Yesterday morning, I received a text message from a friend of mine. The text said something along the lines of “I have a question about finding a consultant”. He preferred to provide further details via an email, as there was some sensitivity regarding the issue.

My friend is a successful executive with over 20 years of experience. He was asked by a client which professional he would recommend that had a specific skill set. In our conversation, he indicated that the most important skills/traits of the person his client was seeking were 1) Trustworthiness 2) Responsiveness and 3) Competency.

There are several things about this that I find informative about the process one goes through to find a trustworthy and competent professional with a specific skillset.

LESSON #1 – CLIENTS ASK PROFESSIONALS THEY TRUST

My friend has a deep relationship of trust with his client. This is precisely why his client asked him who he would recommend. What he didn’t do was equally as telling (i.e. he didn’t search Google, ask a neighbor, etc.). He knows that he will be able to trust with full confidence the person my friend recommends (that’s called the “transfer of trust”).

LESSON #2 – PROFESSIONALS SEEK OUT OTHER PROFESSIONALS THEY TRUST

Naturally, my friend was eager to help his client. So, he went through his Rolodex of contacts (either in his mind or on his cell phone) to think about which of his trusted relationships might be connected with the type of professional needed. I was just one of a few different professionals he asked.

Now, he could have gone to LinkedIn, Facebook or other social sites to see with whom I and his other contacts were connected. However, he didn’t. He understood there is a big difference between the people you “Connect” with or “Friend” and the people you really know, like, trust, and recommend.

FINAL THOUGHT

Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a place you could go to see exactly who your trusted relationships know, like, trust, and recommend? A place that is not contaminated with so many connections that they really don’t even know. A place not influenced by the price others are willing to pay to be listed and seen. A place unaffected by biased opinions and reviews. A place that gives you the confidence and assurance knowing that if your most trusted relationships recommend someone else—that’s a recommendation you can take to the bank!

The Referral Card from Refer.com is that place. More specifically, the Referral Team section on the Referral Card is where you can see exactly who other professionals know, like, trust, and recommend.

If you haven’t done so already, go get your free Referral Card today. Then, let your contacts know who you recommend.