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Author Topic: Client Referral after Resignation  (Read 5633 times)

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Ben Dantas

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Client Referral after Resignation
« on: March 16, 2014, 12:30:57 PM »

 Hi there.
I work for a very small IT organization, which providers IT services to several companies. I am thinking of resigning, and I have a couple of questions regarding the referrals.
I understand that when you leave, you mainly request your manager(s) or supervisor(s) for the referral. In this case, I am the manager, and above me is the owner. When resigning, there is a chance he may not like the idea, in which case asking for a referral may not be as easy, or he may not be as comprehensive as I would like when a prospect calls him.
In this particular case, I am thinking of asking the clients for the referrals. As I have been dealing with them (and their managers) for several years, they know me well and appreciate the work I do for them on behalf of the company I currently work on.
I was thinking of asking for referral in my resignation announcement/good-bye letter. At the same time, I do not want to sound like I am trying to steal their work when asking for them to “keep in touch”, nor when asking for a referral.
The letter will be (basically) announcing that I have resigned, to thank them for their work and support, ask them to direct their requests to the owner instead of me, and then suggest the referral, and ask them to keep in touch and provide my personal details.
So, my main questions are:
1.       Should I send it from my personal account instead of the work one, as there is a chance he may ask me to leave on the same day (though he will still provide me with the notice payments – trust me, he has done that before)?
2.       I understand I could probably ask the boss if he minds me contacting his clients directly, but if he says “no” - should I send it anyway? FYI, I know there is no writing policy in the company that says whether I can or can't contact them after leaving.
3.   The referral bit I was thinking of sending the clients would be something like: “Lastly, if you think my service to you while at xxx was nothing but outstanding, and you would you be happy for me to use you as a reference for future opportunities, please kindly let me know”.
 
Your advice is appreciated.
 
Thanks,
 
Ben

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Re: Client Referral after Resignation
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2014, 09:16:41 AM »
Well that's a difficult one, and you are in the best position to answer this for yourself since you know the individuals involved, and are most likely to know how they will respond.

Even if there is no specific policy, your employment contract may stipulate what you can or can't do regarding references and contacting clients once you have left.   

The owner of the company is the best person to provide a reference.  Even if he doesn't like you leaving he should provide an honest opinion of your abilities and qualities, also many recruiters will not accept a new employee unless they have a reference from your most recent employer (for example the NHS will not hire an employee unless they have a reference from their current or most recent employer).

That said, your question seems to be more a question of whether it is ethical to ask clients for a reference, and this has to be down to your own morals.
If you are not planning to leave immediately it might be worth creating a LinkedIn profile, and asking clients, colleagues and your boss to provide endorsements or recommendations for you and the company.  This may avoid you having to specifically ask in a letter, and can be seen by future employers.
If you do decide to send an email to clients, it would be best practice to ask the owner of the company first.  The wording of your proposed email seems reasonable.  It would probably be best to send this from your company account, but I understand your concerns that you may not have access to the account, in which case you could send it from your personal account.

I hope that has been of some help, and good luck!

 

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