The holiday season is here, and we are in full throttle to prepare for the festivities. For most of us, that includes looking for gifts to show our appreciation and gratitude. It is also the time of the year we tend to look back, reflect, and review the past year. Why not share our thoughts and appreciation publicly by giving the gift of a reference?
The Meaning of Giving a Reference
In our crowdsourced world, it is no news that a happy customer is a very valuable asset. Good ratings and satisfied customers willing to serve as references for new prospects often make the difference between winning and losing a sale. From websites, social media, video testimonials, or webinars to sales and media relations – there are many ways references can be used. They represent an opinion from outside a company-from people who actually use the product. That’s why they are more trustworthy and build credibility. They also describe real-world situations, which helps prospects to imagine themselves as customers. Additionally, references can be used by companies to address possible objections or support a sales pitch.
But references can be more than just a customer acquisition tool. They should be understood more broadly as tools for building a reputation or acting as value evidence as well as a source of information for other customers. What gift of such high value and importance could possibly compete with giving a thoughtful reference?
References Are Mutually Beneficial Gifts
Many companies send some material gifts to their clients as a sign of appreciation before Christmas. However, giving a reference can be much more rewarding and meaningful. Words of gratitude often speak louder than any material gift. You can support someone or a product you appreciate, which can strengthen personal relationships and might lend itself to the opportunity for self-promotion by showing the connection to the gifted person, company, or brand. There are many ways of giving the gift of a reference: reaching out to a collaborator or company you worked with, leaving a LinkedIn recommendation for someone you appreciate, or submitting a review on a website. You can also feature a product, collaborator, brand, or person on your social media or blog posts. In any case, it is certain that your reference will be highly appreciated because there’s no better way of gifting someone this holiday season.