Networking and Referrals

Networking and offering referrals is hard and the more we network and refer, the harder it is. We are continually building relationships, meeting new people and wanting to help each other with authentic referrals. Learning how to determine an authentic referral is more difficult because we cannot reach into the brain of the person we referred and how they are going to use their own best business practices in utilizing the referral.

So how do we combat a referral that has not lived up to the expectations of the networker who referred what they thought would be an authentic referral.

  1. Keep business dealings private. They are not up for public discussion and should not discussed amongst peers in any type of public forum.

  2. The person who referred does need to know they may want to reconsider referring the business, but that conversation should be a conversation that is a confidential conversation.

  3. The person who received the referral should not place the person who referred as a responsible party outside of the referral.

As we are building our business and working towards a profitable, reputable and credible business, these three practices should always be adhered too. As a new business, many times we want it all. Social media presence, business cards, website, advertising and most of all, word of mouth, but our excitement sometimes stretches our budget and we have to pick and choose which will give us the most word of mouth exposure without breaking the bank.

Your business partners need to remain confidential as well as their business practices. The agreement is between you and the business, not you, the business and the person who referred. The person who referred will already feel bad they referred a bum referral but to have it publicly announced, bridges on ethics and could potentially scar a business and networker for returning referrals.

For many years, I was afraid to refer because I was afraid if the business fell through the cracks and failed my expectations they would shed a sour cloud over my credibility. What I have learned is I can refer, but I also need to ask questions of the person I am referring and connect the referral. Ideally, we all want to give the best referrals, but we also need to recognize that not every referral is going to be a great referral because we are not in the head of the person being referred.

If you are uncertain of the referral, let the person you are referring know that you are not certain so they can gauge whether they want to take a chance with the referral. The ultimate goal to is build relationships, not bust credibility.

#networking #referrals