I was negotiating with a roofer last week to have my garage roof fixed. Toward the end of this process, he outlined what I could expect from him. Best quality materials, punctuality, clean up of the work site and immediate response in the event of any problems requiring him to come back to the house.

One thing he asked that I’ve never been asked was “Can you think of anything else that would be important to you?” Clearly this guy was a well trained professional.

As he was wrapping up, he moved on to what he expected of me. Prompt payment of the balance owing on completion of the job, care of the roof, etc. But what really impressed me was his request that if he met my expectations, would I refer clients to him? I was happy to do so as I’d already found him to be friendly, easy to deal with and very professional. I also felt better because I knew what to expect from him if the job was good and that he knew doing a good job was necessary if he was to get a referral.

He’d originally been referred to me by a friend, so clearly he was likely to follow through.

It struck me that this is an unusual practice, but in fact is an entirely logical one. It sets up the request for referrals long before the request is made. It makes you feel comfortable that he has a process and that he knows what he’s doing. Every business can do this and it’ll result in greater satisfaction, more referrals and an easier sales process.