What is the Definition of a Referral?



Most Popular

Blog Categories:

WOW! The response to our request for readers to give us their definition of a referral has been tremendous.

Please keep them coming using the form below. We have removed the requirement to leave your email so we can assure you this is not some sort of list building scheme.

I want to show some of the responses here so you can get an idea of how diverse the answers are:

  • “To me a referral could be any number of things. First, a referral does not always need to be for monetary gain. A referral could be an introduction that could help an individual grow in some way. Direct referrals that are meant to end in a sale need to be well thought out and qualified. To do this we all need to educate ourselves about the individuals and businesses that we associate with. We need to be ready when the opportunity presents itself. “Qualified” is the key word though, there is nothing worse than receiving a “referral that was passed just for the sake of saying “Hey I passed your info along to so and so.” Instead take the time to make the introduction between the 2 parties and create the dialogue for a successful experience between both.”
  • “An introduction, possibly the first step in establishing a relationship.”
  • “A referral is a viable business lead that does not culminate in a demand for pro bono work. To me, a solid referral is a well vetted potential customer that understands the value of paying for a quality product. I cannot tell you how many referrals I’ve been given which resulted in the expectation of work for the low, low price of free. I cannot feed my family on free.”
  • “According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a referral is an act of sending someone or something to a person or place where what is wanted or needed can be obtained. It also means the act of directing someone to a different place or person for information, help, or action, often to a person or group with more knowledge or power.”
  • “A referral is somebody recommending something to somebody else.”
  • “To me a referral is when someone tells someone else you did great work for them and they should hire you. I guess a great referral is really a recommendation.”
  • “A customer referral is a confirmation that a business is serving their community well and providing goods/services of high quality to its customers. When satisfied customers recommend a business they do so with peace of mind and confidence that the recipient is going to receive the same quality of work.”
  • “Hey Michael, you probably won’t find this in a dictionary but a referral is a RELATIONSHIP where someone TRUSTS you/your brand enough (either by reputation or personal experience/interaction) that they are willing to RISK their REPUTATION to RECOMMEND you or your business.”

Thank you to all who have already responded, and I look forward to seeing responses from the rest of you soon.

What I’ve learned about referrals so far.

As you can imagine there is a lot of research that goes into something like this. I have found, after more hours than I’d like to admit, that there are a lot of interesting articles out there on how to build a proper referral strategy for your business.

What I have not found is a clear definition for the term referral.

I really thought this is important to what we are trying to accomplish here. If we truly want to harness the power of referrals to grow our businesses, we should understand what a referral is.

I am not so sure now.

I have found that there are differing types of referrals and differing ‘levels’ of referral. Maybe, understanding the nuances of each may be a better strategy.

I will keep digging.

Til next time…
Michael 🙂

P.S. Here are some great ways I can help you grow your business right now:

Contractor’s Success Call: We’ll talk about the concerns you have with your brand and website to see if we’re a good fit to get you moving in the right direction.

Builder’s Brand Schematic: Let’s get started on creating the plan for your new brand and website. When we deliver your plan, you can break ground on your own or hire us as your design-build team to take care of it for you. It’s like hiring an architect for only $595 (NAHB, HBAV, and FABA members receive a $100 discount).

After more than 25 years swinging a hammer helping contractors is near and dear to my heart. I’m here to help.


Picture of Michael Pollaci

Michael Pollaci

I know you are just looking for someone who you can trust. But, how do you know? Truth is you can never know. You have to trust your gut on this.

What makes me different and why should you trust me? Unlike most of the techies in this industry, I started swinging a hammer when I was very young. In the late 70’s I was installing aluminum storm windows with my grandfather in Brooklyn. I knew how to bend aluminum on a brake when I was twelve. I spent my teens and 20’s building decks. I spent my 30’s on a roof or on a pick and pump jacks and my 40’s in some kind of construction management capacity. I have held just about every position possible in construction from residential home improvements to large scale and phased commercial construction.

I left construction in 2007 during the market crash and had to reinvent myself. I have completed approximately 150 websites and or projects in varying industries (mostly contracting) and with varying results. To be perfectly frank, the first website I did for a plumber came out horrible. I did it for $500! The point is, I constantly improved my skill set just as I did in construction – from apprentice using a yankee screwdriver to install storm windows in Brooklyn to a project manager managing multimillion dollar projects in Manhattan.

Simply put. I know your business, your day to day struggles and more importantly, your customers. If you are looking for someone who can talk the talk and understand the lingo. Someone who understands your customers. Someone who has been through the trenches. Someone you can communicate with. I am your guy.

If you are looking for just another flash in the pan or someone who will kowtow to you, move on and save us all some time. I am here to work with serious people and produce real results.

Related Posts

Maximizing Winter Downtime: A Contractors Blueprint for a Flourishing Business

Maximizing Winter Downtime: A Contractors Blueprint for a Flourishing Business

As the dog days of summer give way to the crisp air of autumn, many home builders and general contractors start bracing themselves for the challenges of winter construction. Contractors and home builders know that with the plummeting temperatures and potential snowfall, the industry faces many obstacles during the colder months. However, by planning ahead and embracing the opportunities that winter offers, contractors can keep their businesses bustling all year round.

Read More »
Planning Your Brand and Website Isn't Rocket Science

Einstein’s Parable

Einstein’s Parable A good leader has the humility to admit to themselves and others that what they thought would work, isn’t, then have the courage

Read More »
Skip to content