When I was in high school one of my science classes studied the DNA of humans and how although most of us have the same basic features like eyes, nose, hair, hands, feet, we are all very different. At the same time, one of my cousins was expecting his first baby with his wife. So, for an extra credit assignment, I tried to figure out what the kid would look like. Would he/she have blonde hair or brown (definitely brown because both parents have brown hair). Blue eyes, green eyes or brown. You get the idea. After using my high school science knowledge I had this kid all figured out. Now the kid is a junior in college and boy was I wrong with everything! I realized that just because the odds said what Caitlin would look like, it didn’t mean that she would.
Just like my little cousin, you can’t assume what/how your customer is going to do, react to reference requests. Every customer is different. Not all Fortune 500 customers act the same way. There’s a good chance they’ll be similar, but you can’t assume you know a customer just because they fit into a particular category.
Take the time to get to know your customers, their needs, their abilities and strengths and it’ll save you a lot of time and possible disappointment. Dn’t be afraid to ask customers if you’re not sure if they’ll do something. You’ll never know until you ask because, like our DNA, no two customers are identical.