Referral relationships are not only important for any businessman or woman but also for anyone trying to get somewhere in life. However, these relationships go both ways.

Creating referral relationships mean making a commitment and if you want someone to refer you as the best person for the job, then you had better be the best person for the job.

Referral relationships are really about trust and commitment. If you don't do what you say you are going to do, then not only might you have lost a prospective sale, but you might even lose a friend.

For example, if you have a friend that refers you out to everyone he knows for being the best man or woman for the job and you never show up to work, do half of the job, or really disappoint the people in some way, your friend might be looked down upon for referring you.

In some cases referral fees are paid to individuals who have referred someone to you that actually bought a product or service. This can be highly effective but be careful, because when the referrals turn into a cash business the level of service can suffer and the clients will not receive the quality they desire.

I have seen lawsuits based on referrals, or kickbacks as they are sometimes called. In one case a Home Inspector was giving Realtors a $50 restaurant certificate for every referral that resulted in a paid home inspection.

The client, the home buyer, saw the Inspector slipping the Realtor an envelope at the time of the inspection. Later when there were problems discovered in the house that the Home Inspector had failed to point out, as an error or omission, this issue of the referral fee suddenly became very important.

To make a long story shorter, both the Realtor and the Home Inspector were named in a law suit and one way or another both lost as a result. In this case I knew both the Home Inspector and the Realtor. It was interesting to hear their respective accounts of the same story.

The moral of the story is to make sure that when you are developing your referral relationships that you are sure that there is no conflict of interest involved, whether real or perceived.

The responsibility of creating these relationships is on you through doing the best job possible. Once people recognize how dependable and hard working you are, the word will get around.

If there are problems, then always communicate them. Never let someone down by doing poor work or not being dependable. That is the best way to destroy a good relationship.

You've no doubt heard that word of mouth is the best form of advertising. This may be true but it is uncontrolable. However, if you take the time to develop and maintain a system by which you create relationships with people who will continue to give you good word of mouth (read referrals) then you will have succeeded in creating a very effective and economical marketing technique that you can control.

Take your relationships seriously with those people who refer you and those who have been referred to you. The chain will continue and you will end up with a strong network of people who trust and rely on you.

To your success!

Author's Bio: 

David Mason is president of Mason Performance Development Inc., a Speaker, Trainer, Performance Development Coach and internationally best-selling author.

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