Integrity is Key to Your Referrability

ethics, integrity, trustPeople often complain that they are not getting the referrals they want.  My first question to them is why should that person give you a referral? I get looks of surprise and sometimes it makes people angry, but the truth is, why SHOULD someone give you a referral?

Think about the person you are expecting a referral from. What kind of relationship do you have? Acquaintances? Friends? “That guy”? If your relationship is not one in which you know, like and trust one another, chances are they are not going to want to loan you the trust their clients, friends, or family have for them.
Before I expect a referral from someone, I ask myself, would I ask to borrow his or her car? If our relationship isn’t strong enough for me to feel comfortable asking them to borrow their car, perhaps our relationship needs some work before I expect them to trust me with the relationship they have carefully crafted with their client.
I once had a Realtor that I had met once or twice call me and tell me he was taking a class and needed to get ten referrals. Then he said, “So would you give me a referral?” I was surprised! I explained to him that I barely knew him and that I had referral relationships with several realtors, and if I were looking for a realtor to refer someone to, I would be referring them to one of them. At that point he got angry with me and said “I’m only asking you for one referral!”
It made me even more committed to never, ever ask someone for a referral without being sure that our relationship has the appropriate level of regard and trust.
Here are some of the traits of Integrity:
Honesty. People of integrity tell the truth. Even when it is inconvenient, embarrassing or expensive. They cultivate the trust of others because they are seen as trustworthy in life or power. When people see that the core of who you are is good, they trust you in the relationship.
They keep their promises. People of integrity do what they say they are going to do. Not sometimes, not most of the time, but every time. They think about what they are promising BEFORE they make the promise and make sure they can deliver on those promises.
They treat others fairly. People of integrity have an internal compass when it comes to justice. They are tuned into the greater good and treat others fairly. In addition, they also call others to treat people fairly.
They show respect for others. People of integrity show respect when dealing with others, regardless of that individual’s wealth, station in life or power. When people see that the core of who you are is good, they trust you in the relationship.
Examine how you show up in the workplace. Ask yourself, “Do I tell the truth?” “Do I treat others fairly? “Do I keep my promises? “Do I show respect for others?” If the answer is yes, you can be sure that it will be much easier for people to trust you with their referrals.

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