S:0223 Distinction: Referral vs. Lead

(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)


These two words are often used interchangeably but they have a very different meaning to people who primarily build their business through attraction rather than promotion.

When you receive a referral someone is being sent to you — the focus is inward. A lead is for you to pursue — the focus is outward.

Referrals are generated by you building relationships with people so they know who you are, what your business and personal values are, and how they can expect a referred person to be treated by you. It takes time to build these relationships.

Leads are frequently no more than “names and numbers” of people who may or may not be qualified potential customers.

When starting out you will of course want to pursue any potential source of business and are happy to receive leads. Successful business owners learn to develop strong relationships so they spend their valuable time talking only with qualified referrals.


Copyright 2000 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.