Seven Reasons Why Customer Reference Programs Fail


by Bill Lee, author of “ The Hidden Wealth of Customers: Realizing the Untapped Value of Your Most Important Asset “ Harnessing the power of references and referrals seems like an obvious win. Enthusiastic references are extremely valuable to a business.

Fun - and funner - customer references

deal architect

When I met the Infor team last month, I heard about many of the micro-verticals they are pursuing. They are doing especially well in the hospitality business – and as they named some of the customers, I said, be nice. Cloud Computing, SaaS

How to reference check your prospective investor

K9 Ventures

Of all the advice I have given founders over the years, one of the most important ones is to make sure they do reference checks on their prospective investors. Here are some tips for founders when making this tough choice: Check references on your prospective investors. The best time to do investor references is when the investor has made an offer and before you make your decision on whom you’re going to work with. Be sure to do some off-list references.

How to Make Better Reference Calls

Both Sides of the Table

Reference calls. Ask for at least 5 references. As your candidate for at least 5 references. Don’t worry about the fact that these are the references that the candidate has hand-picked – that’s part of the process. Getting off-list references.

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The Generic VC / PE Reference Questions For An Executive Hire

Feld Thoughts

I’m on the receiving end of a lot of reference calls. Over time, I’ve developed an approach to doing reference checks, and they actively avoid asking any of the following questions. My answer to the last question is “Do you ever get tired of doing reference checks this way?” ” The post The Generic VC / PE Reference Questions For An Executive Hire appeared first on Feld Thoughts.

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Why You Should Meet With Your Job References


I have an idea: One of your references might inadvertently be derailing your job search campaign. When a potential employer checks your references, it’s because they’re serious about hiring you. Here are five things to do when organizing your references: 1.

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How Do You Reference Check a VC?

Both Sides of the Table

How do you then reference check your VC to be sure that you’ve chosen a good firm and partner? First, I would say that most entrepreneurs do almost no reference checks or at least do them very informally. Happy reference checking.

On References

Babbling VC

Getting references seems like such a common sense thing to do. I'd even go as far as to admit that I value nothing more than references when it comes to hiring someone or working together with them. On many occasions I was asked to provide references. Therefore, if you only call the references which are provided, you'll get a skewed picture. Getting references is up to YOU. For some reason, I feel that it's a valuable option rarely used.

How to Make Your Business More Referable

Duct Tape Marketing

How to Make Your Business More Referable written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing. “How can I make my business more referable?” ” I get asked this question all the time but the question people should be asking is “who do people refer?”

Why it’s Critical That you Reference Check Your VC

Both Sides of the Table

How do you then reference check your VC to be sure that you’ve chosen a good firm and partner? Get a reference list - Most entrepreneurs do almost no reference checks or at least do them very informally. But they’re the ones you can find out with reference checks.

The Power of Reference Customers


I''m talking about the power of a happy, reference customer. First, let''s be clear what it means to be a reference customer. There are three main contexts when it comes to reference customers: products for businesses, consumers, and developers (building applications using your product''s API''s). For each significant target market, we strive to develop at least several reference customers. Whatever you do, celebrate these reference customers.

Be Honest on VC Reference Calls

This is going to be BIG.

A friend of mine running a very successful company found himself conflicted over an upcoming reference call. Reference calls to potential limited partners seemingly have no upside to founders. The same goes for VC references by other founders--which I hope founders are asking for. I've been running group reference calls around the fundraising for Brooklyn Bridge Ventures.

Would Your Employees Refer You?

Duct Tape Marketing

Would Your Employees Refer You? I don’t know if my employees know how to refer me, or worse, I don’t know if they know if they would refer me. Or maybe you’re thinking, I wonder if there’s a way to get my employees to refer prospective team members?

Doing References on Potential Investors

Rob Go

When VC’s evaluate a founder or team, they rely heavily on references in their due diligence. When you are talking to a handful of investors fairly seriously, one or two references will suffice to give you a gut check of what you might be getting yourself into.

The REFERRAL Pattern – Who’s REALLY Referring You and Why

Up and Running

Have you ever had a really good look at who’s actually referring you and been surprised to find it’s a handful of the same people over and over again? Have you wondered why more of your customers or strategic partners aren’t referring you at all? Who will refer you? Tweet.

