1

Most of our software work comes from referrals. As developers, how do you go about referring out projects that aren't in your area of competency?

2

Provide contact information for someone you know that does do the work necessary.

Most the people I directly refer clients to know that if I haven't specifically mentioned this client to them, then I don't really know the client and merely dropping my name shouldn't carry any undue favoritism or trust in general. It's pretty easy to just drop a name... So I always make it a point to contact the referral directly if the client is in good standing with me. It helps overcome some of the initial apprehension with unknown clients for the referral.

If I refer a client I have worked with in the past, I drop a quick email or phone call to let them know "Client XX may be contacting you." and a brief history of my relations with the client:

  • They pay on time
  • They pay, but generally 30 days out
  • They are meticulous with respect to X
  • I don't enjoy working with the client, but you may
  • Nice client, but they tend to want everything very quickly
  • This is my favorite client, please take care of them

-- that sort of thing.

Or I politely decline the project if I can't make any direct referrals. "Sorry, I just don't do XXX and unfortunately I don't have anyone to directly refer you to."

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