Ok, within the past 72 hours, I’ve:

1>  Made a client out of a company I used to work at 6 years ago.

2>  Was given a strong lead for Managed Services from a User Group contact I haven’t seen prior to this for about 8 years.

3>  Was offered some training opportunities from a consulting firm I haven’t worked with for over 3 years.

The lesson?  Don’t burn bridges.  The IT biz (especially in NorthEast Ohio, it seems) just ain’t that big.  And if you’re careful not to leave folks with a “thank God HE’s (or HER, to be fair) gone” attitude, it comes back.

Most studies I’ve seen detailing how companies like mine get business say the same thing.  Roughly 2/3 of new customers/business comes from referrals.

Think about that for a minute.  2/3 of your new business comes from treating people you’re dealing with now right.

Add to that additional business that your existing customers are giving you, and that 2/3 is probably bigger!

And yet I’m amazed at how many companies we talk to who basically feel that their current IT service provider is giving them sub-par service.

To those IT service providers, I say one of two things:

1>  Better shape up your customer relationships.

–or–

2>  Thanks for the new customer!

Bob