Leads vs. Referrals — Knowing the Difference.
If you can effectively develop relationships your sales efforts will go from good to great. However, it is important to understand the difference between leads vs. referrals. Most people who get leads from business relationships, think they are referrals and that they have succeeded. This is not true. There is a difference between a lead and a referral. Understanding this difference will change the way you call, email, or text leads, and a large difference in how you get the business from that person. Let’s look at the difference.
A lead is when someone gives you the name of a company or person that you should call, because what you do would work well with what they do, or someone knows they are in need of your services. An example for a sign installer would be, “I just drove by Bill’s auto parts and their sign got blown down last night in the storm. You should call them.” Leads are not ideal, however it means that the person who provided you the lead understands what you do, and is thinking about who you can help people. This is the first step in getting real referrals from someone.
A real referral is when someone gives you the name of someone who needs your business or product and then calls or emails them. This is important. A referral is a lead that comes with a stamp of approval and trust. An example of this for the sign installer would be, “I just talked to Bill over at Bill’s auto parts. I was driving by and saw his sign was blown down in the storm last night. When I talked to him, I mentioned you and how good you were with fixing my sign last month, and told him you were going to call.” See the difference? They are exactly the same lead, it is just that in the second one, Bill knows you are going to call, and knows you can be trusted because the referrer has given you the stamp of approval.
The part about Bill knowing you, even if only by third-party, is very, very powerful. Now when you call he is going to take your phone call. He knows you come personally stamped with a seal of approval of his friend. He will trust you — and now you have a possibility of winning the job.