How To Build a Business People Want To Refer

Duct Tape Marketing

We weren’t setting expectations about referrals early in the sales process, we weren’t making it easy for people to refer us to others, and we weren’t ASKING for referrals, even though most of our customers are happy to give them!

Be A Good Reference Or Just Shut It

Babbling VC

I''ve done my share of reference calls in my career and to be honest, the majority were basically crap. This isn''t to say that I am the best individual when it comes to making reference calls but in hindsight I always wondered whether I benefited at all. Further, I always ended up questioning more why the person whom I spoke to was actually given as a reference. Therefore, this post is not about what to ask when doing a reference call.

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Greenplum’s first reference customer


The post Greenplum’s first reference customer appeared first on BeyondVC. Congratulations to Greenplum (full disclosure: portfolio company) as it announced its first referenceable customer, Frontier Airlines, last week. To refresh your memory, Greenplum develops software that allows customers to deploy terabyte scale datawarehouses leveraging PostgreSQL at significant price/performance advantages over exsiting solutions.

Sweet, Arrested Development reference on Up All Night

Jeff Hilimire

Hopefully you’re a huge Arrested Development fan. If you haven’t seen it, please make that your #1 goal for March. Buy it , rent it , whatever you have to do. My wife and I have been watching Up All Night, mostly because Will Arnet (Gob from Arrested) is on it.

WordWit – A Mobile Game App That Teaches You Proper English


There are mobile reference apps, and there are mobile game apps. Ideaspotting Ballpoint mobile app mobile game app mobile reference app WordWitWhat if there was an app that combined both? Here’s one that does – WordWit from Ballpoint, Inc.

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The Importance of back channel reference checks


One area which I cannot overemphasize is the need for companies to do back channel references on candidates. After a few more meetings with various members of the mangement team, we decided to begin the standard referencing process where we collected the candidate’ s list of published references and called to get a better understanding of the individual’s strengths and weaknesses. Of course, the references all came back glowing.

Your reputation matters – how to handle reference calls


What that means is that eventually whether you are raising capital or landing new customers, your references will matter. If you are an entrepreneur, a VC will want to do some deep reference checks on you and also on any major customers or partners. How you handle and manage these reference calls is crucial to moving to the next step in a funding round or to closing a sale. In my opinion, the best way to deal with reference calls is to carefully manage the process.

Renewable Energy and Reality Based Reference Points

Venture Chronicles

I read a fantastic expose in the LA Times over the weekend about the Los Angeles Community College District’s impractical green energy plan and the money wasted pursuing politically popular policies that proved unachievable and wasted millions of dollars – taxpayer dollars – that could have been spent on students.

Can we please stop referring to tablets as mobile devices?!

Jeff Hilimire

Thanks to @gumboshowjoe for sharing this mashable report on mobile commerce. Some really good stuff in it. However… My problem with reports like this is that they add tablets into their consideration set for “mobile” But tablets are mostly used at the same time and place a person would use a laptop. It confuses the results when you say “people shop more on mobile devices at night than they do on computers”, with the main source being tablets on the couch.

Why We Love Student Entrepreneurs: X-Men References that Old Reporters Don’t Get!

Campus Entrepreneurship

” (Lesley Stahl of “60 Minutes” failed to get the X-Men reference, saying “I’m not sure what that means.” Inc story on Groupon Founder Andrew Mason’s interview with 60 Minutes highlights why we love student entrepreneurs and don’t watch 60 Minutes.

Referrals: Worth Their Weight In Gold or Passing The Buck.

Tim Keane

 If you're asking to be referred to someone, or introduced, you may want to try and understand the dynamics in a particular situation.    If I'm doing the referring it carries my implied endorsement of the person and venture being referred.   I think it's perfectly fair to politely ask a little about why the person referring you thinks this is a good idea and what it might do to help you.

ProfessorVC: Crowdfunding - Good Idea or Really, Really Stupid.

Professor VC

2930) , commonly referred to as Crowdfunding. Are you refering to the various early stage platforms that are popping up? ProfessorVC. The last blogger in Silicon Valley. Monday, November 14, 2011. Crowdfunding - Good Idea or Really, Really Stupid Idea?

