At the BNI International Conference in Long Beach this past November, I had a great conversation with my business partner in the Referral Institute, Mike Macedonio (pictured to the right). He was explaining why he feels there are only a few criteria that must be met to make people referrable by him.
The first criterion is that the individual is must be an expert at what he or she does. He looks for people who have invested in learning their trade and continue to invest to master their trade. Do they specialize in a certain area? What achievements have they attained in their area of expertise?
Another one of Mike’s requirements is that the person is passionate about what he or she does. This, especially, makes a lot of sense to me because if you’re not passionate about what you do, how could you expect other people to get excited about working on your behalf?
Mike’s last criterion stipulates that the person he is referring understands and honors the referral process. More specifically, Mike wants to ensure that the person receiving the referral understands his or her number-one responsibility. To quote Mike, “The number-one responsibility when you receive a referral is to make the person who gave you the referral look great.” As long as the people Mike gives referrals to are doing this for him, Mike can remain confident that his reputation will be protected. It also compels him to continue giving these people referrals.
Mike’s list of qualifications that make a person referrable is short, yet very powerful. After discussing it, we both agreed that we should expect others to evaluate our referrability by these same criteria. Are we invested experts, and do we continue to invest in our trade? Are we passionate about what we do? Are we practicing what we preach? Do we make our referral sources look great? I’m glad to say that I’m confident we both do all of these things.
So what makes people referrable by you? I’m sure many of you have some great ideas in response to this. I’d love to hear them, so please feel free to leave a comment.