How to kill a referral source


I asked a web vendor for help with a problem I was having on a website. She couldn’t help me and referred me to a web developer she worked with. I went to their site, filled out a form, told them what I needed (and who referred me). I received an automatic confirmation email, and… never heard from them again. And yes, I contacted them a second time.

Were they ill? Swamped with work? Not interested? (It was a small job.)

I told the vendor who referred them what happened. She contacted the developer on my behalf, but also got no reply. So, she referred me to someone else who did respond and will probably get the job. 

What happened to the first referral? I don’t know. But there’s no excuse for not responding to an inquiry from a prospective client. Even if you have a good “excuse”. 

So, they lost the job. And won’t get any more business from me. Or referrals from me. Or, I suspect, referrals from the original vendor.


No matter what line of work you’re in, building a successful business or practice doesn’t require you to be the best at what you do, offer more value or charge competitive fees. 

But you have to be someone people trust. 

Which means you can’t ignore referred clients or you won’t get any more.  

If you’re busy or ill, have an assistant contact the prospective client on your behalf.  

It’s weird saying that. Everyone knows that, don’t they?

Apparently, not.