You are considering a lead generation campaign to help drive your sales – a prudent decision. You are thinking of using an outsourced company that specializes in lead generation – also a prudent decision to preserve your resources. Now the work begins.
When outsourcing your lead generation initiatives, the first thing to think about is how your brand will be represented in the marketplace. Unfortunately, clients often skip straight to the cost and look for the company that will provide the most calls for the least amount of money. This suggests that the lead generation process is not being valued as a critical part of the marketing plan and is considered tactical rather than strategic.
It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.
– Warren Buffet
You can spend years and thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars on developing and supporting your company’s brand. Don’t let these three simple mistakes ruin that investment.
Mistake 1: Choosing a company that doesn’t ask the right questions
Your first concern should be how your company will be represented in the marketplace. This means asking questions regarding how well the lead generation company understands your brand. What does your company stand for? What is its history? What are the conditions of the market? What are the competitive factors? What is your company’s value proposition? And so on. The first thing you should look for is a lead generation company that asks these types of questions. If they take the time to intimately understand your company, they are more likely to prepare their callers adequately.
Lead Generators International prepares a marketing brief to give the calling team a full view of the client and their market. We understand that for the duration of the campaign, we must be good stewards of our client’s brand.
Mistake 2: Choosing a company that doesn’t represent you properly
When Lead Generators International contacts a potential lead on the phone, we have a very short window to get their attention and deliver a compelling message. Our currency is credibility. The moment a question comes up that the caller cannot answer, the phone call is over – and the client has lost credibility.
We view questions as a good thing, as they demonstrate a level of interest from the contact. But poorly handled, it is a sure path to disaster. Our job is to qualify the lead, not make the sale; we will never have the depth of knowledge that your own internal sales team has. Therefore, we identify ourselves as ‘calling on behalf of’ not ‘from’. This is a subtle distinction, but an important one. In all our 30 years of conducting B2B lead generation campaigns, this approach has never been an issue with potential contacts – in fact they appreciate the transparency.
Think about the ramifications of not properly representing who is calling. You risk not only having an unproductive phone call, but also the contact associating your company with deceptive practices.
Mistake 3: Choosing a company that doesn’t prioritize high-quality calls
We have all had them: the unexpected phone call from someone whose accent is so thick that it is unintelligible. Since the basis of any call is the interaction between caller and contact, it does not matter how compelling the message or offer is if it cannot be understood by the person on the other end of the phone. It is not uncommon in the lead generation industry for a company to have a North American phone number and address, but calls coming from overseas call centers.
While this sounds like a fundamental principle, it is alarming how few clients take the time to listen to, and interact with, the individual responsible for delivering their message. Is your message being delivered intelligently and humbly? Is there a sense of authenticity? Is there a perception that the caller genuinely cares about solving an issue for the potential client?
Years ago, it was permitted to record phone calls so clients could listen to the caller interact with their potential customer. This is no longer the case, as privacy laws have changed. To record a call, it must be identified at the commencement of the call that it is being recorded. I’m sure you can guess what happens when a conversation with a potential contact opens with “May I record this call?” before they even know the subject matter.
Lead Generators International conducts a mandatory team conference call before the campaign begins. This is so all the stakeholders in the campaign can make sure there is clarity on the messaging, the brand is understood, and the call is going to be delivered intelligently so that no bridges are burned with the potential customer.
Engaging a lead generation company is not like hiring a coffee service for the office. It should be viewed as a critical part of your marketing plan, and the team as part of your marketing arsenal. It is about as far away from a commodity as you can get. Take the time to make sure your lead generation company understands your brand and how you want it delivered to potential contacts. Ultimately, it is far more expensive to fix a damaged reputation than to build a new one.
Warren Buffett has another worthwhile quote: “Price is what you pay, value is what you get.”
President, LGI Sales & Marketing Group Inc.