This year I have delivered a number of training courses – both publicly and in-house – on the topic of referrer and intermediary management for lawyers, accountants and surveyors. Whilst the training focuses on research, strategy, messaging and the importance of relationship building a common question is what do you do when you can’t reciprocate work referrals?

So here are some ways in which you can add value to your referrers and support referrer management even when you are not in a position to refer clients and work to them:


  • Like, comment upon and share their posts on social media (e.g. Twitter and LinkedIn)
  • Mention them in your own social media posts and blogs
  • Arrange for their web site link to appear on your web site
  • Invite them to write articles for your newsletters
  • Invite them to provide a guest blog


  • Introduce them to your colleagues in other departments who may be able to refer work
  • Introduce them to your clients and contacts who they might find useful
  • Invite them to attend an industry event where you are likely to have several contacts to whom you can introduce them
  • Invite them to attend one of your seminars or events and help them network

Useful information 

  • Scan the media and send links to articles that they may find of interest
  • Make a note of organisations they are interested in and send links to news material about them
  • Write information which would be helpful to their clients to include on their web site
  • Provide insights into their markets and/or clients
  • Develop tailor-made benchmarks and checklists to help them manage their clients or business

Free information

  • Invite them to telephone if they want to run anything by an expert
  • Offer them a little bit of free advice for one of their clients
  • Provide free templates or downloads bearing their firm’s name
  • Offer to complete some work for one or two of their partners without charge so that they have an opportunity to “try before they buy”
  • Offer to undertake a free check or audit for one of their clients


  • Invite their staff to attend your internal briefings and training sessions
  • Offer to provide tailored briefings or training to their staff
  • Share free tickets and guest passes that you have for events where your firm is providing speakers
  • Ask them to send staff to provide speakers at your training events
  • Explore shadowing, secondment and staff exchange opportunities


  • Invite them to speak at one of your seminars or webinars
  • Establish a dedicated helpline for their staff or clients
  • Develop a seminar or webinar together
  • Provide an exclusive on-line information portal or tool for them or their clients
  • Develop joint services and products and marketing campaigns to promote them

Other articles on referrer management

Referrer Management Strategies – Rationale and Challenges (

Three referrer management themes – Plans, Relationships (

Referrer Management workshop (June 2022) (

pragmatic steps to improved referrer management 2019 (

See a short video on reciprocity as one of the six tools of persuasion