Hey you, Mr Referable!

Referable? No such word.

More ‘business-speak/jargon’ from Charlie I hear you say. Although, if you’re in business then being referable is absolutely essential. Let’s look at what makes you so while understanding why the fundamentals are so vital for success …

Beginning with treating people as you may expect to be treated …

not to mention:

Are you visible?

What? It’s true, there are those out there that expect the business, that new best client to simply come ‘a knock-in’ on the door, out of the blue … just because you’re you … Nope, we need to work on the bizabilty (more jargon!) After all, there is any number of ways to be seen, some simply DIY in the world of ‘social.’

Do you know your p’s from your q’s? Yes, remember them? Those mirror images, the p and the q. We get what we give right? So let’s understand that there is mileage in good old fashioned manners, respect and etiquette. Let’s just call it p and q.

Thinking of others. Of course, it’s second nature to you, right? If we’re looking for referrals, think of those with like-minded ambitions, offer help and support and you will soon find that it’s reciprocal. Think business underdog. That was you once, right?

Doing as you say you shall? Following up. Well, that’s a no-brainer … innit? We do though, still hear of those given the opportunity who simply don’t follow-up. Isn’t it true that more business is lost through procrastination than by making the wrong decision? We know this, but still, the lack of follow-up by those who say they shall remain one of the largest obstacles to ambition.

Are you communicating? Some don’t. It’s true, they don’t call you because they assume that you are a mind reader … We’re supposed to know that there is a delay or that they’ve cancelled the meeting or the one to one. Lack of communication does not help the bizability, the reputation.

So, how is your reliability? Ask yourself this. Can we count on you?

This is the nugget, friends, your reliability is what makes you referable. If you are not readily visible and you don’t have the courtesy of thinking of others when the business opportunity arises … if you don’t follow up on the enquiries by communicating, then you are simply not reliable.

Unreliable = unreferable.

Reputable, reliable, referable

Is he reliable Charlie? Ben asks.

Do you know him well enough to refer him??

Fair questions. I thought for a single moment and realised that this time, I just wasn’t sure of my answer…

All in business have had times of dilemma, finding the reliable trading partners, co-workers and suppliers are part of that conundrum. Yes, there is an abundance of reputable offerings … but are they reliable?

I consider myself lucky that I have made some fantastic, trusted long-time connections through networking. We seem to ‘sing from the same hymn sheet.’

Similar to what was being asked of me now, think yourself, what characteristics would a potential business partner or supplier need to possess? There’s a good chance you’ll come up with a list of attributes (nearly) similar to the following …

Is there evidence of:

Like-mindedness

Product knowledge

Empathy

Not forgetting, a reputable name?

Connections

Reliability

What makes them so referable, to you?

Personal recommendation. Reputations are built on them.

You may be given an introduction to a wholly reputable business, someone who fits the bill, an organisation that tick’s all the boxes, even drinks your brand of coffee, but if that connection is more a ‘maybe’ instead of a clear yes/no kind of outfit then chances are, you’re going to hesitate in referring them.

There are many reasons we buy into our professional network and each of us has our own prerequisite when choosing to work with someone.

Personally? It’s reliable. If we’re unable to count on our supporters to be with you when it matters, then they’re certainly not referable.

So in answer to Ben? Sit down, take a minute, share cake and get to know what works for you both.

Refer you?

So here’s the scenario…

‘Looking forward to seeing you at conference Tim.’  Says I.

To which Tim’s reply was … ‘Hey, yeah but sorry I cannot make that date now, I need to be elsewhere and I don’t want to let them down.’

Let THEM down …

Most of us understand that the best kind of business is the type that has been warmed up for you. Introductions to the possibility of new business already made by a colleague or friend, they’ve ‘put the word in,’ you’ve been recommended, introduced by testimonial. Call it what you like.

Like to be referable?

There is no shortcut to becoming referable. We have to earn that. Some would say we need to have at least the following three things in place.

Be able. Yes, the prerequisite in the world of business is . You need to be capable of performing the challenges and responsibilities you take on. You should do as you say you shall. Follow through on promises, be … dependable. If you are sloppy, tardy, or unskilled, you cannot expect existing clients to help you gain new customers, only for you to disappoint.

Be the most remarkable. Not the alternative … that’s no kind of endorsement. Referrals come through providing an exemplary service by being reliable, by surpassing expectations and by having a great attitude. It’s about ensuring your customer has every reason to offer the recommendation.

Be transferable. It is essential for refer-ability. Do you have a punchy, one-sentence summary that creates a memorable picture in the mind? If not, make it a priority to develop one and build any future presentation around it. Make sure it appears on your web home page, on the blog and on the email signature.

What about being sociable? Yes, social (media) can, of course, help us, it can ‘like’ how good we are, ‘tweet’ and ‘share’ how fabulous our business is, but we first need to be person-able, remarkable, and transferable to become referable.

We need to earn it.