“Jae, can I use you as a reference for a tour that I am applying for?” “T and Jae, how can I obtain tour opportunities?” “Can you refer me?” EXPs—how many times are you asked this question from fellow EXPs? It’s due to account managers and staffing coordinators conducting live and video interviews, as well as taking the time to validate references prior to awarding any contracts to an EXP. As a result, when a EXP asks for a reference, EXPs who have worked years to build a reputable name for themselves take this request seriously and are cautious. Because building reputable relationships with account and staffing managers, as well as Experiential Marketing owners, takes time, many EXPs are reluctant to stick their neck out for anyone because they may have been burned by a negative experience.
Here are a few things to keep in mind prior to referring another EXP for an opportunity:
Their work ethic doesn’t match yours.
Whether you have worked with someone on one event or a couple of events, getting a gauge for their work ethic is important. Are they on time for the event? Do they communicate effectively with the account manager or coordinator? Do they complain about everything? Do they have an entitlement mentality? Are they hiding from doing any tasks onsite? Do they play the “blame game”? Are they rude and unprofessional to consumers? If you cannot answer these questions truthfully then referring someone for an opportunity probably isn’t the best idea.
Perception vs. Reality.
If you have taken the time to build a relationship with an agency, staffing or account manager, then you must understand that fellow EXPs may not see the value in that relationship which took months and years for you to build. Make sure the requesting EXP understands the importance of maintaining a positive relationship for you with that possible referral and why it is important to not have that relationship compromised.
Ensure future opportunities are not compromised.
If you worked to build a reputable name for yourself with an Experiential Marketing or staffing agency, the last thing you want is to have a relationship ruined by someone who doesn’t value the time and effort it took to build. If the EXP does a poor job after you have referred them for an opportunity, it could hamper your ability to receive future opportunities with an agency or account manager.
As an EXP, you are judged by your ability to successfully organize and put on an event, as well as assist in the retention of that client. Whether that is the activation of one event or a tour spanning months, building a positive rapport will foster an environment where referrals are created and the ability to maintain consistent opportunities are a reality. It takes time and a hustle mentality to build a reputable name as an EXP. Before you ask an EXP to refer you for an opportunity, be sure that your work ethic, professionalism, and ability to successfully execute the event is something you are capable and willing to perform. If the EXP you’ve asked declines, don’t take it personal, continue to work hard, build your credibility, and the right opportunity will be presented.
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