A referral specialist has the job of directing a person or company to a service or information they may need. This generally works by the referral specialist gathering information from the client about her needs, making a referral based on those needs and then following up with the client to ensure satisfaction. For example, a specialist may refer a deaf person to a translator for speaking engagements, or an online business owner may need a specialist to refer him to the right virtual assistant company. The specialist may be paid an hourly wage, work for commissions from the services she refers, or even both.
Specialists typically only work with certain needs and services to ensure they are able to provide the best service to their clients. This means that one may only specialize in business-to-business referrals, while another only supplies in-home medical service referrals, and another only deals with assistant and answering service referrals.
An initial meeting is set up either by phone or face to face where the referral specialist may ask the client a few questions to help her understand the specific needs. Once all the needs of the client have been clarified, then the specialist will search for a company or person who can meet them. Many times the specialist is either limited to the companies who have already partnered with hers, or she must negotiate a deal for payment from a new one. Once the right person or company has been found, the referral specialist will contact the client and set up a meeting between the client and the referred.
The referral specialist usually does not have a direct position in handling the operations between her client and the referred party. A specialist may, however, check in from time to time to ensure the client is completely satisfied with her service. If not, then the specialist may do everything in her power to resolve any complaints. This may even require finding a new provider altogether.
A referral specialist may be required to communicate via email and letter, phone, or in person. It is generally required that he or she have good communication and organizational skills to be sure the right referral is made and all accounts are maintained. Most of the time the position requires sitting at a desk or in front of a computer for long periods of time, with a few opportunities to work in the field meeting clients personally.