Does anybody ever ask you that? What do you do?
Do you dodge the question because nobody will say anything nice about you?
Do you give them your mother's phone number because she likes you?
Do you try to back them into a corner by asking if they'll buy if you give them a reference that says nice things?
How did they find you? Did they find an article that said nice things about you?
Were they referred to you by a very happy evangelist?
Do they not believe what they read or what the evangelist said?
I have three grandsons, 11, 10 and 2. The two older ones use Facetime, YouTube, and build apps on Minecraft. The younger one wants to watch the videos and pictures that I take of him. He also likes watching videos of horses, The Lion King and Blippi. The point is that this is the 21st Century and we have to stop living in the 20th Century. Everybody is using the internet. You can too.
Here's an example. A few weeks ago, somebody booked a call with this agenda. "I am looking for a sales coach." He also left me a voice mail. I sent him this email. "I got your voice mail. How did I get on your radar in the first place?" He replied, "I decided I needed a coach. We are hubspot kool aid drinkers over here. I did a google search and you were mentioned in a hubspot blog post by name... That was good enough for me to at least reach out."
We spoke and apparently it wasn't good enough for him because he asked me for references.
This was my reply.
I seldom get asked for references for two reasons.
- Lot's of evangelistic referrals
- Lot's of transparency and content on line. People reach a conclusion without the reference.If you'd like to poke around, reach out to the people that I've mentioned, or read my testimonials on LinkedIn, or post a request on LinkedIn. Something like, "Anybody at Hubspot or on LinkedIn ever get coached by Rick Roberge? Is he any good?" or do a boolean search on Google. It will show you the 238,000 places that my name is mentioned that are not on my website.
LMK how you do.
Giving references has always been a stumbling point for me.
- Most prospects are referred by an evangelist or an article. Did I do something that doesn't fit with what got them here?
- If somebody that they know already referred me, they're gonna take the word of a stranger over a friend?
- Do they really think that I'll give them a bad reference?
- Do they just want to make me work harder? I work hard after I'm paid, not before.
So, I just teach them how to check reputation on LinkedIn and Google. No filtering by me. If they hire me, it'll be with eyes wide open.
So, if you gave references the way I do, what would they find?