7 Common Lead Generation Misconceptions
Discover 7 Myths About Lead Generation – and how they stunt your business growth
If your Company is serious about proactive lead generation, your first step should be to re-examine your thinking about what works and what doesn’t.
Myth No. 1: Cold-calling doesn’t work
Time and again I encounter an aversion to cold-calling from MDs and Sales and marketing people alike. Most argue that cold-calling doesn’t work—inconceivable, even, that you might give it a second thought.
But when I ask what strategy was used, and what offer was made to the prospect, the reply tends to be a mumbled “we introduce our service and products and ask if there is any interest.”
Surprise, surprise the answer is always “No, thank-you”. True, there are many ways that you can try cold-calling and fail, but there are also—if you’re willing to seek them out—cold-calling strategies that consistently yield above-average ROI.
(HINT: Prospects don’t care two hoots about you or your offering – they are only interested in THEMSELVES and THEIR problems).
Lead generation misconception no. 1 steers many firms completely away from cold-calling. Yet, applied correctly, cold-calling can be an amazingly successful lead-generation tactic that can return excellent results, often very quickly.
Myth No. 2: Web sites don’t affect lead generation
“We’ve built a Web site because we have to have a Web presence, but our Web site has no affect on whether we win any new business.”
Lead generation misconception no. 2 was clearly illustrated at the workshop I delivered a few months ago. There were 17 people in the room, and I asked them, “When you’re buying something for your business, do you, at some point in the buying process, visit the Web site of the vendor firm?”
All the hands in the room went up. Then I asked, “Who is at least somewhat influenced by what they see on the site?” All hands stayed up.
My third question was, “Have you ever been referred to a potential supplier and, after visiting their Web site, decided not to contact them because of what you saw on their Web site?” About half the people raised their hands.
Web sites affected the perceptions of 100% of that group, and affected at least 50% of the attendees’ decisions to become sales leads for another company. So let’s put this myth to bed right now. Bottom line: contrary to popular opinion, your Web site greatly affects your ability to succeed with lead generation.
If you need any convincing of just how effective a web site can be in generating leads, listen to one of our clients whose site we redeveloped just before Christmas:
“The new website really put us on the big stage where the serious contracts are. In its first few months it generated hot enquiries from the likes of 3M. Richard’s applied his scientific approach to our marketing and it’s getting us noticed by top clients.
It’s finally getting us opportunities to get our foot in the door. Customers visit our website and get excited enough by the copy to try us out.
Since applying the principles to the website I’m getting 30 or more hot prospect enquiries every month without fail. An excellent use of our money, pound for pound it questions how much you’ve been spending on previous marketing. I don’t have to budget as much on advertising, such as the Yellow Pages. It’s like converting an overhead into a rich revenue stream!
49% of our customer base is now made up of clients coming onboard via this very well written website. It cost only 3.4% of the income value from just one new client and has secured orders of £107,630 in its first 2 months!”
Myth No. 3: We need more brand recognition first
No, you don’t. So you’re about to spend £20K… £200K… or some other amount on “brand recognition” to prime the pump for the lead generation you’ll do in the coming months.
Why not just start with directly generating the leads? For every well-known brand in your market-place there are dozens of firms that most people have never heard of. Yet, they find clients and do well. Name recognition doesn’t hurt, but for the most part building name recognition should be a byproduct of your lead-generation campaigns, not a prerequisite.
In the end, regardless of your brand recognition, what you need to do to fill the front end of your sales pipeline is to develop a compelling value proposition and then find qualified prospects. If brand recognition is the goal in and of itself, you’ll end up spending all your budget with little return.
Myth No. 4: If we could just get more new leads everything would be alright
According to a report by the Aberdeen Group, over 80% of generated leads are never followed up on or are dropped or mishandled.
And if you consider that just a 10% increase in leads allied to a 10% increase conversion ratio and a 10% increase in average order value leads to a 33.1% increase in sales, then you can see that more leads is just one part of your sales opportunity.
Many firms think they need more leads when in fact they could see improved results just by better handling and nurturing the leads they already have.
Myth No. 5: Let’s do some advertising to get sales moving
Managing Directors and CEOs—those that really hold the purse strings for the marketing budget—are subjected to thousands of ads a day, just like every other person. These ads do a great job, too, as they influence many business leaders to equate lead generation and marketing with advertising.
No doubt at some point your company has run ads online, in business journals, trade magazines and trade shows with eager anticipation. You’re proud of the ad’s creative design, copy and message. More often than not, however, you’re disappointed with the ROI from advertising.
In the vast majority of cases, Ads are a waste of money for most firms. As a lead-generation vehicle, advertising should be considered very carefully, and tested small before rolling out profitable campaigns.
Myth No. 6: Direct mail doesn’t work for in our industry
Earlier in this post I noted that 100% of my Workshop attendees indicated that they visited Web sites before purchasing new products and services. I also asked how many of them were attending the Workshop because of the direct mail invitation I sent to them. The result was 82%. And this was for a non-tangible service costing £960!
There are a thousand ways to fail with direct mail. Yet, much like cold-calling, direct mail done properly can be a major vehicle for lead-generation success.
Myth No. 7: With limited time and resources we should keep the focus on new prospects – our current clients already know where to find us
Be honest, have you ever followed this (apparently reasonable) logic:
“We have about 5,000 target companies for this service. About 1,000 are already our clients, so we should focus our lead-generation campaign on the other 4,000.”
Sure, you want to bring the other 4,000 companies into your fold and make them your clients. Good idea. But if you’re looking to generate maximum response from your lead-generation campaigns, and maximum revenue from your investment, don’t ignore your current clients.
Don’t worry about upsetting those current clients by interrupting their time with your marketing message.
Firstly, current or former customers, assuming they’re relatively satisfied with your services, are an order-of-magnitude more likely to respond favourably to your lead-generation campaigns than non-customer companies.
Secondly, your competitors want to get to your customers (and you know they must be trying), and other companies are also vying for their attention. If your clients are not focusing on your messages and value, they’re focusing on someone else’s.
If you want to have above-average success with lead generation, you first have to squash the myths and misconceptions that will keep you from moving in the right direction.
By doing so, you can take advantage of the proven Common-Sense Marketing tactics that everyone else mistakenly writes off — and you will be all alone, out front, generating the leads your competition is missing.