What makes giving referrals equally important to getting them? For starters, it presents the image of a company that is equally interested in a partner or client business, as well as its own. When establishing a policy of referral giving, it’s important to include these considerations:
- Express the importance of referrals in maintaining positioning and customer relations.
- Insist upon standards for those asking for the referrals.
- Require understanding of each party’s business and environment on both sides.
- Follow-up on all referral outcomes.
What it should not contain is a referral requirement from the other party in return. That makes it much easier for the other company to return the favor without feeling obligated to do so.
To be even more effective, referral policies, especially those that emphasize giving, need to focus on the value of extensive networking. Don’t overlook such modern technology networks as LinkedIn and Twitter – gradually gaining a following for business purposes – and the tried and true method of businesses.
Giving referrals can only have value if the giver continues to perform at or above expectations and emphasizes a concern for customer/client welfare that goes beyond payments received for services rendered. Imagine how much easier it is to eventually request a referral from a business that is already sold on your performance and your corporate ethics.
Remember, a clearly executed policy of giving referrals can help open other doors. When such a guideline is in place and well understood by those in the referral front lines, there is less likely to be either apprehension on one end of the call or resistance on the other. That is why a practiced effort in giving referrals is likely to have the desired effect of getting more of them.