One of the hardest parts of running a business is maintaining a steady flow of prospects and customers. It can take a lot of time and effort to connect with enough of the right people to achieve that steady flow, which may not be what the business owner wants to be doing. Rick Itzkowich, the guest on this month’s SkillBites Show, has developed a system that makes it easier and quicker to generate leads and convert prospects to customers. Rick is a Vistage Chair, a successful millionaire entrepreneur, speaker and author of The Referral Playbook: How to Increase Sales with Proven Networking Strategies. Rick is also a member of the Forbes Coaches Council and recognized Forbes CommunityVoice™ Contributor, he speaks 5 languages and he plays on a nationally ranked tournament baseball team.

Rick’s system consists of a combination of online networking using LinkedIn, and other sites, as well as offline networking. He has found that LinkedIn represents the shortest route from people you know to people you want to get introduced to. To get those introductions, you need to:Develop a relationship with the person you are seeking an introduction from, and to do that, you need to provide value, such as sharing their social media posts, connecting them to others in their target audience and sending them information that is relevant to them;Make it easy for them to make the introduction, such as by providing text about what you do; andFollow up and stay top of mind, so that when they are ready to buy they think of you.

Rick shared a number of tools he uses to make it easier and quicker to provide value, such as ActiveWords, where you can use a single key word that will trigger longer text to appear. For instance, if you want to thank someone for inviting you to connect on LinkedIn and to offer them a gift (providing value), you could draft the text once and assign the word ‘gift’ to the text, so when you want to respond to someone’s LinkedIn invitation, you type the word ‘gift’ and the full message appears.

Another tool he uses is QuoteActions. This sends an inspiring, motivational quote which includes his contact information, helping him provide value and stay top of mind.

Another tool is If you find out that someone is interested in golf, for example, you include that information in the person’s profile on, and will scour the internet to find articles and videos about golf that you can send the person.

The tips shared in this post consist of less than a third of what Rick shared on the SkillBites Show. To hear the entire interview, click here. Rick provides significantly more tips and tools in his impending book, The Referral Playbook. To receive notice when the book is published, as well as to receive Rick’s guide, “How to Monetize LinkedIn in 10 Minutes Per Day,” go to Rick encourages you to connect with him on LinkedIn, or email him at or, so he can develop a relationship and determine how best to provide value to you.