We all need help sometimes.
We live in an incredible age where we can watch a video that will teach us how to fix a leaky sink, learn the latest decorative painting techniques, or even how to create a simple tax return. However, our DIY attitude can only get us so far. At some point, we need to turn to an experienced professional to help us navigate life’s challenges.
Let’s say we are buying a home. Among the many people it takes to purchase real estate, we’ll work with bankers, real estate agents, lawyers, and appraisers. And it only takes one low-quality professional to crush our home ownership dreams. That’s why it’s imperative to seek out a personal referral than simply choosing the first person that shows up on a Google search.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when we need to find the right professional to help us solve critical and important issues in our lives.
The Internet Is Flawed
Unsurprisingly, the internet isn’t always truthful or credible.
With millions of stories, posts, pictures, and videos that pour into the internet on a daily basis, no one believes everything they may see while surfing websites. As more of our lives are lived online, we accept a certain level of fake news stories mixed in with credible results. With a little digging and common sense, we can usually figure out how much of these stories are true. However, it’s much harder to find a reliable professional based on a Facebook business page. And picking the top person after a Google search may not yield the best results.
Not All Referrals Are the Same
Personal referrals are usually the best option when finding quality professionals for any personal or professional job. Unfortunately, hiring the wrong person can be expensive, especially if we need to redo the work after. That’s why personal stories, whether positive or negative, are helpful in choosing a professional so we have the best overall idea of what we could expect if we hired them.
However, many turn to referral services when they cannot get a personal referral from a family, friend, or co-worker. Many businesses pay to belong to a referral service and there is nothing wrong with that. But hiring a high-stakes professional like a criminal defense attorney is a huge, potentially impactful decision That is when it is important to get as much information as possible before making a decision. Don’t regret hiring the wrong person simply because you didn’t take the time to get a personal referral.
Online Reviews May Be Biased
Many of us rely on Yelp reviews to find a good restaurant or bar. However, our biggest worry about a bad dinner is probably food poisoning. While unpleasant, it’s over in a few days. However, if we choose the wrong doctor, our suffering could last years.
That doesn’t mean that online reviews are useless or always wrong. There are many places where some reviews are helpful. They can help us choose a book or cell phone and help us make an informed decision. Unfortunately, professional online reviews are often organized by the most extreme review, leading to possible biased portrayals.
Instead of dismissing online reviews, the rule of thumb should be based on the importance of the job. We need more information and a personal recommendation when hiring someone as important as a veterinarian, doctor or lawyer.
Finding Someone Trustworthy
We may have a do-it-yourself attitude, but none of us can master everything that needs to be done in our lives. Our roofs leak, cars break down, and we need to find quality childcare. We need to find reliable plumbers, accountants, doctors, and lawyers. We need these professionals to help us live our best lives.
It’s normal and reasonable to perform a quick Google search to find something inconsequential like a good pizza or the closest shoe sale. On the other hand, it is unreasonable to expect to find a credible and reliable professional without a personal recommendation. Without the input of people we trust, we’re at the mercy of millions of internet entries that may or may not be the truth. Without a personal referral, it’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack.