Gathering leads for your business can be done in many ways. If you are a
small business, chances are you or your employees gather them by networking,
cold calling, referrals, or hitting the pavement. There are professional lead
generation firms for a fee that will also supply you with leads but I have
found most of these are a waste of time due to the fact that their lists are
usually outdated or inaccurate. The other problem I have found is they supply
you with a contact name that is usually the gate-keeper whom you can't get past
anyway. I once got a lead from a lead generation company that when I called for
the follow-up the guy had no idea who I was o had any record being contacted
previously. This was after the lead generation company told us they
"contacted" this firm and they were anxious for us to call for a follow-up.
Needless to say, this put a sour taste in my mouth for using lead generation
companies. I am sure there are good lead generation firms out there but for the
fees they charge, with proper research and knowing what your market is, you can
accomplish much on your own. Many of your distributors work with lead
generation companies and offer this service for free and if that is the case, by
all means use them as you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Take the
time to look at your lead campaign and if you wish to hire a professional
company, make sure you have all your ducks in a row and look at your ROI before
hiring. If you wish to start your own lead generation campaign, here are a few
The Point Guard
Appoint a staff member if it not going to be you to be in charge of the
leads. Make sure every step of the campaign is followed through.
Make sure your leads fit your product or service. Go for a quality lead.
You do not need to have 100 leads. If you have 3 solid leads that fit your
business, you have done well. Always pre-qualify the lead so you do not waste
your valuable time on chasing "ghosts".
How are you going to run the campaign. Are you cold calling? If so, what
are your resources? Are you going to go door to door? If so where? Are you
going to email? If so are you following spamming laws? Whom are you directing
your emails at? Why would they want to hear from you in the first place?
Have a data base
Make sure you keep track of your leads. Know who
you contacted, if you set an appointment with them, all information about the
contact is saved, and any follow-up that is needed. Did the lead result in a
sale? Speaking of data bases as my last point, you can purchase your own data
base of leads but again, I throw caution to the wind on doing this as many lists
are outdated or have a mix of businesses that have nothing to do with what you
offer even though they (the sellers) say that it does. I speak from experience.
Always get some sort of guarantee in writing that if the lists are not what you
expected, they offer a refund or credit. Most lead company boast they guarantee
a sale, or an appointment. Always check the fine print.
Good luck with your lead generation campaign. They do work if done properly
but do not set your expectations high. One to 5 appointments set or even a sale
and you done your job. The amount of leads you wish to garner is the threshold
you must decide on your own. Set a reasonable contact list and then go to