Frank’s Friday Words of Wisdom v5.0Words of Wisdom and Inspiration for the aspiring entrepreneur from Frank Covich, Founder of the National Association of Independent Business Brokers (NAIBB)…
by Frank Covich
The Value of Written References
In any new business venture, when you are building relationships with people, one great way to help new clients feel really good about you is to offer references. The best way to develop a book of references is to request them when the situation warrants one. I tell my clients that I will work with them to the best of my ability. In return, if they feel good about my straightforwardness, honesty and integrity, they can help me to help others by endorsing me as a business professional and person of integrity.
I am proud of my reference letters and over the years have used them many times to my advantage. No matter what business you are in, start now building your list of references.
Formal letters are great. My recommendation is to start with what you have, even if it’s just one; if you don’t have any, start now. Your long-term plan is to have a multitude of great letters of reference and endorsement over time. Learn the science and art of establishing your history of business and its associated personal references. I assure you they will be very valuable for your lifetime. Keep a master letter file. Scan them, and keep them in your computer. My letters are treasured.
Now I realize that we don’t go about every day asking for accomplishment report cards from everyone we deal with, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ask for the occasional in-person referral as well. Having dealt with top business people in the past, some felt more comfortable actually saying something nice about my business or me and my self-confident style. However, letters are much preferred.
One way to get a nice letter is to give one. Get in the habit yourself of writing nice letters to clients and business associates. In working for companies, I would write a letter of acceptance spelling out the details of a job offer I accepted. Then that letter would become proof of my work record years later.
In my business brokerage training experience, I would simply ask a client for a letter with a request to “Tell me what you think.” This oftentimes resulted in a letter of endorsement. I’m proud to say that now I have many of those to draw from after so many years. They convey the wisdom I have to my potential clients, which is something only experience brings.
Here are a few of my most treasured business letters of reference. Take a peek and recognize that every great relationship can tell a story. Use those stories to create an image of yourself as the person everyone would like to do business with and admires. Get started today…
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All the best,