References passed from one provider to another are the closest things to reviews for clients. Wondering when (and if!) you should provide references? Do you know what to expect from an escort reference, or what to offer? Find out these escort client reference tips inside.
Article by Switch Lori DiLetto Published Blog Slixa Under Cover
The thoughtful advice and opinions of the author of this article are meant to be informative and entertaining and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Slixa.
References are arguably the most effective safety measure for service providers. Talking to clients beforehand and meeting up with them in public can be good ways to feel them out, and doing identity verification is always a smart idea, but predators are adept at getting around these safety checks. It’s not always possible to tell if someone is dangerous just from interacting with him over the phone or in a restaurant, and it’s not uncommon for a client with a long history of abusing providers to have no criminal record due to providers' legal concerns. References are an assurance that clients are safe in a private context and are usually more reliable than public records. Further, if a client does turn out to be a bad date, it’s possible to alert his references and add him to blacklists, discreetly protecting other pros without risk to oneself.
There are some arguments made against giving references, but they all fall short. Some pros argue that providing a reference helps a business rival ‘steal’ a customer, and while it’s true that this is a competitive field, there are more effective and more ethical ways to maintain client loyalty. If a client wants to see another provider, he’ll do so with or without your help, and since providers mainly rely on one another for support, a colleague’s safety is more important than a desperate attempt to retain a client.
That said, there are certain instances in which it isn’t advisable to give a reference. You’ll want to set a limit on how long after an appointment you’ll vouch for a particular client. Your cut off may depend on how many clients you see or how good your memory is, but it should never be more than a year, as it’s possible for a client’s behavior to change drastically over time. Even if it’s only been a few weeks since you’ve seen him, make sure a client you provide a reference for is one you remember well enough to describe his behavior accurately. If you can’t do that, it’s your responsibility to tell the other provider you’re unable to help, or to tell her honestly that you can’t quite recall.
You never have to give more information about a client than is requested, and you shouldn’t feel obligated to answer invasive or irrelevant questions. You can reply to a reference request through whatever method of contact you prefer, and while you should be prompt, you don’t have to reply outside of your normal communication hours. Sometimes you may be able to give a simple ‘see’ or ‘do not see’, but a lot of the time you’ll want to qualify your recommendation. For example: yes, he’s safe, but he can be rather annoying with all of the questions he asks, or no, don’t see him, as he’s reliable but very rude. This will allow the other provider to decide for herself whether ‘annoying’ and ‘rude’ are deal-breakers for her.
When asking for a reference, try to use the other provider’s preferred contact method, and try to give her a reasonable amount of time to reply. Several days to a week prior to your potential appointment with your client should be the minimum; asking for a reference for a client you’ll be seeing the following day isn’t a smart idea. Be brief, courteous, and professional, and be sure to provide links to your ads or your site. Sometimes you may find that asking for a simple ‘see’ or ‘do not see’ is sufficient, but you can also ask about specific attributes and behaviors, like reliability, politeness, and cleanliness. Don’t ask for advice on what the client likes or whether or not he tips. Finally, don’t share with the client what the reference said. Stick to these simple guidelines, and you’ll have a congenial relationship with your colleagues and sense of security with your clients.
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