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Framework Benchmarks


Authors Note: Were using the word "framework" loosely to refer to platforms, micro-frameworks, and full-stack frameworks. About What we do Portfolio People Blog Contact. You are viewing a single entry. Please also check out the most recent entries. March 28, 2013. Framework Benchmarks.

The Go Giver – The Endless Referrals Event


Tags: austin technology incubator book review entrepreneur amanda justice bob burg chris justice endless referals event go giver

Immigration policy for recent grad school grads | Seth Levine

VC Adventure


After the no

VC Adventure


5 Ways Accounting Can Help Startups

YFS Magazine

I once heard of accounting being referred to as the “language of business”. There’s some truth to that. Finance Grow Accounting cash flow money

The Mother Of All Demos

Feld Thoughts

She mentioned the Steve Jobs iPhone demo from 2007 and I referred to Doug Engelbart’s Mother of All Demos from 1968. I was talking to a friend last week about demos.

SAP Nation 3.0

deal architect

For reference, my models showed the. People ask me all the time if I have plans for volume 3 in the SAP Nation series. I tell them I am waiting for a turnaround in the SAP economy. A noticeable one. Enterprise Software (IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP

Revenue vs. Income

Feld Thoughts

I’m tired of “Revenue” being referred to as “Income.” ” I know it’s technically correct when referring to “Income accounts” in a company’s “Chart of Accounts.” For firms, income generally refers to net-profit: what remains of revenue after expenses have been subtracted. . Put this in the pet peeve rant category. ” Yes – I know Quickbooks defaults to “Income.”

Entrepreneurs Unplugged – The David(s) on 9/13/18

Feld Thoughts

On Thursday, 9/13/18 at 5:30pm, Bernthal will be interview David Cohen and David Brown, the co-CEOs of Techstars (who we often fondly refer at Foundry Group as the “the David(s).” One of my favorite public events is the CU Boulder Silicon Flatirons Entrepreneurs Unplugged series.

Haiku Deck Helps Make Marketing Not Suck

Feld Thoughts

I continually refer people to the post I Don’t Hate Marketing which is a great example of a bunch of chocolaty goodness all rolled into one little post. Now, my friends at Haiku Deck have made it slick and pretty! Don’t let your marketing suck. Set your story free with Haiku Deck. Marketing haiku deck marketing moody TechStars

The Fall and Rise of Verticals

deal architect

A provider gave us the same reference client for. In the late 90s, Gartner used to grade outsourcers on a poster with scores for verticals, horizontals, geographies. Couple of those years, I was on the team which graded the offerings.


Feld Thoughts

At a recent offsite, during our conversation about evolving our communication patterns (which I refer to, in my head, as “the Matrix”), Ryan said “16-49-81.” What do these numbers mean to you?

Relationships Are 100/100, Not 50/50

Feld Thoughts

” He was referring to a business dynamic between two people, but it applies to any relationship and any number of people. We refer to our relationship as one of business love. In a vox with my partner Seth recently, he said something that stuck with me. “Relationships are 100/100, not 50/50.” It’s a simple idea, but a great one. When I consider my relationship with Amy, it’s 100/100.

Helping Startups Understand Salespeople & the Sales Culture

Both Sides of the Table

They like a solid product, well defined pricing, good references to sell against, a clear quota and well defined competitors. Customer also buy social proof because others are acting as strong references. Please call our references.

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Acknowledging The Value of Coaching and Therapy for Founders

Feld Thoughts

In it, he references a bunch of stuff, including work that Jerry Colonna and the team at Reboot have been doing around this issue. I’ve long written about the stigma around entrepreneurship and depression / other “mental health-related issues.” ” I was delighted to see two articles in the last day about others addressing this.

The Confidence / Competence Ratio

Feld Thoughts

Recently, I realized that we refer to people as over-confident or under-confident, but rarely refer to people as over-competent or under-competent. We do refer to people as clueless, ignorant, stupid, and other things that imply under-competent, but often in the context of their level of confidence. After skimming the New York Times this morning (while Amy reads it word by word), I felt like a philosophical dump. Maybe it was the article on why Trump is so popular.