Seeking Testimonial #2

I conducted a two-day offsite retreat for a national restaurant corporation, and it was so successful I wanted a letter of reference. Before asking for the reference, I sent the CEO a note of congratulations for his leadership. That primed the pump. Then, I drafted a few ideas, quoted comments made during the meeting, and sent the CEO this e-mail.

From: Bill Frank at CareerLab
Sent: Wednesday, August 03, 20— 7:14 AM
To: Hale M. Knisley, III
Subject: Reference Letter for Bill Frank


I’d like to ask for your help.

Facilitating leadership retreats is one of our product offerings, and I’d like to do more of them.

Our prospective corporate clients are always asking for references, and rather than have them call and trouble you, I’d like to show them a letter.

Would you mind sending me a letter commenting on my effectiveness in your recent retreat?

I’ve drafted something for your review—not to put words in your mouth, but to stimulate your thinking. The comments from you and your team come from my meeting notes.

If you have questions or comments about this, give me a call on 303-555-1212.

Your letter will be a big help in our marketing efforts.

Many thanks,


This is the document I sent to jog the CEO's mind. The letter is, of course, addressed to me. 

I'm writing to thank you for facilitating our recent leadership retreat. As you know, I felt that growing the company exponentially depended upon identifying our corporate values and imbedding them in the culture. This offsite was very important.

The two days were a remarkable success. We've crossed a threshold, broken through barriers we've not been able to penetrate. This is a huge step--the first time this company has managed to get something on a piece of paper.

After the two-day program, the senior management team said:
  • I'm totally jazzed about our energy to get better.
  • Momentum leaning forward.
  • Jazzed about the amount of passion for the business and the brand.
  • Everybody made a full commitment this morning.
[Concluding remarks . . . ]
Footnote: The CEO sent his reply by e-mail, but I wanted a more formal letter, so I sent this follow-up:

    This is perfect—and I really appreciate it knowing your busy agenda. Would you mind having your assistant print in on letterhead and ship it over to me?
    You are very kind,

Result: A frameworthy letter of reference arrived within the week.

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