Ok, if you haven’t heard my LeadCritic interview, stop reading this and listen to that interview first. Then come back here for the rest of my message.
Ok you listened to the interview, now what?
You want to break into the lead space because you either worked at a company that sold leads or you happen to know a few people that could use some more leads. I am going to be the first one to tell you to slow down.
Don’t buy our software, just yet. Do your homework, get some more experience, and then come back and see me when you know how to generate your own leads. I know, I know, this will probably irk some people ready to blow $2,500 on our setup fee. Honestly, you will spend the $2,500 with us, get training, and then not do anything while you try to figure out what an HTTP post is and how you get it to work with your landing page. Listen, I would love to have you as a customer when you understand these things, but if you don’t all you are doing is giving reputable lead companies a bad name. Yes, we have 7 different ways to easily send leads using LeadExec but you still have to have the knowledge to create high quality leads. Without any ability to create leads you are essentially going into the marketplace acting “as if”, only you acting “as if” in the lead business will get you in trouble with the FCC, BBB, could get you sued and turn off all the good lead buyers. Every year more rookie lead companies try to start their own lead company with no knowledge of how to create leads and it has to stop. Seriously, do your homework or you will lose all of your money. I only say this from experience. I have had to turn down several companies in the past that had no clue what they were doing and then the relationship becomes strained. I don’t want that. So don’t take my words personal! Just listen to someone who has seen the pitfalls and is trying to save you from making the same mistake those who have gone before you have made over and over.
Ok, so that last paragraph hasn’t made you want to go back to working the 9-5 at corporate America. You still want to run your own lead company and you know how to create leads. You have successfully made it to the second half of my article. Now you have to learn several key aspects of running a successful lead company. Here are the golden rules:
1. Create a high end website with specific information on how you create your leads. Use diagrams, illustrations, and skip the phony customer reviews. If you are going to have a customer review make it a case study and use a real company that has had success with your leads. Nothing turns off a major lead buyer more than seeing something like this:
“I closed 50% of my leads from LeadCo. And I made $5,000 in closed sales! Thanks Lead Co. you’re the best!”
Jim S. American Financial – South Carolina
Also, join as many trade associations as possible. If you are in mortgage leads join NAMB, if you are selling debt leads join TASC or USOBA. Join the BBB and take it seriously. If you get a complaint resolve it and treat your customers like you would want to be treated. That doesn’t mean give away leads but it does mean be realistic with the products you are selling. Stop overpromising and under delivering. If you are creating leads, use call verification to run a report on your own leads. Take a sample of 50-100 leads. Call them and ask if they are still interested in the service you are offering. Take the amount of good vs. bad and show this as a benchmark.
Out of 100 leads our company has consistently shown 80% good intent of the contacted applicants. On avg. we contacted 50% within the first 24 hours.
This kind of information can be captured and can show the strength of your leads. You have not promised close rates because you cannot and never will be able to. You have no idea what the sales skill level of the company you are selling to is, how would you?
2. Create a product letter
Your sales team and you should always use a product letter that outlines your lead gathering process, return acceptance rules, and your business practices. List your trade associations and any software advantages you have like ClickPoint – LeadExec, and your security of information. If you don’t know how to create a product letter, look at the ones we have on www.clickpointsoftware.com for all of our products.
3. Take your client setup rules seriously
Nothing is worse than clients that come aboard and start using LeadExec that don’t invest the time to take on learning the automation rules. You have software at your fingertips that wasn’t available a couple of years ago. Take advantage of the system and learn how to use the various delivery types.
4. Find a good merchant account
Having a bad merchant account can be the kiss of death. They can delay payments to you and make your life miserable. If they have no idea about the industry you are in and are not used to working with marketing firms, look elsewhere.
5. Get professional software
So you work for months to get that big lead buying customer and then they send you posting documentation and you have no idea what it means. You haven’t even considered that you need a lead distribution system to perform posts and record lead sales. So you do what most start up lead companies do, you start looking for a $10 an hour oversees programmer to help you. Now your post has taken weeks and you may lose your customer. Do yourself a favor and call 1-888-612-2877 and ask for a sales associate. We will set you up for less than it would cost for your international phone bill. We include 5 hours of posting assistance with your standard LeadExec setup and unlike your oversees programmer we do posts in about 1-2 hours not 1-2 weeks.
Stay tuned for my second installment of how to run a successful lead based business. This article will tell you how to run an ethical marketing business that grows as quickly as your reputation will for conducting a lead based business with quality leads.