Last week, I found myself in need of a chiropractor — a specialist I have never required before. So I asked a few friends for recommendations of who to see. A physician acquaintance answered with the names of three chiropractors and suggested I pick any of them. Another friend told me she knows of several chiropractors, then proceeded to give me one name and share her personal experience with that particular doctor and how he helped her cope with back strain.
Guess which I called?
Whether we intend it or not, a referral is very personal gesture. A bad referral can have all sorts of repercussions. Who wants to send their friend — or acquaintance for that matter — to a specialist they don’t know very well? People naturally want to put their friends and family into the hands of those who will best care for them. Which is why a clear recommendation, based on personal experience, can be so welcome and helpful.
The power lies in giving a single referral with a personal recommendation. If it’s the right referral, your friend is likely to have the best outcome and will appreciate your good judgment. If the outcome is less than ideal, while unfortunate, you would still have your personal experience as your justification for making the recommendation in the first place. On the other hand, if you give a friend a handful of names to consider, you may as well send them to Google.
If you’re in the market for a dentist or a dental professional, ask for a specific referral and personal experience. If the referral comes with rave reviews, all the better. If instead you get three referral slips with a side of indifference, ask someone else.