The Power of Referrals

icon of a book

Referral Defined

“The act of directing someone to a different place or person for information, help, or action, often to a person or group with more knowledge or power.”

– Cambridge Dictionary

Recently, I joined a professional networking organization called ProVisors. Their slogan is Know > Like > Trust > Refer. After being in the group for over 7 months, I’m beginning to see the power of a large, selfless network, where everyone is actively promoting peers to their clients and prospects when and as appropriate.

I’d like to provide my perspective on the power of a referral.

icon of a magnifying glass

Inside a Referral

“Referrals aren’t given easily. If you don’t take the time to establish credibility, you’re not going to get the referral. People have to get to know you. They have to feel comfortable with who you are and what you do.”

– Ivan Misner, author

I started my company, Learning Curve Consultants, in 2012. We have primarily grown the business through repeat business and referrals. While I have always been a little hesitant asking for referrals from happy clients, it’s clear people enjoy working with those they know, like and trust, as referenced above.

When vouching for someone else’s work, you are helping move that person (and organization) to the “front of the line” ahead of others. People perk up when a recommendation is provided from a trusted source. They pay more attention to it and give that person/company referred more “runway” to make a good impression.

Last year, a client of mine reached out to a former colleague of hers to recommend my organization for an important learning initiative. Because of the referral, we were given the opportunity and collaborated to launch a successful 1-year global leadership curriculum.

A Referral is Just the Beginning

I’d like to share a personal example which shows that while a referral gets our foot in the door, we still must deliver. Charlie Condon, a college student-athlete (redshirt sophomore) at the University of Georgia, recently received the 2024 Golden Spikes Award for most outstanding college baseball player. Condon played little league baseball against my son, and they competed against one another in high school. A victim of COVID from a recruitment standpoint, Condon was a preferred walk-on to the University of Georgia.

The walk-on opportunity to play was provided to him because a family friend vouched for Condon to the (former) UGA head coach. Three years later, the referral has paid dividends to everyone who decided to give Condon a chance. But it wasn’t without Condon’s intense effort, positive attitude and unwavering trust in the process. In return for his effort and commitment, Condon is expected to be a top 5 pick in the upcoming MLB draft. His former head coach, Scott Stricklin, had this to say:

“I think what’s made him so good is that he’s had adversity. He’s had obstacles, and he never complained. He bought into everything.”

Networking: My Approach Now…and Going Forward

I embrace networking with passion and energy.  I am approaching each new connection to:

  1. Meet someone new
  2. Develop a relationship
  3. Grow a friendship
  4. Make a referral
  5. Explore collaboration and partnership opportunities

With each connection, it’s incumbent upon me to show genuine interest in the other person. By doing that, I can uncover ways to best assist them with immediate and long-term needs and wants. As an organization, we want to Unleash Your Talent.® by maximizing your potential and those you come into contact with on a daily basis. Taking the time to get to know someone and uncovering how you can assist them goes a long way!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *