How powerful can personal endorsements truly be?
“Will you vouch for me?”
Have you been searching for a job? If so, at some point you have probably asked someone near and dear to you to “vouch for you”.
As a matter of fact what elicits a better feeling than someone singing and pronouncing your praises to another? I can’t think of anything. LOL.
If you haven’t asked for someone to vouch for you lately if your an entrepreneur and with the advent of new technology (find out more below), I’m confident that it wont be long before you do. So let me share with you a few tidbits of information to live by.
They don’t like surprises
Have you ever had anyone call you from a number you didn’t recognize asking you questions about someone you haven’t spoken with in ages? It’s not a pleasant feeling. It’s amazing how many times people will list you as a reference without even reaching out to you to advise you of such. Wouldn’t you think that it would be wise to prevent any surprise induced mishaps by alerting your friend, co-worker, whomever that they should possibly expect a call from a possible employer or landlord. Maybe you didn’t think that the employer would seriously contact the references you mentioned. Regardless follow these two steps to ensure a favorable response.
- Ask the person before you submit their information as a reference.
- Hold onto their information until an employer asks for it, then give your reference a head’s up that a call might be coming.
Help them help you
At some point and time you may be asked to serve as a reference for someone. Unfortunately there is only so much information that someone can remember about your series of accomplishments. So instead of having someone fumble over good information to share about you give them a cheat sheet. An updated copy of your resume can work particularly well in this instance. I have served in the military for over 15 years and have had to complete a series of evaluation reports for those within my chain of command. A practice I traditionally have them follow is to provide me with their military biography and a list of duties performed and positions held within the past fiscal year
You may not realize it now, but recommendations, references, endorsements or whatever you want to call them are becoming more and more valuable within the marketplace. Understand, all social networks thrive off of the personal recommendations of its consumers. If you are an entrepreneur and may possibly be seeking some capital within the near future you will come learn how valuable they truly are. A new company called VOUCH, a direct-to-consumer lending company is taking the concept of recommendations further. What does the personal endorsement of colleagues and loved ones do for a borrowers’ credibility. Often referred to as the first social network for credit, VOUCH has raised millions in funding. The concept came about as companies were having numerous problems to reconcile discrepancies between individuals’ actual worth and reputation vs. self-reports on their accounts.
Vouch is akin to micro-finance platforms that create social networks around each borrower. The service offers one to three-year installment loans of $500 to $15,000. Sponsors agree to repay a small portion of the loan if the borrower defaults; their recommendations can also increase the loan amount or lower the annual percentage rate (APR), which ranges from 5 to 30 percent. I love this idea within the program because when you have sponsors that are vested you can ensure that the recommendations they provide are going to be legitimate.
There are no applications, annual or prepayment fees on Vouch loans, but there is an origination fee of 1 to 5 percent (compared to 5 percent at most major banks). Late fees are 5 percent of the payment amount with a minimum of $15; credit card companies typically charge $25. As of present, Vouch has provided more than 1,000 loans and worked with thousands of sponsors.
Even Vouch’s corporate structure is based on endorsements. The company recruits employees through referrals or existing relationships. In addition every Vouch executive has at least 20 years of experience in engineering, finance, and consumer lending.
Vouch has the potential to fundamentally lower the cost of capital for all consumers. Vouch offers a unique consumer product that safely gives people much better rates on loans than they’ve never had access to before. Adding cash to the company coffers enable Vouch to continue to hire top talent and to offer many more loan originations. You might call it a different kind of network effect. It is the new wave of endorsements and personal lending.
So it may be time to build up your personal relationships and endorsements. LinkedIn has a similar function in which you can endorse people for individuals skill sets. Below is a clear example. You wouldn’t believe how useful this tool alone has been in helping me to secure new business and clients through LinkedIn. Maybe in the future this will also serve as a litmus test for VOUCH. Who knows?
I have even created a previous blog post to assist others in building their brand on LinkedIn entitled: LinkedIn on Steroids: How to Maximize Your Profile in this post I highlight how your LinkedIn profile should be retrofitted to answer a basic question for everyone that will come across your page and how you should seek to construct every possible aspect of your profile to achieve the objective of serving the selfish masses.
Hopefully this post has provided you with some valuable insights in regards to recommendations/references, the company vouch, and a few LinkedIn basics. Who knows the next time you will need a professional or financial reference? No one. So make sure you have everything in order (fix the roof before it starts leaking) to take advantage of what may come down the pipeline.
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