There isn’t anything wrong with the wording in the template. It is just, if you use it, it demonstrates that you have given little to no thought in asking the person to write you a recommendation. If you’re going to ask someone to take time out of their busy day to think about you, write about you, and invest in your future success, the least you can do is take a few moments to personalize your request for a recommendation. Agreed?
Writing does not come naturally to everyone, so take some time to help educate and inform this friend, colleague, or client about the things you might like to have included in their recommendation. Make it easy, as easy as possible, for the writer to complete the task.
Here’s a simple example of what you might say.
When you have a few minutes, I would appreciate a recommendation. It would be great if you could mention my sales abilities – like the time I landed that $2M account. Some key words being used in my profession right now are sales, marketing, relationship-building, account management – just to give you an idea of topics you might include. Feel free to write what you think is best.
Prompt a client with a question.
Another suggestion is to help your client reflect on the services you provided.
If you could answer the following, I would certainly appreciate it.
- What made you engage our services?
- What services were you particularly impressed with?
- What problems were you experiencing that our company helped you solve?
- Did you save time (money, resources, frustration, stress, anxiety, fill in the blank…) as a result of our work together? If so, please explain in two lines or so.
- What might you tell others about our service?
Ask that they write directly to you.
You may also explain how you might like to receive the recommendation. For example, I much prefer a recommendation written like this
“Maureen, you were helpful and I will recommend you to my friends.” …than like this… “Maureen was really helpful and I would recommend her to everyone.” …the former just seems to be more authentic.
Once you have received and reviewed your recommendation don’t be in too big a rush to reciprocate. I have seen this happen too many times. ‘George’ recommends ‘Rebecca’ and then within the same minute I get a status update informing me that ‘Rebecca’ has just recommended ‘George.’ Well isn’t THAT convenient?
These ‘arrangements’ reek of insincerity and disingenuousness. Don’t get me wrong, there isn’t anything wrong with recommending one another – just put a little time between the two. Set a date a few days or weeks from now to write a well-deserved recommendation for your friend.
Step two – Say thanks.
No one HAS to write you a recommendation, so show your gratitude. This individual has taken the time to write, selflessly, about you. Picking up the phone, or sending a thank you note is the least you can do to demonstrate your appreciation for their kindness.