That's What I'm Referring to!November 1, 2011

Many times in our lives we are asked by friends, family, and clients for a referral to someone that is outside our profession. This is a critical task that could make or break business for you in the future. A personal referral request from someone says this:  the person asking values your judgment, so don’t just willy-nilly spout of a local guy that you know nothing about.

1)      If possible, refer to someone you personally know, trust, and would use.

2)      If you don’t know someone, do some research and then still recommend someone. Even if it’s a week past the date they asked you.

3)      NEVER say you don’t know someone, always tell them you will consult your database -- if you don’t know someone off the top of your head --  ask how soon they need the recommendation by. Make sure to GET all their contact info., write it down and follow-up.

4)      When giving a referral, GIVE them everything, the company name, contact person’s name, telephone, city they’re in and website.

5)      Asked the person you are giving the recommendation to if it would be ok for YOU to contact that business to let them know that they’ll be calling

6)      Call that business/person and tell them you spoke with ___________and they should be calling. Provide that company with the Referral’s contact info. as well as your own.

7)      Follow up with both the person and the business you referred  and ask how it went and if they found what they are looking for.

8)      GET both the referral and the business into your database with notes as well as to your email/mailing/calling marketing campaign.


Now, all of this sounds like a bunch of work and lots of follow through. It is absolutely important that you do all the steps diligently. This ABOVE & BEYOND approach is sought after, it’s remarkable, and both you & the referral & the business are certain to remember it for years.  Within 6 mos., either party will be calling you about your service or product.

Example Scenario:

While working the phones for a company when a call came in asking if the company sold_________. I politely asked them for their contact info. in the event we were disconnected. I then asked them to describe what they were looking for, to paint me a picture. After I explained in detail what we did, I let the caller deduce that we couldn’t meet their needs. *A side not to this: I knew we couldn’t do what they needed right from the beginning, but whenever possible I avoid using negatives like “NO” or “We don’t” I used that time while I was understanding their needs & explaining our services to navigate a quick database internet search for the company that could meet their needs.* Upon concluding that we didn’t have a match I provide them with my detailed thoughts on a company that I knew that could meet their goal. Before we hung up I asked that when they called to please mention my name from my company had sent recommended them. They were very gracious. After we hung up, I waited an hour and called________. My referral had called. They had told the business that I sent them. The business sent several referrals my direction in months to come.

While I try not to tangent on and on about me, I’d like to share a scenario in hopes of showing you how it works and what you must do even long after the referral has been recommended. This is give & get at its finest…