Ever receive a referral from someone that goes nowhere fast; no call back – nothing but crickets? How about ones where you meet, but nothing lands as there’s no tangible need? What about ones that do land, but end in short order due to important realities not shared on the front end? Pretty frustrating, not to mention a waste of time and energy. Unfortunately, most people view a business referral as a name wave or a quick intro – “Hey Sarah, meet Bob, Bob does X and it would be good for you to meet. (I think?)
So when it comes to us connecting relationships, one thing we often forget is that we will lose a bit of personal brand equity and credibility every time we make a casual or flippant referral, because most of the time - they go nowhere. It’s the lack of specificity about basic and obvious details for both parties and their situations that often wastes time, resources and causes relational strain.
Here are 5 questions to consider when giving a referral.
1. Have you identified the specific nature of your contacts requirements so you can properly share that need with the party you’re referring in? Price, timing, importance, expectations, etc.
2. Has the referral source you’re providing been described to your contact with enough detail so your contact can decide if there’s a fit before the referral is made? A little goes a long way here.
3. Do you absolutely know without question those who you are referring in are proven and will do a brilliant job? Anything less is gambling.
4. Have you considered whether both parties will like each other and or work well together? Personalities have a lot to do with whether referrals work out or not.
5. Have you told both parties that you value both relationships and you’d appreciate it if everyone were treated with courtesy, respect and professionalism? This makes a difference.
The quality of every referral is generally in direct proportion to the quality depth of the conversation we have in teeing them up. A name wave is not a referral. Reflect before you connect today?