When we refer someone to a friend or colleague or fellow-networker, we do need to be able to trust the person we have recommended. That is obvious and should go without saying. Part of the way we can feel comfortable to refer someone is simply by being acquainted with them for a length of time.
Taking this further, that means we have to see the person we may refer regularly. We may have had a one-to-one (I hope we would have), but at least we need to see the person often at networking events. Turning up is very important because being there establishes reliability. Not being there indicates quite the opposite.
I like to refer the best person for the job. The best person is usually the one who turns up; not always of course because working with someone is a matter of comfort too for the person who needs the service or product. Mostly though we need to refer the person whom we know better than the others.
I cannot refer someone whom I don’t see very often even if we both belong to the same club or group. If I simply haven’t see a business owner for a year or several years, he hasn’t got a hope of getting business through my suggestion. If I haven’t seen the person in the last three years since she would have been the obvious choice, she might as well have fallen into a black hole as far as I am concerned. Of course I care about her well-being but I cannot stake my own reputation on her work even if I can find out how to track her down.
Did you know someone who had disappeared just when you thought of him or her?
© Jon Stow 2010