Lead generation is a critical part of every business because without an adequate supply of leads, it’s impossible to maintain a business. So where do the bulk of your new leads come from these days and where do your best leads come from? Online, offline, or both?
David: Hi and welcome to the podcast. Today co-host Chris Templeton and I will be talking lead sourcing, meaning where your leads are coming from. Welcome Chris.
Chris: Hi David. Interesting point that you made in the introduction, which is that you may get the bulk of your leads from one source, but your best leads from somewhere else. And it does happen that way sometimes, doesn’t it?
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David: Yeah, it actually happens that way quite a bit. And there's a very often a big difference between the quantity of leads that we get and the quality of leads that we get and they don't always go together. The places where we're getting the most leads might not be the best quality leads. I know a lot of times when I'm talking to salespeople and business owners and I ask them where their best leads come from, almost inevitably they say referrals. You know, referrals are their primary source of leads and while referrals are a great source of leads and very often a very high quality source of leads, they're not always the most prolific. In other words, you don't always get as many of them as you want. So recognizing that there's a difference between the bulk of the leads that are coming in and the quality of the leads and the fact that those are two different things can be helpful.
Chris: How do we go about the process of balancing that quality/quantity equation of leads?
David: Well, it starts with testing the quality of your leads with a consistent approach to the leads that you get. In other words, whenever we get a lead, we want to make sure that we're treating them exactly the same because if we get 10 different leads and we treat each of them differently, then we're not going to know if they closed because of the approach we took or if it was the lead itself. So we want to first start out by having a consistent approach to the leads we get in. If we get 10 leads in, we want to try to treat them as close as we possibly can to exactly the same way, then you can take a look at who closed and who didn't. And that will help you to determine which ones are good and which ones are bad. And at that point it's easier then, to start to work to get more good leads and you can also potentially work to improve the conversion on the bad leads or the ones that didn't convert. So, it's sort of a balance looking at quantity first and saying, “Okay, if I treat them all the same, which ones close?”, and then say, “All right, if they close, then that makes them by default good leads.”, and then looking at that and extrapolating from there,
Chris: I think you bring up a really good point, which is not said specifically, but you know, if you ask most business people about where their leads come from, their best leads, they're going to say referrals. But I'm not convinced that all businesses are doing all that great a job of tracking leads. Are you?
David: No, I'm not at all. And basically, it's because when I ask them, they'll tell you that. They'll say that they know they need to do a better job of tracking their leads, but they just don't. I think most businesses do have a reasonable idea of where their leads are coming from and very often, they know that they wish there were more leads coming in. They might have, you know, one or two primary sources that they're getting leads from and those could both be reactive. And that's one of the issues that we have with referrals alone because referrals alone are very often reactive unless they have a specific procedure in place that is designed to make the referrals more proactive. If they actually initiate referrals from prospects and from existing clients in that situation they could actually create more, but in a lot of cases people get leads from referrals just because they're good at what they do and that's awesome because it's very organic. It's very typical that if you do a good job, people are going to refer you, but if you can't count on that and if you need to get leads elsewhere, then you have to look at other sources.
Chris: Go back a little bit and talk about the difference between handling a lead reactively versus proactively what that means to you.
David: Okay. Well a reactive lead is one that just sort of comes in as a result of the fact that you're doing a good job at what you're doing. That's what I consider to be a reactive lead. It just sort of happens. Proactive leads means that there is something that you are doing to initiate that lead. It's either some sort of advertising or some sort of whatever social media post or you're doing something to put your name or your information out there so that someone can then respond to it and become a lead.
Chris: Do you think that people should make a point out of getting leads both offline and online, or is it okay to favor one approach over the other?
David: Well, it's certainly okay to favor one approach over the other, particularly if the approach that you're taking is working, and I've got a lot of clients and I've talked to a lot of prospects who have been doing things successfully for years. There are some people who've been in business for a long time. They're used to getting leads offline. They're still good at getting leads offline, and that's where they're generating most of their leads. I've talked to some people, usually these are younger people who have been generating the bulk of their leads online. They continue to do so, and the idea of generating leads offline is a little off putting to them. So you have those sort of two extremes and then you have a number of people who like myself, look at both aspects of that and say, “If you can generate leads both online and offline, then why wouldn't you want to do it?” I remember years ago, maybe a dozen or more years ago, Jay Abraham, a very famous marketing guy and a lot of circles had talked about this approach. I think he called it the Parthenon approach, where if you have one source for leads, it's like having a pole with a diving board on it and instead if you have a lot of different sources for leads, then you've got a lot of pillars and it starts to look like the Parthenon, right? With lots of pillars in front of it. And I love the idea of that because of course the Parthenon is so durable because of the fact that there are so many things holding it up and when you can create an environment where you have a lot of different leads coming from a lot of different places, it just stabilizes a lot of things in your business.
