You are not the first to wonder, “Why can’t I seem to find any good leads?” If you’re thinking that lead generation is particularly tough, you’re not alone.  I hear that all the time when I meet with new customers.  They’re frustrated and want to know how they can ramp up their lead generation efforts.  Of course, there are a million ways that you can generate leads, whether you choose to use direct mail, email marketing, social media, trade shows or your website, any of them can be successful if they’re used correctly.  On the other hand, any of them can also be used to generate low quality leads that will fill your calendar with worthless, dead-end appointments with people that will never turn into business.

So what’s the key to generating high quality leads?

Well, let me ask you this, “How do you define a quality lead?”  Is it someone who is likely to buy?  Is it someone who has bought from one of your competitors already but may not be satisfied?  Maybe it’s someone who falls into the right demographics.  Perhaps your definition looks something like this:

  1. They’re a white male, between the ages of 45 and 55 years old.
  2. They’re highly educated.
  3. They’re likely to drive a luxury vehicle.
  4. They enjoy playing golf.
  5. They’re already members of a golf club.
  6. They’re a C-level executive for a Fortune 5000 company.

Now if you could just get your hands on a list of people that look like that.  If I just sprinkled some magic fairy dust and that list appeared, would you be happy with your new list of high quality leads?  If you’re thinking, “yes” I’d have to say we’re close but you’re still holding a list of low-quality leads.  We’re still missing something that’s very important.  These guys haven’t shown any interest yet.  They’re still cold leads.  That’s low quality in my mind.  So let’s add another criteria:  They have to have reached out and demonstrated an interest.  Now were’ talkin’.   Now we know we have a guy who’s not only shown interest, but he also matches with our demographic profile of the type of person who could benefit from our product or service.  I bet you’re thinking we’ve got it.  Wrong.

What?  What more could you need?  We’ll let me ask you, “What did it look like when your so-called high-quality lead reached out and showed interest?”  Did he actually express a pain that you can solve or did he just fill out a contact form on your website?  Or maybe he dropped off a business card to win a free iPad.   I’d venture to say that a business card in a fishbowl isn’t the same as someone asking for help to a problem that’s plaguing them.  We ultimately have to get the potential customer to admit that they have a pain or they won’t buy anything from us.  If we can get them to do that up front, we’ve just moved them from a lead, to a high-quality lead.  Those are the hot ones that we want to pay attention to.  Does that make sense?  I sure hope so because that one little difference can either help you to work with the people that are likely to close vs. chasing the ones that will never close.  Pain.  It’s the key difference between a lead and high-quality lead.  Frankly, it’s the difference between a sale and no sale.

Hope that helps.

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