A reputable agent read my full manuscript and sent me a personalized rejection letter, saying that it was close, but he couldn’t rep the project. But he was kind enough to give me two other agents’ names and contact/query information and suggested that I try them. Let’s call them Agents #1 and 2. Here’s the problem. I’ve queried them already a couple of months ago.
Agent #1 rejected the query.
Agent #2’s assistant rejected the query, and I doubt that Agent #2 saw the query himself.
Neither of them read the partial.
Should I send another query to Agents #1 & 2, mentioning the referral?
No, I’m afraid a rejection is a rejection. When agents give referrals it doesn’t necessarily mean that they know another agent will take on your project. It’s simply that they know another agent might be better for what you are writing. When I get referrals from other agents I have to admit it makes me a little reticent (unless I know that agent doesn’t represent a particular genre). After all, if it’s an agent I respect and she’s already rejected the work herself, then why would I want to take it on?
It was very kind of the agent to give you referrals, but even if you had a referral when going to other agents it’s likely you would have been rejected. A referral is not going to change anyone’s mind that much.