I had a colleague give me a referral last week. A referral is when you give (or in this case receive) a business lead from someone else. It’s a little different from a recommendation, which is a positive affirmation of someone’s work. Recommendations can sometimes lead to referrals.
When you give a referral it’s a big deal. Typically the business you are giving a referral to is friend or an existing client and you want to keep them as a friend/client. So you want to know that, whatever company you refer, they will do top notch work. And, when done properly, a referral can provide the best networking opportunity. What better way to endear yourself to a colleague than handing them potential business?
Getting a referral is an equally important responsibility. The person who receives the referral needs to remember that someone has put them self out there. The client has been told fabulous things and will expect nothing less.
Why do I bring this up? Well in social media, recommendations and referrals are very common. 34% of bloggers post opinions about products and brands. And, 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations (versus 14% trust advertising.)
This is powerful. Referrals and word of mouth recommendations can have a huge impact on purchasing decisions. A couple of things to consider:
Think about the referrals you give. Make sure the people who get your referrals deserve them and work hard for them. They should treat your clients as good as you do.
Treasure the referrals you get. Someone opened a door for you. Be grateful. Thank them!
I want to extend my sincere thanks to those of you who recommend and refer my blog and/or consulting firm, ITM Group. It’s not something I take lightly. Your endorsement means a great deal. And, I treat it with the care and consideration it deserves.
As we start to see the light at the end of our economic challenges, creating strategic alliances will be an important part of the recovery process. Whether you’re on the giving or receiving end, don’t take lightly the kind words of others.
P.S. In the blogging world, carnivals could be considered a kind of ‘referral’. Ben Eubanks at UpstartHR did a great job hosting the latest HR Carnival. HR Bartender is proud to be a part of the awesomeness. Be sure to check it out. Cheers!0