The Proper Way to Handle a Referral

The Proper Way to Handle a ReferralIf you have ever asked for an introduction or been referred by someone, you need to understand what a referral really is.

At the minimum, a referral is saying “I vouch for this guy”, or basically, I endorse this person I am telling you about.

You need to understand the importance of a referral. And you need to understand what you are really asking for when you ask someone for an introduction.

I have two stories about introductions one bad and one wonderful.

I love connecting people when I know they can benefit each other. But I am also deliberate about introducing or referring people. I know everyone I refer is a reflection of me. Call it selfish, but I only want to make introductions where the two parties involved will be glad I made the introduction and welcome the next introduction I might make. I want people to know if I am referring someone, which they have my backing and they will reflect my quality standard. So if you ask me for an introduction to someone, I might not do it. Not if you are not ready for it. And  I might not refer your work to someone else unless it meets a high-quality standard. But it delights me when I connect two people, and it works out for both of them. I win because they won. We all win. What a perfect situation.

In this episode, I highlight two examples of introductions, one with a bad ending and one with a wonderful ending.

In the introduction with the wonderful ending, Bryan Buckley did two things that made a big difference;

  1. He respected the referral. He understood his actions would be a reflection of both of us.
  2. He did his research. Before reaching out to Jeff, he bought his book; he left an Amazon review, he listened to Jeff’s podcast.

It worked out well for Bryan. After exchanging some emails, Bryan had the opportunity to meet Jeff at Podcast Movement in Chicago. They had a great conversation. The home work paid off. Handling an introduction the right way paid off.

So there are two stories about introductions. One handled poorly where no one benefited from the introduction. And one that was handled with excellence where everyone benefited from the introduction.


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Jody Maberry