I recently had an interesting experience that taught me a HUGE business life lesson when it came to GIVING a quality referral.
I was contacted by a former business associate, who I hadn’t spoken to in a few years. He called and said he wanted to “hire me” for his new business. As I listened to his immediate needs, I realized that he needed a plan, before I could implement that marketing plan for him (as a Virtual Assistant). As a result, I referred him to a local business owner I KNOW and TRUST.
I KNEW this business associate (requesting the work) three years ago. He was a smart cookie, who would pay WHATEVER it took to get a job done thoroughly and efficiently. So I ASSUMED (I know, don’t go there) that money wasn’t a huge issue for him.
So he has a one on one with the trusted business associate I recommended and after an hour and a half of her time he says, “Well, I can’t pay you now, this is a new business, I would like you to volunteer your time and eventually you will get paid when the business becomes successful”…..
When I finally heard about this I was MORTIFIED! First of all, because he wasted this trusted associates TIME that she could have been with her other clients. Secondly, it was now MY Reputation that this trusted advisor was relying on. Thirdly, the business owner “hiring” never once said anything about doing work for free. In fact, his original conversation was that he wanted to “hire” me.
What I FAILED to do was answer all of the 4 questions below:
So, even though my heart was to connect two business professionals, I didn't do enough research to make sure it was a valuable solution for both! So take a lesson from me….Research your Referrals and everyone will be better off in the long run (including YOUR reputation!)