If you have developed a healthy, mutually beneficial working relationship with a client and built a solid foundation of trust, there is a potential for referrals.
Most of us understand that leads can often come from referrals within our vendor or colleague pool. Yet have we stopped to consider how much we’re putting on the line each time we give out a referral? You may be jeopardizing your relationship with your hard-won client each time you send out a referral.
They say that who you know and associate with is a reflection of yourself – the same principle applies to a professional environment. The people you work with or refer have a direct impact on your reputation. If they perform poorly, the law of association states that the client you referred will think poorly of you too. After all, it was your judgment call to offer the referral and, essentially, trust another company with their needs.
There are a couple steps you can take to avoid negative impact on your reputation from the fallback of a referral gone wrong.
The next time a client asks you for a referral, recommend two or three competitive options. You should also discreetly disclose any additional information the client might need to make a decision. For example, one vendor might be better suited to a particular market – or perhaps another offers great work, but communication can be a challenge, in which case you could offer tips on how to best communicate with that vendor.