Your professional network is an important foundation for your business. Oftentimes, we are preoccupied with exploring the best networking venues when we can also tap into those closest to us which can be overlooked.

Referral partners can be close professional friends and colleagues, or even better, clients. Clients will know firsthand the value you bring to their business, and are classically excited to introduce you to their trusted group of resources. Indeed, 84% of buyers start their purchasing process using referrals.

Touching base with your clients to start the conversation for a request for referrals can be done by a friendly email, a brief phone call to check in on your service, send them a sociable note for a big life event like a graduation, wedding, or birthday, ask to see if they are aware of changes that could affect their business, or to simply say “Hi” and thank them for working with you.

The majority of professionals want others to succeed, and genuinely want to help when possible. 91% of clients would refer, but only 11% of salespeople ask. Take the time to reach out and connect. It’s a win-win effort that benefits everyone.