Have you ever wondered why some people are hesitant to refer their family, friends or even colleagues to perform work for someone else?  What does it take to get a job referral or letter of recommendation?  The key to getting a referral is not just having a history with someone, but having a history of success with this person.

How to get referrals:

  • History of completion – projects are completed when you’re involved
  • History of success – projects are done on time or ahead of schedule when you’re involved
  • Be credible – worthy of belief; trustworthy
  • Be excellent – exceed my expectations

When asked for a referral I run through my network list and ask these questions.

Referral questions:

  1. Have I worked with this person before?
  2. Has this person performed this kind of job before?
  3. Did they do an excellent job?
  4. Did they complete the job?
  5. Did they do it in a reasonable amount of time?
  6. Would I have them on my team again?
  7. Can I trust this person to uphold my reputation?

If I can answer yes to all these questions, I will refer this person.

Why, would I go through all this trouble to ask these referral questions?

It all boils down to reputation.  A bad referral can weaken a solid reputation.

The next time you ask for a referral or a recommendation, don’t feel bad if they tell you, I’m sorry, but I cannot give you a referral at this time.  Don’t get upset.  Please, respect them for their integrity.  This means that their referral will be respected by others that know them.  Be excited that they said “at this time.”  This means a referral from them could happen in the future if they can answer yes to their list referral questions.  Let that be your motivation to complete that project above and beyond their expectations.  After you have completed the project, you can ask them again, “Now that I have completed this project with you, how about giving me that referral now?”

You never know, that’s all it might take to get that outstanding review you’ve been looking for.