Marketing in Southeast Texas – Understanding Referrals VS Leads

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Southeast Texas Networking Tips

Lead – VS – Referral

Networking is like most aspects of your job – the more information you have, the better you can do it.

On SETX Advertising, we are happy to share networking tips with you that have helped us grow our business.

Today’s feature is:

What is the difference between a lead and a referral?

Neworking Southeast Texas, Networking SETX, networking Golden Triangle TX, networking Port Arthur TX, networking Lumberton TX, networking Jasper TX

If you’re looking to grow your business, one special tool is developing referral partners right here in the Golden Triangle. Typically, a great referral partner is someone who has the same client you do – but does not have a competing product or service.

The fastest way to start receiving referrals is to start GIVING quality referrals.

This makes it important to know what a referral is (highly desirable) versus a lead (usually not that helpful).


At SETX Advertising, we define a lead as either providing contact information without contacting the person to let them know you are sharing the information and that someone would like to talk with them. It can also be a really soft introduction, that is not memorable.

For example, your friend Robert Currie at Innovative Air Solutions in Orange TX would like to meet one of the owners of All Star Plumbing in All Star Plumbing Beaumont TX, Plumbing Southeast Texas, Plumbing Company SETX, Plumbing Golden Triangle TXBeaumont: Jim Flowers, Charley Blohm, or Polly Flowers. He thinks they might be able to send each other business, but they don’t know each other.

You know Jim Flowers, an owner at All Star Plumbing. You are friends, and you think he will be open to your recommendation on people he might want to meet. You want to develop Robert at Innovative Air Solutions as a referral partner for your business – and helping him meet Jim could really help.

How do you move forward?

If you hand Robert a business card for your friend, that is a LEAD. Your friend at All Star Plumbing does not know he’s going to call – and might blow Robert off when he does call.

Robert is one step closer to his goal of establishing a relationship with the owner of All Star Plumbing in Beaumont, but it is a small step.

Essentially, you have given him what he needs to make a cold call on his own. Not terrible, but not what Robert was hoping for.


A referral is a much more “warm” introduction – and there is an opportunity either to sell a product or even better to make a long-term referral relationship of their own.

Here are some ways to make a “good” referral using the example above.

First, talk with Robert Currie – how would he like to receive a referral? What makes it a “good”Innovative Air Solutions Orange TX, Air Conditioning Beaumont TX, Air Conditioning Port Arthur, Air Conditioning Orange TX, Air Conditioning Vidor, AC Company Vidor, AC company Beaumont TX, AC company Mauriceville

  • Call Jim Flowers at All Star Plumbing, “Jim, my friend Robert Currie owns Innovative Air Solutions in Orange TX. He has a team of workers who are in houses every day taking care of problems for home owners and commercial businesses. He also has relationships with local commercial builders and contractors. He thinks he would be able to send All Star Plumbing a lot of business – and that All Star Plumbing will be a good referral partner for him as well.
  • E-mail Jim Flowers at All Star Plumbing. “Jim, I am trying to schedule a lunch with my friend Robert Currie. He owns Innovative Air Solutions in Orange. I think you guys would be strong referral partners – could you meet us for lunch on Thursday or Friday?”
  • Is Jim Flower’s a super busy guy? Try a quick in person intro. Call first, “Jim, I’d like to get five minutes of facetime with you for my friend Robert Currie who owns Innovative Air Solutions. We’re doing to lunch on Thursday. Can I bring him by your office on the way to say hello? If you catch a break, we’d love for you to join us for lunch as well.”

In each of these scenarios, you have personally reached out to your friend Jim before Robert tries to make contact. Because of your relationship with Jim, that should move Robert up on the list of people Jim will make time to meet with.

In the last two, you are offering to personally put them together “breaking the ice”, which can be impactful.

We hope today’s Southeast Texas networking tip has been helpful.

Stay tuned for more.

Are you looking for a team of referral partners?

There is a group that meets every Tuesday in Beaumont – visit and see if they are the right fit for your business.

Can we help you with advertising in Beaumont and the Golden Triangle?

Call anytime:advertising Beaumont TX, advertising Southeast Texas, advertising East Texas, advertising SWLA, advertising Texas, advertising Louisiana

  • Daryl Fant, SETX Advertising
  • Call with Southeast Advertising questions: (512) 567-8068
  • E-mail SETX Advertising:

We can assist with: Digital Banner Ads, Social Media Marketing, Targeted Print Advertising, Custom Marketing Articles, Booths at Live Events, and more.

You can grow your business in Southeast Texas.

We are here to help.

Click here for more information about visiting a Southeast Texas referral team.





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