We all know a good customer experience is one of the best ways to secure more business. So why then do so many business “professionals” treat a cold lead better than a referral?
Within the last year my life has changed dramatically. I got married, I started my own company and I moved into our first house. With all of this happening at once, I felt like I needed almost every merchant in Western New York. I naturally turned to friends and colleagues for their various services or referrals. Isn’t that what you are supposed to do? Work with people you know? Although I had some great experiences, the bad experiences were far more common.
The cliché says we treat complete strangers better than our own family. Apparently some people treat a cold lead better than their own friends, or network referrals.
Maybe these people didn’t think they had to try as hard, because they assumed our relationship means an automatic partnership in the future. Unfortunately, their actions not only ensured I will never work with them again, but also ended any chance of future referrals. The risk of somebody else having a similar poor experience is not worth my reputation.
I understand how gratifying it is to get a cold lead, work hard at it and close that piece of new business. But don’t take warm leads for granted. They’re your easiest close and your best chance for further referrals.
No matter who it is, or where it’s from, treat any referral you receive as an opportunity for minimally ten more referrals, and watch your business grow.