How to Give Referrals
WHAT IS A REFERRAL? A referral occurs when you personally introduce Person A to Person B, knowing ahead of time that both A and B want the introduction.
So, it is critical (i) that you know that A wants to be introduced to B, (ii) that you notify B of A’s particular interest in being introduced to B (why does A want the introduction?) and (iii) that B tells you that your introduction of A is welcome.
THE FOUR STEPS TO FOLLOW IN GIVING A REFERRAL
1. IDENTIFY AN OPPORTUNITY. Be alert to the needs of business associates who would benefit by being introduced to one of your other contacts, whether as i) a potential client, ii) a potential referral partner, or iii) a potential business resource.
2. CONFIRM ONE END OF THE REFERRAL. If one of them, A, is interested in being introduced to your contact, B, agree to check with B to confirm interest and availability.
3. CONFIRM THE OTHER END OF THE REFERRAL. Contact B to explain A’s need and to confirm B’s interest in the referral. If B is interested and agrees to have A initiate the contact, tell B you will let A know.
4. MAKE THE CONNECTION. Tell A that B is interested and expects to be contacted.
EXAMPLES OF WHAT IS NOT A REFERRAL
• Handing B’s business card to A, with the instruction to call B and “use my name.”
• Giving A the contact information of three of your business associates, with the instruction to call them and select the best one.
• Telling A to contact a certain organization or company, without providing an introduction to an individual in that organization or company.
• Giving someone information that may prove helpful in their business.
• Telling A (a target customer) about B (a service provider), without having asked A is he is interested in B’s service and without having asked B if he would like to have A as a client.
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