I get a fairly steady flow of referrals and hope you’ve done at least some of what I’ve suggested so you can get them too.
Sometimes folks looking for pretty specific gigs are referred to me as well.
I appreciate these referrals as much as the “Hey, this business needs your help” kind.
Who are you?
When I send someone to help a business owner, it has to be a good fit.Â On rare occasions, people are sent to me that I don’t know. In those cases, it’s tough to refer them unless I can find them online and learn about them and their work. Remember, my reputation is on the line with the referral as much as anyone’s.
Imagine these possible scenarios…
- I get an email asking for a referral as a writer, yet the email is terribly written.
- I get a voice mail touting their skills in sales, yet the voice mail struggles to sell me on calling them back.
- I get an email asking for website building work, yet they include a link to a website that looks like it was built in 1998.
- I can’t find them on Google.
- I’ve never heard of them or their work.
Those situations are extremely rare, but as you probably figured…there’s a point to all this.
Picking at it
Point being – It’s not much different than what you face when talking with a prospect.
Without a referral, they don’t know you from Adam (or Eve).
Until you pick up the phone, email them, send a mail piece or (horrors!) stand face to face with them, all you can depend on is your word-of-mouth reputation and what search engines tell them is all they have.
Let’s go back over that list again from that viewpoint:
- They get an email from you, yet your email is terribly written.
- They get a voice mail from you that struggles to address their question/need.
- They can’t find what they need on your website, which looks like it was built in 1998.
- They can’t find you on Google.
- They’re not familiar with your work and their friends/co-workers don’t know you.
Is that the first impression you make? And have you Google’d yourself lately?
Think about the baseball players in the picture. How does the pitcher make a first impression?
Quite often with a hard inside fastball, close to the batter’s chin.
What makes your first impression?Â What are you repeatedly doing to build a reputation BEFORE they need you?
By the way, if I sent you the guy in the photo’s front row, third from the left, and you owned a baseball team…you’d be a happy owner. His name isÂ Walter Johnson.