Make It Happen Tipsheet
Translating Knowledge to Action

Respect Your Referrals

One of the most powerful concepts in networking is "Give to Get": the more you help other people, the more they will help you. Give to Get also has a longer term benefit: the longer you do it, the more powerful your relationships and the more positive your reputation.

A great networking question is how much should you continue to give, before you might expect to get. Consider these two real, but opposite situations:

  • After ten years of "giving", a networking contact referred a significant prospect, which resulted in an important new client.
  • After delivering a high five-figure client to a networking contact, there wasn't any thank you or acknowledgement.

In the first situation, the networking contact saw an opportunity that was a perfect fit; that I kept my name visible and valuable over time directly resulted in the referral. This contact continues to receive plenty of attention from me, and the relationship is even stronger.

In the second situation, the networking contact was so inwardly focussed, that the thought of even a simple thank you - let alone a gift - never crossed their minds. The result? They will never receive any attention (from me) in any way ever again: an organization that never says thank you will also never send a referral. The relationship is dead, and Give to Get with them is a waste of time.

This week's action plan: A referral can be a new business lead, an important introduction, or maybe just a suggested connection on LinkedIn. Who have you given a referral to this week? Who has referred an opportunity your way? It is too easy to take these for granted, without realizing the impact of not reciprocating... or not saying thank you.

Bonus action plan: Go back through your calendar for the last year, and identify all of the people you haven't thanked, or that you haven't thanked enough, and take care of the task immediately. Respect your referrals.

Give to Get bonus: If you've done the thank you's from above, you're now treading water. This week, make some referrals yourself: you'll earn respect from your referrals. And hopefully, a thank-you.


Randall Craig is an expert on Social Media Strategy and Social Media Policy; to find out how his workshops, webinars, and keynotes can help your team or add to your event, contact him through, or by email at

Make It Happen Tipsheet
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Copyright © 2010 Knowledge to Action Press and Randall Craig. All rights reserved.
Publication Date: Aug 17, 2010

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