeed creates the right

conditions for a healthy professional ecosystem.



Click here to order your copy of my new book, How To Win Client Business, today!