Has this ever happened to you? You use a vendor and you’re pretty satisfied with them but they never ask you how things are going. They don’t ask you about the quality of service, the price, the ease of using them, nothing. Then, you’re told that they have given your name as a reference. As a reference professional, my blood boils when I’m put into this position.
How in the world can you can you give someone as a reference if you have absolutely no idea what the customer thinks of you? Absolutely no idea! Would you really do that? Going completely blind into a reference you obviously don’t want that new opportunity bad enough. If you cared, you’d make sure you were giving good references.
When you put a customer in a position like this, you’re pretty much not validating any thoughts or opinions your customer has because you are assuming things. And, we all know what happens when you assume.
Solve this problem before it becomes one. Ask your customers if you want to use them as a reference – especially when they are to be expecting a call from a prospect. It could save you a whole lot of trouble down the line.
Just ask! It’s that easy.