Endorsements, Recommendations & Referrals, Oh My!

phoneBlogger co-founder, Mark Bullock, explains the effect of referrals.{2:42 minutes to read} When speaking with clients in respect to their marketing efforts, I see a lot of endorsements or recommendations – that are referred to as referrals.

What’s the Difference?

If you and I are talking and I say, “Oh, you should talk to Mary Jane about your problem. She’s an attorney over at such-and-such law firm,” my suggestion is a recommendation.

If I were to say, “I know this person, Mary Jane, and she’s a really good attorney in this field,” that’s an endorsement.

A referral would be a bit more formal: “Here’s Mary Jane’s number. I’d recommend you consider her to help you with your issue, and I encourage you to reach out to her.”

A more solid referral is an introduction.

I hear from clients and other people who know us that they referred us to someone, and we really appreciate and like that. But I suspect much of the time, because the person they referred doesn’t always call or contact us in any way, that it was more of an endorsement or recommendation rather than a referral; and this could be happening to you with your referral sources.

To make sure the connection happens, I suggest taking the recommendation a step further and turning it into an introduction. In some businesses and professional services, that introduction may seem a little uncomfortable or may not be appropriate, so take that into consideration. But many times what may seem inappropriate may become appropriate, if you ask the person you’ll be referring if you can make the introduction via email, LinkedIn, etc., thereby getting their permission to be referred. For example: “May I introduce you to Mary Jane via email?”

Recommendations and endorsements are great, but not as valuable as ensuring the connection takes place. Making an introduction, rather than just passing on the referee’s information without their knowledge, is a much more solid way of making a connection.

It’s referrals – more than recommendations or endorsements – that get new clients.

How do you coach your referral sources to refer you? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the Leave a Reply box below.

Making Sense of Google+ Profiles and Pages to Best Promote Your Business-Related Articles


Mark Bullock
Telephone: (631) 754-0800
Email: Mark@phoneBlogger.net


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One Response to Endorsements, Recommendations & Referrals, Oh My!

  • avatar
    Vikram Rajan says:

    NOTE: LinkedIn uses these terms differently, with specific definitions……

    ENDORSEMENTS: LinkedIn refers to those Profile “Skills” thumbs-up as Endorsements. Have you been endorsed for anything that you don’t do? There’s a quick way to edit WHO endorsed you, WHAT they endorsed you for, and to HIDE or TURN OFF LinkedIn Endorsements altogether; email me at vik@phoneBlogger.net, and I’ll show you.

    RECOMMENDATIONS: LinkedIn refers to the written testimonials that appear on Profiles Recommendations. You can ask colleagues for them, and you must first approve them, or reject with comment. Often when you approve a Recommendation, LinkedIn will prompt you to reciprocate.

    INTRODUCTIONS: As Mark says, introductions are more powerful than referrals. And LinkedIn agrees (sort of): When you mouse-over the the Contact area of a Profile, it’ll offer you to Introduce that person to others. You can use this to forward a profile onto someone, yet the Profile owner (the one you’re introducing) isn’t notified…. of course, you could just cc those 2 by email (using LinkedIn bios as a reference).

    ~ Vik @ phoneBlogger.net

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