If you’ve been in business a while, you’ve probably seen the iconic movie Glengarry Glen Ross, or at least the epic sales rant Alec Baldwin’s character goes on about “the leads” and how they are doled out only to the worth like precious gold coins. How the weak salespeople aren't worthy of the "good" leads... because the "good" leads — are gold.
So What Is A Lead Anyway?
Every day I work with clients who have very different definitions of what a “Lead” is, and if you look online, you'll find lots of definitions also.
If you consult some boring business text book, it’d probably say something along the lines of:
“A potential sales contact"
“Someone who has expressed interest in your goods or services"
In real terms, most businesses are doing digital marketing in one form or another… and leads take varying forms, depending on who you ask (and how much you pay for that advice).
For the brave, and typically the highly successful, it’s email address AND phone number so they can call the leads & provide a value based consultative sale.
For increasing amounts of people, they want “leads” who are basically ready to buy with close to zero effort. Who they can "close" with no objections and they just hand over money.
…I mean, who wouldn’t want clients chomping at the bit to throw their card at you.
Typically though, prospects I speak to who have this mindset are people who’ve been to one too many Internet Marketing seminars, OR they’ve got most of their work previously through word of mouth or referral. They’re used to the idea of everyone knowing who they are, what they do, and what the offer is.
Honestly, it's no wonder. It's what so many Done For You and "Agency" offerings are peddling — and it's a blatant lie.
The idea of actually having to work to explain who they are, what they do, and why that’s valuable to a lead is VERY foreign to them.
I see the ads every other day that claim
It’s no wonder people are confused and think they can get unrealistic ROI out of their advertising budget.
Want to know exactly how you get 1c likes?
…. it’s pretty easy. Target offshore click farm countries like India and The Phillipines and you’ll get 1c likes all day long.
That’s why it’s so incredibly important to understand what TYPE of leads you want. It’s one thing to GET leads, its entirely another thing to turn those leads into sales - because ultimately, that’s what you want the leads FOR right?
... and you need to know what YOUR plan is for YOUR business for YOUR leads, before you go engaging ANYONE to run marketing campaigns for you.
... you need to know what a lead is WORTH to you. If you don't know what that dollar figure looks like, you're already screwed.
… because once you’ve got the leads, THEN WHAT….. you need to have a plan.
Targetting people who are ready to buy via google keyword search can work well in some industries. I have a friend who kills it with Google Adwords.
They do IT support, which when you think about it, makes sense. Your computer dies, search for the local computer store in your suburb - they come up, they get your number, call you and fix your problem. Easy. It’s a firefighting sale though, they just want their problem solved, and often nothing more.
However most industries are not like this. Many more industries these days are discretionary, consultative and the client is NOT ACTIVELY LOOKING for a solution (they're too busy with their day-to-day lives just like everyone else). Which means by extension - client’s aren’t googling for your product or service.
…so how do they find you if they’re not looking?
… they don’t.
I’ll say it again. Your prospects aren’t always thinking about what their problems and blind spots are. They are not in a position to know what they want or need, until you show them.
The more your lead generation and sales approaches can get in front of prospects the better. Show them, ethically of course, where their hidden problems and blind spots are. Inform and educate them about the way to solve problems they didn’t even know they had, and tie that into your existing marketing and sales efforts.