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Stop Resisting and Start Reaping The Rewards of Referrals

Glenn Ebersole

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Recently I was asked to provide some expert advice on networking for introverts and I did so in an article entitled, “Networking Tips for Introverts or How to Break The Ice Without Fear of Falling Through. " After completing the article, I thought about the similarity between the introvert’s fear of networking and the fear and resistance of business people to ask for referrals.

Over the past 25 years in my private consulting practices, I have observed that many, if not most, professionals are uncomfortable and resistant to requesting referrals from colleagues, clients, business associates, et al. There appears to be some psychological fear in their minds of what might happen if a request for referral is made. My own observations along those lines are that usually the worst thing that happens is someone declines the request. And maybe that is more than many people can handle since it is seen as rejection.

Let’s look at how one might overcome this fear or resistance to requesting referrals. I would like to suggest four actions to you. The four are:

1. Consider the rewards of referrals for you and your business. I suggest you write them down as a reminder and as a motivator.

2. Change the “ask" from a request for a referral to seeking some type of personal reference or recommendation. This may be more comfortable for you to do than a direct ask for a referral.

3. Become knowledgeable of the communication style of whomever you ask for a referral. Determine if the recipient of your request prefers a direct approach or a softer and less direct approach.

4. Develop the “request" and rehearse it to build up your confidence level in requesting referrals.

Glenn Ebersole, Jr. is a multi-faceted professional, who is recognized as a visionary, guide and facilitator in the fields of business coaching, marketing, public relations, management, strategic planning and engineering. Glenn is the Founder and Chief Executive of two Lancaster, PA based consulting practices: The Renaissance Group, a creative marketing, public relations, strategic planning and business development consulting firm and J. G. Ebersole Associates, an independent professional engineering, marketing, and management consulting firm. He is a Certified Facilitator and serves as a business coach and a strategic planning facilitator and consultant to a diverse list of clients. Glenn is also the author of a monthly newsletter, “Glenn’s Guiding Lines – Thoughts From Your Strategic Thinking Business Coach" and has published more than 250 articles on business.

To find out more about the benefits & rewards of effectively working with a strategic thinking business coach, please contact Glenn Ebersole through his web site at or


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