Do you have a universal lead definition that is embraced and accepted within your company or department?
In my experience I can ask 10 people to define a lead and I’ll get 10 different answers.
So a big question a lot of people have is…what exactly is a lead?
One of the biggest data companies in the United States is called Info USA, owned by Info Group. And they sell data. And you can get that data a variety of different ways.
You can get mothers earning between this amount of money and that amount of money. You can get males living in this portion of the country, working in such and such an industry. There’s a huge variety of targeting criteria. And if you order from them a list, some people would call those leads. I don’t call those leads. That is simply a targeted audience.
I define a lead as somebody who has indicated an elevated level of interest in the product or service that you are offering. Once again, that is a person who has, through an action, indicated an elevated level of interest in the product or service that you are offering.
Data vs. Leads?
Now if you were to buy a list of 10,000 names, these are people who have never heard about you and have never flagged themselves as being interested in your offering. And you may be able to close some of them or to make them an offer where they then respond and become a lead. But data isn’t leads.
Leads and data are two different things. Leads and advertising are two different things. So we look at leads as being a more refined potential prospect that has taken some action to indicate an elevated level of interest in what you’re offering.
There are two ways in which I typically generate leads, fundamental strategies that I use. The first is I find out what people who are in certain buying modes are looking for. Oftentimes they may be looking for what you’re offering actively. If you sell a product that helps people improve their business profitability, there’s going to be a variety of searches associated with that.
Another way we typically get in people’s stream of consciousness or get in touch with people at the appropriate time is when they’re researching a problem. It’s very common. Somebody starts researching because they have a problem.
Now if you have a solution to that problem, one of your key strategies should be to create content that better defines the problem, gives them good, honest tips if they choose to address it themselves, but position yourself as an expert should they decide they want somebody local to help them.
The key is, they want somebody to help them. And the type of content that you can offer needs to be informational in nature. Everything from white papers to videos that you can create using your phone or a small camera or a flip cam, and put them on the Internet, on YouTube, and them embed them in your website. There’s a huge variety of things that you can do offering up as information.