Managing Prospective Clients, Referral Sources and Connectors

Now that you’ve gone through your contacts to identify prospective clients, referral sources and connectors, you will soon find that it is hard to keep track of everyone. In this module, we’ll look at two different types of pipelines – relationship pipelines and opportunity pipelines. Keeping track of these lists of people and leads will help you focus your limited business development time on the highest priority opportunities for new work.

I’ve found the most simple way to keep track of people and projects is by using a spreadsheet, which I update every week. Some people and firms use a CRM (customer relationship management) software program, which are also excellent tools if you make the time to learn and update them regularly. In the end, it is not about how you manage the data, it is about what you do with the contact information to drive contact work (emails, phone calls and in-person or zoom meetings).

Here’s the lesson:


Create a pipeline tool to track your relationships and opportunities. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but make it easy to access, prioritize contacts, and highlight what actions need to be taken with each contact or project. Use this spreadsheet or CRM system to drive your business development actions on a daily and weekly basis.

Additional Resources

Here are some articles on developing a referral network that might be helpful:’

Five Tips for Keeping Referrals Flowing – Robert  Theofanis

Rewarding Your Referral Sources – Sally Schmidt

Cultivating Internal Referral Sources – Sally Schmidt

How to Create a Referral Machine – Julie Savarino