Chris: One of the things that you mentioned early on was this idea of treating all leads the same and one of the things that occurs to me is, you know, I get a lead online that doesn't have much of an idea of who I am versus a referral from a client, how do I treat them the same and where are the differences that you see that we should be paying attention to in how we approach these leads?
David: Okay, that's a great question because obviously there are going to be differences in how much these people know going in and you can't just say, okay I'm going to go through one particular set of points in exactly the same order and make sure that they get it because the people who already know it will find it repetitive and the people who don't know it will probably find it helpful. But then you are creating somewhat of a different environment. So what I would say is when I talk about trying to treat leads the same, we want to make sure that there are certain points that are or have been hit with each lead. Obviously, if your referred to someone, they already know you, they already know the name of your company, they already know a lot of things about you that you don't then have to reiterate. But with a new lead, obviously you're going to have to establish some of those things. So if you put together for yourself some sort of checklist that said, okay, I want to make sure that each new lead knows these whatever, 12 things about me. And then as you're going through your conversation and your interactions with these people, whether it's via email or on the phone or in person, you're making sure that all of these points are being hit. If you can do that, make sure that the points have been hit, whether it's with you or whether it's been with the person who referred you or whether it's from the way they found your information online as a result of if they saw a video and they opted in for information from you, you already know that points one through three have been made. You can then continue from there. Does that help?
Chris: Yeah, absolutely! And I think that the other thing to keep in mind is also it's how you approach these people, right? I mean if I think of a referral as being a guaranteed sale, I'm probably not serving myself or my potential client versus if somebody is a cold lead actually taking them more seriously than I might be led to just because I don't know them and I don't know where they've come from. It just seems like a big piece of this is also kind of how I stand with either type of lead.
David: Yeah, that's a great point and a lot of it boils down to mindset. When I get a lead online and it sort of comes out of nowhere, I tend to think that it's less qualified and when I get a lead that's a referral, I tend to think that they're more qualified and they probably are. But as you indicated, it doesn't always mean that it's going to translate into a sale for the referral and a non-sale from the lead online.
Chris: And I think in both cases it takes us back to what's our primary goal at this early stage. Are we trying to get a sale or are we trying to create relationships that will yield sales over the long-term and hopefully repetitively?
David: Exactly, and it all starts with building that relationship and as you indicated with a referral, the relationship is partially built right from the beginning, whereas when you sourcing a lead online and that's not always the case.
Chris: Got it. Okay. It is time to recap, let's talk to our listeners about what they can do to attract more and better-quality leads.
How to Attract More and Better Quality Leads
- Document the source of each new lead you get.
- Track the Downstream. Determine which lead sources are converting best from your consistent approach. Maintain those that are profitable.
- Drive More Leads through the sources which provide the best quality and quantity, as determined by your tracking.
- Consistently Review and refine your results.
David: Okay. Well let's start with documenting the source of each new lead that you get. Figure out where they're coming from. Identify where each of your new leads is coming from, not just online or offline, but specifically where online, where offline? If it's referrals, who's referring them? Do you have one person who refers you a lot of business or do you have a lot of people that are referring you a lot of business? If it's online, which platform is it from, a free post? Is it from a paid ad? All of these types of things will help you to track the quantity of the leads that you're getting from each source. So it starts with that documenting the source of each new lead. Second, you want to track the downstream. That means you want to see which of your new leads are actually converting into sales and which ones aren't. If all your leads are receiving similar treatment as we talked about, then this should show you the quality of your lead sources. So if you find that yes, in fact, referrals close at a much higher rate than the leads you're getting online, that will tell you something. Now, let's say you're getting a lot of leads online and they're not converting as well as the referrals you're getting. Doesn't mean you abandon that, right? Because if you're able to close whatever, two out of 10 then it's better than closing zero out of 10 so you want to make sure that you're not throwing the baby out with the bath water. And then third, you want to focus your attention on driving more leads through the sources that produce the best quality and quantity. So if you can get both of those things, it's ideal. Now if you can get high quality leads in low quantity, obviously you still want to take them. If you're getting a lot of low quality leads in high quantity, then you might want to look at, okay, do I need to throttle back on wherever it is I'm getting those leads from because they're not working out well. But ultimately, we want to eliminate the lead sources that produce poor quality leads and we want to promote and beef up the lead sources that are creating the high-quality leads.
Chris: Pretty straightforward, and regardless of whether it's a referral or an online lead of somebody that you don't know, behave the same with them. Give them the best of yourself so that you've got the beginnings of at least a good relationship moving down the road.
Chris: Okay sir, what's coming up in our next podcast?
David: Okay, Chris, next time we will challenge the notion that buyers are liars.
Chris: I'm looking forward to that conversation. Hey, one other thing just to keep in mind before we wrap up, if you are interested in finding out more about how David and his team can help you, go to topsecrets.com/call to set up a complimentary meeting to find out where they can be of service to you, David. Thank you so much.
David: Awesome. Thank you, Chris.
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