Where are your best leads coming from? It’s an important question, because if you don’t know, then it’s impossible to know where you can go to get more.

David: Hi, and welcome to the podcast. In today’s episode, co-host Jay McFarland and I will discuss the topic of where are your best leads coming from? Welcome back, Jay.

Jay: Thank you. And I’m just going to answer the question. I don’t know. (laughing) I’m just…

David: Short podcast. Thanks for listening.

Jay: Yeah, I’m just going to say it straight up.

I mean, I do have some systems. We do try and use Google Analytics and things like that, and that helps a little bit. But I’ve never done a deep dive yet on this is the source, this is the well or the font of where my best leads have come from. So I’m looking forward to this discussion.

David: This is really a good one to look at and to dive into a bit, because I’ve always maintained that if you don’t know where your best leads are coming from, then you don’t know where to go to get more of them, and when you are able to identify it, everything else gets a whole lot easier because now you can go fishing in the same ponds, rather than just trying to put stuff out to anyone and everyone, which is very expensive to do.

You can really tune in and focus in on what people are doing, where they’re coming from, how they’re hearing about you so that you can go find more of them. In addition to… well, a number of the businesses that I’ve been involved in over the years, one of them was a retail mail order catalog business that I owned.

And in a business like that, it’s absolutely critical to know where your best leads are coming from.

Jay: Mm-hmm.

David: We would run magazine ads and we would get people out of different magazines. We had ads running on television that were designed to get leads for our catalog business.

And every single one of the ads we ran had some sort of mechanism to let us know where they were coming from. If it was calling an 800 number, we had one primary 800 number, but we would give them an extension to ask for. So we’d say, call this 800 number extension 214. Right? And 214 meant that it was coming from this particular TV station or whatever.

If they were seeing something online, there would be specific links that they would click through that would tell us where it was coming from. If it was a magazine ad, it was a similar kind of thing on the back of the magazine, it would say, call this number, dial this extension, or go to this web address, and there would be a slash with a suffix on the url..

Jay: Mm-hmm.

David: And that would tell us where it came from. And when people would call in, one of the first things that our people were required to ask them is, “where did you hear about us?” And there was a box there that they would fill out. Where did you hear about us? Oh, I saw your ad on such and such a magazine, or, I saw your ad on such and such a TV station.

And so we would have the data that the computer said based on what they came in and said, and then we would also have the data corresponding with whatever the person said. So I was pretty pathological about it, and to this day I’m still very pathological about determining where leads come from. Even now when, you know, at the end of this podcast, when you say, how do people find out more?

And I give out a link that link tracks back to the podcast, it lets me know that the people who register on that link, Came from the podcast. And if they’re coming from some other ad, then it’s going to have a different code and that sort of thing. So it’s not that hard to do when you discipline yourself to do it.

And most people don’t do that until and unless they realize how much it is actually worth to you when you do that right.

Jay: Yeah, absolutely. And in today’s world, honestly, there is no excuse. It is so easy. There is so much data out there. If you want to target a specific group, you can target that group. And that’s kind of the process, right?

You’re going to send out a link for this podcast, you’ll know who you get back. You’ll know age groups and those types of things. And then you’ll be like, well, let’s adjust it this way, or let’s adjust it that way. I mean, never in our history has there been such an easy way to say, I want this age group who’s interested in this type of thing.

And then you can target that group. And then based upon that new batch of information you can target in even more. And I know we all kind of complain that we’re being tracked everywhere we go, but at the same time, we’re all asking for it.

We’re subscribing to newsletters, we’re hitting the like button. We’re feeding all of that information. So it becomes this circle, right? And I think it’s incredible personally. And if I am going to get sent an ad, I want it to apply to me.

When I get something that I’m like, there’s no way that this is something that I would ever consider. I almost get angry. Like, come on, get your algorithms together here.

David: Yeah. And what you’re talking about is probably a level or two above what I’m even talking about.

Jay: Mm-hmm.

David: I’m talking about simple things that most small or medium sized businesses can integrate into their own business, just so they have an idea of where the people who are paying them money are largely coming from.

And I don’t mean every site they’ve visited over the past 20 years.

Jay: Sure, sure.

David: I mean, where did they hear from us most recently? Did they hear about us from the podcast? Did they hear about us from an email broadcast that went out through an email broadcast platform? If so, which one?

If there is some sort of ad, which ad did they click on? There are some ads that we run on some websites where there’s an ad at the top of the page, there’s an ad on the side of the page. The ads say different things. We track those separately so we know which message and which ad.

Does the top position get more of a response? Does the side position get more of a response? Because that tells us where to focus our attention on getting more people. And a lot of it, in the early stages especially, is just about seeing where the people are basically coming from. But then when you see who’s actually buying, that narrows it down even more.

Jay: Yes.

David: Because you may be getting more leads from one source than another, but you find out that the leads from that source aren’t converting.

Jay: Yes.

David: At which point you can stop advertising there and put your money behind the ads that work.

