I would like to be a better resource to my clients by being able to offer skills and expertise in areas related to my current work. My problem is that my network is just not that big and I have few people to refer.
Regardless of your company size, many consultants have limited ability to provide their clients with a solid reference for talented advice outside their own area of expertise. Large companies tend to be inward looking because they often provide many services internally. Small companies and solo practitioners spend so much time delivering services in their niches that they don’t get a chance to develop large networks. If you are to be a trusted, valuable advisor to your client, you need to be able to bring expertise in may areas of strategy, operations and culture. If it is not coming from you, the next best thing is to have a good network of referral sources.
Tip: Make a list of your most trusted colleagues and note, for each one, those services and skills you consider to be their core value adds. Review this list every month or two to see how they might be able to use those services or experience to serve your clients. While you are at it, make sure these referral sources are aware of your skills, expertise and current availability to provide services in your area of expertise to their clients and clients they know of. Consider even describing your current engagement (being careful to protect confidential information) and ask them how they might be able to support your client, either together with you or separately. Ask if they could do the same. Quid pro quo.