Quality vs Quantity

24 Apr

When I was graduating college and needed appropriate interview clothes, I spent my money on one good suit.

When I was furnishing my first apartment, I spent my money on one piece of quality furniture. Of course it was the stereo system.

When prospecting for business, I’d rather get one good referral instead of making 100 cold calls.

When I think of who I can really count on, I see a few very good friends instead of lots of casual acquaintances.

It seems simple – for the important things, quality triumphs over quality.

I received a request via LinkedIn from a guy who worked for me over 7 years ago asking me to endorse him on LinkedIn. I replied, “Sure, why don’t you write something for me and I’ll edit as appropriate and post.” I haven’t heard back.

I get the feeling he thinks I’m the bad guy here because I was asked to do something by a former co-worker who’s connected to me in LinkedIn and I pushed back.

But he’s looking for a reference from me, one that will be available for all to see. Google him, you’ll find my recommendation. Google me, you’ll find my recommendation of him. So my comments not only say something about him but also about me, too. After all, if I don’t have a good reputation then my recommendation of him is worthless to him. If I recommend everyone who asks me for one, then what’s the value of my recommendation?

If YOU wanted a recommendation from a former boss (or customer), how would you go about it? Would you call them? Send them a personal email? Or send them a form-generated email thru a social network like LinkedIn? I wonder how many other former bosses received the same form email as me?

How much effort was expended asking for this particular recommendation? Does it not deserve the same effort in return?

3 Responses to “Quality vs Quantity”

  1. The RainMaker Maker April 24, 2008 at 3:59 pm #

    All right! Now I don’t feel so bad. I am not alone. Furthermore, I think that it’s great that this subject comes up on what I call “The Referral Blog”. I think that my wife is a wonderful human being and a saint for putting up with me. How’s that for a glowing recommendation?

    But, let’s be serious for a moment. Why do you want a recommendation in the first place? Isn’t it because you want my reputation to make you look better? Most of the people that are going to read that recommendation aren’t gonna know me, so they’re not gonna care what I think of you. Isn’t that true? If you want me to recommend you, get me to make a referral. Tell me what you’re looking for well enough so that I know who, in my network, is a match. Then, when I call my friend and say that you are someone that they should know, my opinion will carry some weight.

    Bottom line: Which would you prefer if you can’t have both? Do you want me to write a useless recommendation that you can post on LinkedIn so that millions of people that don’t care what I think can read it or do you want me to introduce you to one person who needs what you have, can afford it, wants to buy it next week and gives you the benefit of the doubt because I am a trusted resource.

  2. peter caputa April 24, 2008 at 4:22 pm #

    There’s a really great way to get endorsements on Linkedin…

    If you want to actually endorse someone, endorse them first. If they want to endorse you, most people will feel somewhat obligated to return the favor.

    I never ask for an endorsement. If someone compliments me, I’ll ask them to write it up and post it on LinkedIn. But, I wouldn’t go out of my way to ask someone for a public endorsement.

    To answer Rick’s question: I’d prefer the referral.

  3. Michael Kreppein April 24, 2008 at 4:33 pm #

    Rainmaker and Pete – thanks for commenting. It’s a good feeling to get comments because my topic is compelling enough for a reader to comment.

    If everyone has multiple endorsements on LinkedIn, then what’s the value of an endorsement there?

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