Help people recommend you to others

11th February 2014

Want a new job?

To be chosen to work on a high-profile project?

To get in front of a decision maker?

To secure a meeting with a target customer?

Word-of-mouth is often the most effective way to convince someone to choose you. After all, once someone they trust has positively recommended you to them, it helps them decide in your favour.

Unfortunately, recommendations like this rarely happen unless you do initiate it. So, here’s how to trigger more recommendations.

#1 Know who you want to be recommended to

I once asked a chiropractor who he wanted me to recommend him to. He said ‘anyone with a spine”.

How helpful. I know thousands of people with a spine. But I didn’t know where to start. So I didn’t start.

So be crystal clear who you want to be recommended to – for example ‘I want to speak to the Sales Director of X Plc”. This makes it easier for your referrer to start.

#2 Know why it’s in your target’s interest to see you

“Please can you refer me?” sounds like you want the referrer to do something that’s only in your interest.

“Please can you refer me to the Sales Director of X Plc. I can help her win easy business, by showing her new routes to market that her competitors aren’t aware of” makes it easier to refer you. The referrer knows that he is helping his contact, which in turn makes him look good to her.

#3 Identify who knows your target

Once you know who you want to speak to (#1) and how they’ll benefit by seeing you (#2), work backwards to identify who knows her best. This will be your referrer.

Ideally, this referrer will have two attributes – power and desire. In other words, they can help you (they have influence over your target), and they want to (they trust you).

#4 Ask the referrer to refer you

Script and practise what you’ll say to the referrer, so you get it right when it matters.

If they have both power and desire, it might be as simple as “Please can you help me? I’d love an introduction to X”.

If they have power only, be clear on the benefits to them and the target of the referral.

If they have desire only, ask their advice, and/or for an introduction into someone who does have the power to influence your target.

These four steps work… and quickly

I’ve taught these steps hundreds of times. And they’ve worked well and quickly each time. For example, one group of bankers got 30 referrals in 30 minutes. I’ve helped countless coachees get “chosen” to work on high-profile projects, be promoted, get new jobs, win sales, expand their network and so on. And all by using these four steps…

What will be your biggest benefit of mastering them?

Action Point

Identify a situation where you want someone you barely know to choose you. Run through the four steps, to find someone who can recommend you to them. It won’t take you long. And everyone will be glad you did.

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