A referral is a precious gift. Treat it is as such. When you are offered the privilege of a contact name, ensure you maximize the opportunity by taking advantage of one or more of the following strategies.

We don’t like surprises. Contrary to what many people think, this is a fact in the adult world. We are all too busy. Calling someone out of the blue is a recipe for disaster. Even using a referral source’s name is usually not enough to gain the person’s attention, let alone their interest. On the other hand, when your name and your call have been properly explained, you will be received as a valued resource.

We like to share good news. When a colleague or client mentions a referral, it is because they feel a high level of trust and satisfaction about you, your product and/or your company. Allow them the opportunity and the satisfaction to share their story with the other person prior to your contact. It’s a chance for her/him to renew their feelings of value.

We want our friends to succeed. A referral is a precious gift. It’s an indication that the other person believes in you and the value you represent. Make sure you stay in touch with her/him as you proceed. She/he wants to help you succeed because of the strong bond you have created. Give her/him the opportunity to participate in the process by keeping her/him informed of your progress.

We care about our relationships. The relationships we have and the relationships we make are among our most valuable and valued assets. One of the reasons others don’t offer more referrals is that they are concerned about the effect on their relationship. Make sure you stay in contact with your referral source to confirm you are in fact helping build their relationship through your attitude and your actions. It’s your fastest way to even more referrals.

Make every referral a success story. Most people overlook the tremendous amount of trust, confidence and respect necessary for a referral. Every time a colleague or client shares a name, an opportunity or an insight, she/he is offering an incredible opportunity. See every referral as a success story. As such, make sure you relate good news to your referral source.

Article is © 2005 Michael Hughes.
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