June 14th, 2006 by Bob Bly
A colleague, MA, recently referred several potential clients to me.
When I thanked him, he said: “No need to thank me. When you do a good job for my clients, you make me look good — and that’s all the thanks I need!”
I give my clients referrals to other vendors I know and trust for the same reason MA does: to help my clients.
Tha’s why it shocks me when vendors approach me and say: “Send business to us and we’ll give you a referral fee.”
I always refuse such arrangements, for two reasons.
First, I consider it my duty to my clients to refer them to the best vendor for the job — not the one who pays me.
And second, clients come to me for objective, unbiased advice. If I am getting a kick-back from the vendor, how objective can my advice to use their services be?
So I never accept referral fees from vendors … nor do I pay fees to get referrals.
Do you agree with me that paying for referrals is wrong? Or am I missing the boat on this one?
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