Thursday, 20 September 2007

Business Referrals, Leads and Introductions

I seem to have become a bit over-protective of my list of business contacts! I’ve certainly always been wary of recommending products or services, unless I’ve experienced them personally and know them to be excellent. My reasoning is that if things go horribly wrong between two parties that I referred, it will be my reputation that is damaged and my judgement questioned.

A conversation this afternoon has got me wondering if I need to adjust my thinking on this subject. I was thumping on about not being able to make referrals without experiencing the service first hand, when a slightly hurt voice said “Well I introduced someone to you in good faith.” Oh dear, perhaps they had a point.

So, in addition to referrals (based on personal experience), leads (often based on no previous contact whatsoever), I’m going to add introductions into my mix of contacts. Introductions are without recommendation or personal experience; they are simply contacts I know who may find it mutually useful to connect.

Provided I make the basis of the introduction clear to all parties, there should be no problem. Unless, in the heat of the moment, a scapegoat is being hunted to blame ….

What do you think? Do leave a comment or share your experience of referrals, leads and introductions.

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