“When is the best time to ask for a referral?” The short answer is – Always. Why? The best way to increase your chances of finding another job opportunity is by building your contacts and growing your referral tree. There are five crucial opportunities during the job seeking process, from prospecting to the offer, every candidate must capitalize on to work smarter, not harder at growing your network.
Let’s say you meet someone at a networking event. After a few minutes of talking, you decide the person isn’t a good prospect for you. Before you move on to the next conversation, ask for an introduction to someone they know within the hospital that might be a good fit for you.
You’ve just cold called the hiring manger of your potential new department. You didn’t identify enough opportunity for him or her to set up an informational or formal interview. Was this a failed call? Not if you ask for a referral to someone who may be of help to you. You can’t lose what you don’t already have. So, why not go for it?
The company will be ecstatic at the time you accept the position. It’s a great time to ask your new employer who you should connect with for ideas or collaboration in your new role. Then, get them to introduce you.
If you didn’t get the job
You just spent time getting to know the hiring manager, his/her needs and some of the decision-making process. Perhaps you’ve determined this prospect is not the right person to make the hiring decisions. Or maybe you are not the best fit for the role, but they may know of a role you would be a better fit for. You never know until you ask.
As you check in with your customers, whoever they may be, to make sure they are happy with the service you’ve been providing, ask for referrals to other organizations. Any time a customer compliments you, your company or your service, is an excellent opening for a referral conversation.
Building your referral tree is critical to your success in the working world. Next time you are in one of the above situations, be bold and ask, “Which one of your colleagues should I speak with who might also appreciate the kind of expertise I provide?” Or, “Of all your business contacts, who is most likely to be interested in my experience?” This contact, prospect or customer becomes the trunk of your referral tree, and the names he or she gives you become the branches. Are you ready to start planting more referral trees?