By Evan Vitale
In our last blog, we discussed how to close more sales. However, perhaps we need to back up a little since it can be a little difficult in closing sales if you don’t have leads and referrals.
A “lead” can be a potential customer or sale, but a “lead” is not as solid as a referral. It can be anyone’s name at any business. You know some information about the customer but you don’t know if they are interested in your business; products or services. All leads are cold and it takes time to warm them up into a potential client and then get them to sign the deal. Sometimes cold leads become sales, but it’s rare and there’s a long courtship from introduction to becoming a customer/client.
A “referral” however, is different. This is when a current customer/client – or someone you have a good working relationship with – gives you information letting you know that “so-and-so is interested in your products or services.”
Now, when you contact “Bob” you can introduce yourself and tell him that “Carol” mentioned that his company might have a need in your products or services.
See the difference?
Referrals are better than leads because there is already a human connection and a formal introduction. In our example, Bob does business with Carol. She could be a vendor, customer or a friend. Along the way, Bob let Carol know that his business has a problem or a need, Your business quickly came to mind and Carol is becoming a matchmaker connecting your business to Bob’s business.
Carol may have already “warmed up” Bob by letting him know about your company. However, Bob’s a busy guy, so he didn’t rush over to his computer to send you an e-mail or call you on his cell phone. That’s your job when Carol makes the referral.
In our next blog, we’ll discuss more on how to get referrals.