Would you take advice from your mechanic on a new doctor, or your doctor on a new church?
How often have you heard a neighbour or a friend say I have a really good lawyer, accountant, butcher, baker or candlestick maker. Most of my neighbours don’t know much about any of these people. They do know that they trust the relationship they have developed and are happy to pass that along to me. A referral.
In networking parlance, a referral is the golden goose as in I know and trust my new networking buddy well enough to refer him to one of my trusted business associates. The door opener.
Some organized networking groups force referrals and insist that participants swap names every week, providing new referrals for other participants. So either they have been holding out, like last week, or they have developed this deeply trusting relationship in the last seven days and they are about to share it with me.
Trust is at the center of all business relationships. But trust has to be earned.
Who do you trust?