Why Do You Need Recommendations?
Word of mouth is highly influential in purchase decision making. The only change to this human tendency brought by the digital age? We now integrate online reviews into our word of mouth research process. Studies show online reviews have a lot of power. Think about how online reviews influence your own purchase behaviors. They do, right?
People innately crave social proof for helping them make a decision. Providing that social proof through recommendations helps people make the decision to hire you.
But Getting People to Recommend You Is Not Always Easy
I love writing recommendations for people who deserve it. Talking about what’s great about others makes me feel great. Maybe it’s because I love to write. Maybe thinking about other’s skills and talents is why I became a teacher for my first career. Helping others is a part of who I am.
I had no idea most people don’t have this same inclination. Until I asked for a recommendation from a client that never came, that is.
I realized, most people aren’t wired like me. They may hate writing. They may feel overwhelmed by having to sit down and get this done. They may just be too busy.
That’s Why You Need to Make Giving You a Recommendation Easy
Not one to give up on something I want, I decided to come up with a way to remove the pain. I developed an easy process for helping people recommend me. Since I’ve used this process, I’ve gotten the recommendation every time I asked for it.
3 Tips to Getting a Fast Recommendation
Tip 1: Make it so easy they’ll get it done right away. Everyone likes a clear path. Everyone likes to quickly complete tasks.
When I ask for a recommendation on LinkedIn, I always supply the link to my profile in the email request.
The subject line of my email always indicates that I need 5-10 minutes of their time.
I also tell the person what I’d like them to focus on. I will even write a short paragraph for them to edit. Most of the time, they add their own thoughts to my “starter paragraph.” Most of the time, I get to see a recommendation that makes me feel great when I find out the value I brought to this person.
The recommender simply has to edit, click, copy, paste, done.
Tip 2: Keep it honest. You want them to feel good about putting their name to your work. You’ll need to remind the recommender of your contributions. Having any record of positive evaluations, achievements, or outstanding contributions for reference helps.
You can even take the words from a former boss right out of a written evaluation of your work. They are the boss’ words, afterall. Asking a former boss to put their own words on your recommendation shouldn’t be a problem for them. And, again, it’s honest and easy.
Tip 3: Show gratitude. Say thank you when they’ve completed your recommendation. Let them know how it made your life better. Maybe even write a recommendation for them, too, if appropriate.
People love to feel valued and helpful. So tell them they have been helpful and that you value their time and effort. This is not only common courtesy, it is also a way to stay in good graces when this person has an opportunity to recommend you for a specific position or project.
Need Information on Best Practices for Writing Your Linkedin Profile?
This is the fourth and final article about my personal branding process for LinkedIn. You may find the other three articles on my website.