Jay: Yeah, absolutely. And when I mentioned how easy it is today, I even mean for small businesses. I mean, we started a small business and I don’t know anything about pay per click or, you know, anything like that. But I looked on Fiverr, you know, the website, Fiverr and Upwork, and I found somebody who said, I’ll do this for you for a month for 30 bucks and I’m like, it’s 30 bucks. I’ll try it out.

We did the $30 and the results were dramatic. And so we’re like, wait a minute, if we do 30, let’s do 60. And now we’ve got this guy we spend about maybe 250 a month with him, and we get constant leads that convert from him.

And I don’t know how he’s doing it and I don’t need to know how he’s doing it. Right? And so I can spend my time focusing on those leads. And the other thing he’ll do is he’ll come back and say, okay, you’ve got a lot of people who are landing on your checkout page, but they’re not converting.

And so we’re like, oh, well wait a minute, what? What’s going on? Is it the language we’re using? Is it the pictures we’re using? Are we not conveying the message? These things can be done for relatively cheap nowadays, and so even if you’re at the smallest point, I would definitely try some of those things.

David: Yeah, it’s simple enough to be able to at least get an idea of where most people are coming from to be able to go back and get more.

And obviously, we’re talking quite a bit about online, but there are a lot of offline sources. If you do networking, you go to networking functions, you may find that one networking function does much better than another.

You may find that you go to one particular networking function and you don’t get any leads from it. You go back again and again and again, and you’re not getting leads. Everybody’s just schmoozing. That happens a lot in business.

Jay: Yeah.

David: Particularly in B2B. Well, B2C as well. So in those situations you can make determinations if you’re keeping track of it. But very many small businesses in particular will just go out, go to some sort of networking function or go to something that’s supposed to generate business, and they use that as an excuse like, “I’m doing something.”

But if you go out to something like that and you’re not going out there with the idea of coming back with leads that you can follow up on, it’s really just a waste of time.

So there’s a focus aspect to this. There’s an online versus offline aspect to this. But ultimately what it boils down to is the subject of this podcast. Where are your best leads coming from?

Jay: Yeah.

David: Where can I go to find more?

Jay: Yeah, and I see this a lot and I’ve been a victim of it. Movement for the sake of movement. You know? I’m doing something, I’m going to these networking events. I’m going to these shows. I’m placing these ads. So when is it going to start working?

And movement for the sake of movement is of no value. Right? It has to have some intent. It has to be trackable. It has to be adjustable. And I think it’s so easy to fall into that trap of “I’m doing something!” And so, where’s the result?

David: Yeah, it reminds me of that Zig Ziglar quote, “Don’t look for your ship to come in if you haven’t sent one out.”

Jay: Yeah.

David: And very often we’re trying to do things that are generating results. We talked about goal setting in a previous podcast, and a lot of times we’re so focused on the goal, “I need to generate X dollars per month or X dollars per year.”

And what am I going to do to do that? And we just run around in a lot of different directions trying to generate that amount of money. Well, what we need to be doing is saying, “okay, what is going to get me to that?”

In other words, how many leads do I need to generate in a month in order to get to my number? If I know how many leads I need to generate in a month, because a certain percentage of them will convert and a certain percentage won’t convert.

If I know how many people I need to initiate contact with on any given month, then we can track those metrics and say, “okay, well today is the 20th of the month” or whatever the date is. How many people have I initiated contact with so far this month?

And if it’s less than the number that you know, you need to reach to hit your numbers, then okay, I need to initiate contact with this many more people. Because when you focus on those lead metrics, the things that you can actually control as opposed to the lag metrics, like how much actually came in for the month.

You can focus on the lead measures and then the lag measures will follow.

Jay: Yeah. And again, the focus of this podcast, the high value leads. So if you’re just not fishing in any pond, but you’re fishing in that pond where you know you’ve gotten some good leads before, maybe you won’t get as many leads, but who cares, right?

Because you’ve got quality customers who are going to come back to you. And we’d all rather have that than, you know, a hundred little minnows on our line, right?

David: Yeah, and it absolutely ties into the topic of what we’re talking about. Because when you find those really popular or those really productive fishing holes, then you say, okay, well if I go here, primarily, I can get fewer leads and know I’m still going to hit my numbers, so why would I want to waste time bringing in more leads over here if it’s not going to produce at the same level?

Jay: Yeah, maybe ’cause some people like movement. It feels like you’re busy, so that’s a good thing. It’s not always a good thing, right?

David: No. It’s an easy trap to fall into.

Jay: Yeah. Well, how do people find out more? David?

David: Well, you can go to TopSecrets.com/call. Schedule a call with myself or my team. We’d love to have a conversation with you. If you’re looking to attract more high quality leads in your business. If you’d like to start focusing on the high value, high dollar leads that can do better things for your business, it’s probably worth a call. TopSecrets.com/call.

Jay: All right, as always, great conversation. Can’t wait till we talk again.

David: Thanks a lot, Jay.

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