Recommending a product or service

Who do you provide recommendations for and why? Recently in a LinkedIn group I am part of, someone asked for a recommendation. Within the thread of replies of this one post we see what's a good recommendation and what is a bad one. Read on to learn the right from wrong.

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Which one best describes you?

The dumbass

Do you know a guy who knows a guy who you think can help? The worst recommendations come from these people. They have no clue as to the business practices or quality of work of who they are recommending. They just throw out the names of their buddy. Typically post from these types is a web link or a phone number and name. It's possible that they are amateur networkers and haven't yet honed their craft. Or they are just dumbasses.

The Professional Networker
The Pro Networker is friends with everyone. Well, he knows everyone at least. He always wants more contacts and throws out improper recommendations at will. Someone will ask about getting an oil change for example and The Pro Networker will mentally dive into his business card list and will come up with something like "Joe Shmo from Tires, Tires, Tires can help!". Then you find out Joe no longer works there, he's off selling something 'cloud' related and Tires Tires Tires doesn't do, nor ever did, oil changes.

You'll know these types because they always include "tell them I referred you" as part of their canned recommendation.

Mr Negative
Mr Negative will ALWAYS tell you who not to use. He has never had a good experience in his entire life. We should make fun of these people and not pay attention to their ramblings.

"Don't use that guy! He screwed up my engine overhaul, overcharged me, moved my rear view mirror and blah blah blah blah blah". All the person wants is an oil change recommendation (as per my previous example) not a personal and useless diatribe.

The guy who replies to every post
Closely related to the dumbass is the person who replies just to reply.

"Hey let me find out if my friend will do it for you", then you never hear from him again. Not that you want to have the friend of someone you don't know in the first place do the work anyway...

This is the person that feels somehow compelled to reply to every post. It's the same guy that "likes" every post he sees on Facebook.

The real recommendation
A real recommendation comes from someone who had relevant work done by the party they are recommending. They will state what work they had done, when it was done and how the experience went. Factual information based on a real experience.

So let's stop with the poor recommendations. Provide useful information and if you feel overly helpful tell the person that they are free to reach out with more questions. If you're forced to give a recommendation because you share a networking group with a person, just say so.

Thanks for reading.

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