How to Get the Best Recommendations Ever!
After participating in one of our programs, many of our clients come to us for support in career marketing or launching a business. Invariably, they will ask how to approach others for recommendations and endorsements.
The right answer is, “Don’t do it!”
In fact, getting great recommendations can be such a positive experience that I often wait for an off day to do it.
If you want great endorsements, jump onto LinkedIn and give praiseworthy endorsements to the people you admire, respect, and want to support.
Many of them will send you an endorsement right back. In fact, LinkedIn suggests that they “return the favor.” When they do this, they are in the most positive state of mind about you. The content is usually far better than when you contact someone directly for a recommendation and they respond, “Tell me what to say.” Ugh.
Here are a few suggestions:
Most reader can instantly know if you are going through the motions or really mean it. Push yourself to look for the good and the best in this person.
“Jennifer is one of the most savvy human capital executives I’ve ever met. She is one of the few individuals that has managed to become a fierce business partner while elevating the morale throughout our workforce.”
Generalities make your endorsement invisible, immemorable, and bland. Remember that you are speaking to a brand. Look for the characteristics that set this person apart from others.
“During a very difficult merger, Jennifer engaged with new stakeholders with such finesse that we were able to gain their support and move forward immediately. She has an almost superhuman sense of who will fit our culture and who will not.”
In terms of being “personal,” don’t reveal anything personal about your recipient. But, credibility grows if you describe how this individual impacted you. How did this person change your career? What did you learn from him? What career breakthrough occurred because of this individual?
“We suffered a sudden and tragic loss in our family. During a really difficult time, her support and understanding allowed me to do my job while finding a safe place to grieve and move through a very difficult time.”
Remember that when we write anything about an individual in the workplace, we want to get through to even the most cynical readers and recipients. In bringing closure to this conversation, here are all of the valuable characteristics that can be woven into a great endorsement and recommendation:
Truthful, appreciative, memorable, accurate, kind, bold, and relevant.
One other suggestion. Human beings are capable of thinking about something other than themselves for about 15-seconds. Therefore, we want to speak to the needs and expectations of the reader. If you are talking about the owner of a digital advertising agency, speak in language that relates to the agency’s potential customers:
“We had many disappointments with agencies prior to working with Dan, most of them coming from a smoke and mirrors approach. Dan and all of his colleagues were transparent, gave us updates and were quite open about the strengths and weaknesses of each campaign. Not only are they effective, they are always honest.”
What kind of endorsements will you get by giving this kind of energy to the people you respect and care for?
Oh, and by the way, notice that throughout the narrative, we want to include the highest characteristic of all:
I usually do this work on an off day. If I walk into the office in a bad mood, devoting a half hour to transform the day with a few people shifts the mood before I’m stuck. Then, the gifts start coming back.
If you have any doubts at all and want more examples, visit my profile.
Schedule 15-Minutes to Discuss Your Workplace or Career with David (Here)
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