Once a year, Valentine’s Day rolls around, and the world makes a big deal out of showing love to one another. Rather than get caught up in material gifts, give the gift that will give forever… the gift of a referral.
All around you, friends, family, acquaintances, even people you meet in the checkout line, are thinking about what they need to move forward in their life. They might be worried about a problem, or it might be to move forward with an opportunity. Bottom line, everyone is thinking about their future.
Often all they need is a simple suggestion on the next step. Your greatest gift could be that suggestion. So often a simple idea based on your experience can so quickly get someone unstuck from a problem that has, to them, become insurmountable. Thus, a suggestion and an introduction can mean the world to help them move forward with their life.
Think of it this way, you might be holding the key to someone else’s peace of mind. You likely know many professionals. Meanwhile, there are friends in your lives who need help but don’t know to whom to turn.
So, consider all the people you know:
- Professionals: lawyers, doctors, bankers, CPAs,
bookkeepers, financial planners, a life coach, or a business coach.
- Household: housekeepers, nannies, landscapers, virtual
assistant, plumbers, electricians, or home repair.
- Day to day: tutors, coaches, personal trainers, massage therapist, hairdresser/barber, personal shopper, daycare center or private driver.
When someone describes a problem, step up and suggest they speak to a professional and make an introduction. By doing that, you are not only helping, but you are also making your own experience available. You become a valued friend, mentor, leader – depending on your relationship to the person you are helping.
Here are five things to contemplate when a friend or a colleague is having a difficult time.
- Listen: Practice active listening and stay focused on what the other person is saying.
- Show Empathy: Acknowledge that you hear what they are saying and be compassionate.
- Suggestion of a Referral: With tact, ask them if they have thought about their next steps and if perhaps an introduction to someone could help them move forward.
- Make the Introduction: Take the time to make sure you do a proper introduction, whether by email, phone or in person to ensure they connect. Not sure how to make the introduction? Check out an article I wrote with example introduction language here: Being the Ultimate Connector.
- Follow up with the person: Whether via text, a phone call or in person, the follow up shows you genuinely care.
The gift of a referral costs you nothing but a few minutes of your time, while to someone else, is the greatest gift of their lifetime. The person or company you are referring them to will appreciate your obvious support of their business. The person you are giving the referral to will also let you know how they did with the referral, which provides you with feedback on services that you might be using as well. It is a win, win, win – the person you give the referral to, the person or company you are referring, and you personally.
Showing that you care creates such motivation in people and helps make the world a better place. So, Give the Gift of Love, Give the Gift of a Referral!
Love referrals? Share your favorite referral techniques below.