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  • by Net Pro Referral
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  • 14 Nov 2017

What is the difference between a lead and a referral?


You may have heard or use the terms “referral” and “lead” a lot of times throughout your networking or business events. You may also have listened to the statement “We not only provide leads but we also offer quality referral”. Most of the people think that leads are referrals. But, this is not right.

Are you really familiar with the actual difference between the both terms? No? Well, in this blog we will discuss in detail what the difference between a lead and a referral is. Knowing the exact difference between these terms will change the way you handle your business. Have a look at the difference:

Referrals vs. Leads


● A referral is when someone recommends or directs the expertise of one person or company to another person who requires them.

● Referrals come from users who know your business clearly, for example, your present customers.

● A referral is a personal introduction between two persons for their mutual benefit and made by a third person.

● A referral comes with a tag of trust and approval.

● A referral is pre-qualified.

● A referral comes effortlessly.


● A lead is a type of referral.

● A lead can come from any source, it means a lead can be someone who could benefit from your services or products but have not idea about then yet.

● Leads are unqualified.

● Leads are not associated with any approval & trust.

● A lead is not any personal introduction between two parties for their benefit.

● Leads don’t come effortlessly; you have to chase after them.

Which one is better a lead or a referral?

From a business perspective, a business referral is always better than a lead as you can utilize the name of the referral source directly to open up new doors of opportunities to your business. This is not all. There is much more than you can expect from your referral sources. There are so many different levels or shades of a referral. The level of your referral varies according to the efforts or involvement made by your referral source in preparing that particular referral for your business. The more effort and time your referral sources invest, the greater the value of your referrals.

Also, the shade of referrals you receive depends on the efforts you make to create your sources in your referral network. You can use different methods to encourage the desired referral source to be an active member of your business marketing team.

Probably, a referral is better than a lead. But, also remember that the quality of the referrals depends on the efforts you make and the relationship you nurture. The key of getting qualified referrals is all related to your efforts, so make sure that you’re making well-specified efforts constantly.

Understanding the difference between these terms can help you improve your business sales and business growth. It will help you understand your potential clients and you will get an idea how to deal with them. By a clear difference between both terms can help you in delivering the expected level of service and build the quality relationship with clients.

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