The Personal MBA

Master the Art of Business

A world-class business education in a single volume. Learn the universal principles behind every successful business, then use these ideas to make more money, get more done, and have more fun in your life and work.

Buy the book:


What Are 'Referrals'?

Referrals are trusted recommendations that make it easier for people to choose to work with someone they don't know.

Referrals work because they transfer the qualities of being known and liked.

The more people who know, like, and trust you, the more Referrals you'll get, and the better off you will be.

Josh Kaufman Explains 'Referrals'

When your car breaks down, who would you rather take it to-a mechanic who's a friend-of-a- friend, or a random operation you found in the phone directory? Given the choice, people always prefer to interact with people they know and like.

Referrals make it far easier for people to Choose to work with someone they don't know.

Referrals are effective because they transfer the qualities of being known and liked. The reason you're more likely to go to a mechanic your friend recommends is that you know and like your friend, and your friend knows and likes that mechanic. Even if the competing mechanic in the phone book is highly qualified, that doesn't matter as much as being known and liked.

The referral transfers the knowing / liking effect to the recipient-instead of being a risky unknown quantity, they're suddenly a friend.

Cold-calling doesn't work very well because the caller is unknown. Remember, our minds tend to treat unknown people and situations as potential threats, which activates our natural defenses.

If someone doesn't already know or like you, you're going to have a tough time convincing them to do what you want.

Even the most obtuse commonalities can significantly warm up a cold connection. If someone mentions they're from the same area as you, or mentioned that they want to the same college, or know the same person, you'll automatically start to like them more-even though the connection may be very tenuous.

The last year Kelsey sold wedding gowns in Manhattan, over 70% of her sales came from referrals.

When you're considering spending $10,000 or more on a designer dress, you want to work with someone you know and like-and Kelsey's previous customers really liked working with her. Before they entered the salon, most of Kelsey's prospective customers already knew and liked her-and she closed many more sales as a result.

The more people who know, like, and trust you, the better off you are. Referrals are the best way to expand your network of personal connections.

Questions About 'Referrals'


"The way to get on in the world is to make people believe it's to their advantage to help you."

Jean de La Bruyère, seventeenth-century essayist and moralist


From Chapter 8:

Working With Others


https://personalmba.com/referrals/



WANT TO BE NOTIFIED WHEN UPDATES ARE PUBLISHED? Subscribe to Josh Kaufman's email newsletter. You'll receive Personal MBA updates, Josh's award-winning research, and useful resources that will help you make more money, get more done, and have more fun. It's free!

The Personal MBA

Master the Art of Business

A world-class business education in a single volume. Learn the universal principles behind every successful business, then use these ideas to make more money, get more done, and have more fun in your life and work.

Buy the book:


About Josh Kaufman

Josh Kaufman is an acclaimed business, learning, and skill acquisition expert. He is the author of two international bestsellers: The Personal MBA and The First 20 Hours. Josh's research and writing have helped millions of people worldwide learn the fundamentals of modern business.

More about Josh Kaufman →