I have a two-year-old and fortunately, I have a killer babysitter – who we love, as does my daughter. A friend of mine was looking for a sitter and I referred our sitter. My friend met with the babysitter and hired her for the summer. She didn’t interview anyone else, she went with my referral and was equally impressed with how quickly her daughter took to the sitter.
My friend was at work and was mentioning the new sitter and how the summer arrangement was working out so well. A co-worker overheard and asked if she could hire the sitter for the month of September. “Don’t you want to meet her? my friend asked. “No – I know you and know you would only be happy with her if she was great,” was the co-worker’s reply.
My sitter had gotten a job without even trying. That’s the power of Word of Mouth. It opens doors like nothing else.
But there are always two sides to every coin. Word of Mouth referrals are about the reputation of the person making the referral. If the babysitter hadn’t worked out, who do you think would have been to blame. Yup, me. So, you can’t casually toss out a referral because it’s your reputation on the line.
A few years back, we had a sitter. She was a warm caring person who my daughter took to, but she never showed up on time or would cancel at the last minute. Often leaving us scrambling to either leave the office early or arrange some other form of coverage. Not exactly someone to refer to. The good thing about her is we found our current sitter when we knew she needed to go.
So whether you’re a babysitter or a lawyer – if you want someone to offer you as a referral, you have to be a trusted resource. A go-to kind guy or gal who solves an unmet need and doesn’t create one in the process.