Referrals are an important part of networking success and the key is knowing when to ask for one.
To get started, write down talking points that describe what you want to say when asking for referrals.
- What makes you unique and different?
- Know and be fluent in delivering your elevator promise. Refer to step 2 in the toolkit for additional assistance.
Write down the characteristics of your target market. What kind of company or person are you looking for?
- Use the appropriate demographics worksheet to describe the type of company and person you are looking for.
Write down what you want to accomplish during your discussion.
Here are all the optimal opportunities to ask for referrals and references:
- For business professionals:
- If you are in sales, then immediately after you sell something—this is one of the best times to ask for a referral.
- After receiving positive feedback about you, your product or service.
- Your employees are a great source of referrals.
- Consider an internal campaign to obtain referrals from each company employee.
- Create an incentive program to reward employees who provide names.
- In your newsletter.
- In your emails.
- In your mail correspondence.
- For job searchers:
- Ask previous bosses who have worked with you and like your work
- Past and current colleagues who have had good experiences working with you.
- From organizations where you volunteer.
- Ask people you have worked with on committees.
- Teachers and professors are usually willing to provide a reference.
- Neighbors who know you well and who could vouch for you.