OK really, we want to make sure you don't fall into these traps. I spoke with Sal Mendonca, a BuyerZone Customer Care Rep who specializes in helping our clients get the most out of our program, to find out what lead buyers are doing to waste the money they're investing in our service.
- Don't follow up quickly and in multiple ways.
This is one of the most common problems we see. "More times than not," Sal says, "online buyers want to get stuff done right away." He's talked to plenty of sellers who either don't respond at all for a day or more, or send one email acknowledging the connection and then wait for a response.
The best practice here is twofold: first, respond quickly. Even if all you can do immediately is leave a short voicemail, do it. "It makes them feel wanted," Sal points out.
Second, always use both phone and email to reach out to new prospects. "Anytime I talk to someone, I say use both, because you never know..."
- Don't take advantage of all the tools at your disposal.
The exact mistake here varies from one lead gen program to the next, but Sal gave me two different examples for BuyerZone customers. One is that our new clients don't always fill out their marketing profile - the short company blurb that is show to buyers when they submit their request.
Doesn't seem so bad on its own, but Sal described the actual problem: "Say someone is matched to three companies. If two of them have a marketing profile and one doesn't, as a buyer, I'd be turned off." The marketing profile is a chance for our clients to start building their marketing message before the lead is even delivered -- not using it puts you at a disadvantage. Whatever tools are available through each lead gen program you use, make sure you maximize your visibility as best you can.
Sal's second example was about our credit request policy. Any reputable lead generation program should have a credit program for the rare situations when an invalid lead slips through their screening process, and BuyerZone's no exception. But in some cases, Sal's heard from clients who are hesitant to submit any requests for credit. "It may make more work for me," he says, "but I just tell them to request a credit if it's even a question. At worst, we tell them we can't credit a lead and why we feel that way. It's not like it's a long process -- it takes about two minutes."
- Don't track ROI.
This is one we've covered before before on this blog - but Sal reports that it's not just a theoretical problem, it's one that occurs out there in the lead gen trenches every day. While our bigger clients tend to do a better job, our smaller clients often need more encouragement. Sal reminds them that they need to think about the value of our leads on a long-term basis, not a week at a time or even one lead at a time.
Doing a little tracking is a small price to pay to understand exactly what you're getting for your money. A "gut feel" or intuitive decision isn't going to cut it, here: different types of lead generation programs have widely varying costs and characteristics, so what works in one program may fail miserably in another.
It's also important to track because in some cases, a lead gen seller and buyer are just a bad match. "For whatever reason -- the type of buyers we're attracting for a particular category, the way a certain seller handles their leads -- sometimes it's just not a good fit," Sal says. "Of course we don't want to tell clients that, but sometimes that's just the way it is."
Without doing the ROI calculation to see for sure, you won't always know when you're reached that point. (If you need help, our free simple lead gen calculator can help.)
What do you think - are there any other lead gen mistakes you've learned from? Let us know in the comments.