We all have a reputation – it’s the most valuable asset you have. That asset is the foundation of referral business. So…
What is a referral?
When someone passes your name on to another who requires the service or product you offer. A prudent and responsible businesspersonwill take great care of their reputation & referral network.
Referrals always work out great, right?
Yeah, just like all first dates are perfect (not!). When making referrals, keeping personality in mind is important, however…even with the best care, things will go awry. Being successful with giving referrals is not always guaranteed, even when you like and trust both parties.
I once gave a referral to my friend Isabellewhen she needed a special project completed; it turned out more like a first date between EvelKenevil and Mother Teresa. The work was carried out but it all went to heck after a difference over billable hours broke out.
Handling this scenario required tact – I was tempted to jump in and play referee. TheFact is, you’re not the arbitrator, so stay out of it. Let them settle their dispute and never take sides. You cannot be faulted for acting in the best interest of others, but it is a good opportunity to re-evaluate how well you give referrals – and who should be allowed in your network!
Lesson: not every ending is a fairy tale one.
When do referrals happen?
When there is exemplary service or business in return (reciprocity). In these two scenarios, the person giving the referrals will be happy to continue doing so.
In my network there is an individual named Andywho does one thing no one else can do; I know he is great at it andhe looks after my referrals like they’re family. When the referral I gave him walks away happy, I’ve accomplished 3 things:
- Assisted my friend in getting great service & a great product
- Generated a new client for Andy’s business
- Strengthened my reputation with Andy and my friend
Andy happens to be a fan of working by referral, so we actively share referrals.It gives me great satisfaction to knowthat the people I refer to him are well looked after and that I can count on Andy to support my business as well.