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This story appears in the February 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Referrals rule. And having an inside contact doesn't hurt either. That's the word from companies that have hired a technology solution provider--and those who provide these services themselves.

"I do everything through referral," says Margaret Holt, co-founder and president of Holt Learning, a training and employee development company in New York City. "And if I had to go on a cold-call basis, I'd ask for five referrals and I'd call every one of them."

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