How Profitable Are Warm leads?

When I was a salesman, we waited each day by the fax machine, (a way to send written messages in the late 1990’s) to see who would get leads that day. It was like a bunch of preschoolers waiting for sweets and having jealous arguments if ever someone was getting more than the others.

Leads were so important, they made a massive difference in your wealth, health and happiness, because all you had to do is call the ‘eager person who wants to buy’ and make an appointment, they wanted to see you after all!

No leads meant you had to start from scratch and start cold calling and stepping up canvassing (banging door to door on business to try to see who was in the market for what you were selling.)

So, you can imagine my surprise 30 years later when I email someone today and tell them I have a lead for them, and they are like “Yeah okay, whatever I’ll let my boss know.”  

I think they are unsure what a lead is. IT IS NOT FOR YOUR DOG!


Is it a fault of networking clubs of diluting the idea of how profitable a lead is?

Let me give you a scenario in my mind’s eye of how powerful warm qualified leads are to me:

John and Frank work at Timber supplies Ltd they are both salesmen and sell axes and chainsaws etc.

They are both sat in the office at the beginning of the week when the Sales Manager comes in and tells Frank he has a lead that has come through the fax machine from their last Mail out, and John sighs as he has no leads today.

John starts calling at 830 AM and spends 4 hours banging the phone that day and makes 2 appointments to meet 2 loggers later that afternoon who are ‘kind of interested,’ John however is upbeat as he will ‘Create the need’ when he gets there.

After hastily grabbing a sandwich and eating in the car on the way to his first appointment at 2 PM he eventually turns up to meet the logger on time, however he is delayed at site and could not meet him today, one blow -out, never mind!

Then at 4 PM after a scramble to get across town in rush hour traffic he gets to sit in front of the CEO of a furniture company, who affords him 15 minutes as he is very busy, John feels not very important to start, but knows it is his job to turn this around.

John goes through his spiel as quickly as he can as he can see the CEO’s next meeting waiting outside, he does well and creates a second appointment with the CEO to come to the showroom for a demonstration next week.

John is exhausted when he gets home at 9 PM but feels he got something out of the day, that is, only if this guy turns up and wasn’t just saying that to get rid of him.

Frank, on the other hand called the lead and spoke with the CEO at 830 am went to see him at 10 AM, signed contract at 11 AM and played golf all afternoon, and was still able to pick the kids up from school!

It aint what you do it is the way that you do it!

Who would you rather be? Frank or John in my scenario

Leads are

Someone who wants to by what you sell now, they have the cash now, and they can make the decision and you can deliver to the area where they are today.

Nothing less than that is a lead

A lead is not:

“I spoke to my friend at Bridge club and she thinks she may be interested in you calling her”

Maybe it is my 20 years of direct sales and then 15 years of digital marketing that I feel this frustration with how people understand what lead generation actually is, and I see people ‘killing themselves and their business’ by engaging in so much lead generation to try and find someone to sell to, which to me is purely stepping stones to a lead.

Lead generation is:

Seminars live or online 2—3 hours out of your workday to learn how to use some new fancy software.

Attending exhibitions and spending a fortune to attend and have a cool display and spending 2 days talking with the next-door stall owner.

Cold calling 50-100 calls a day till you lose the will to live!

Email marketing lists you paid a fortune for that end up getting you kicked off all the email marketing platforms (that you went on seminars for) for a horrendous spam score!

Networking at 6 AM and praising your fellow attendees: “Whoo-hoo! we are doing business while everyone else sleeps!” then spending 2-5 PM asleep at your desk whilst your colleagues are doing business.

Attending boozy evening network events and seeing the same old drunkards and getting sick from all the finger food!

Blogging to what feels like an eternity and realizing you need to spend 5000 U.S.D. on digital advertising each month (which is the average spend on Facebook!) to compete with the best to get your blogs read by anyone!

You can do all this lead generation, or you could just ask us because we have, after asking 6,000 + members what they want to buy each week, a list of buying requests.

Get the contact details from us, call the decision maker and go to see them, smile, and as long as you don’t steal someone’s parking space on the way to your meeting, and give the other driver a mouth of abuse before realizing they are the CEO of your next appointment!

You have a 95% chance of getting the sale!