6 Things I Learned about Making Money with Local Lead Generation

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OK my last post was like a hemorrhoid (rather inflammatory), so I’ll tone this post down a bit..

If you are in performance marketing space and are sick of doing affiliate marketing, local lead generation is an awesome way to transition into.

Why?

Simple: most small businesses/retailers have ZERO idea how to do this.. nor do they care to really know because they’re too busy, well, running their business.

Imagine if you were a dentist or an optometrist looking for more sales leads, are they going to learn PPC, conversation optimization, landing pages/HTML/wordpress/javascript, etc…?

Probably not.

A few caveats before I go into details:

  1. I don’t claim to know everything about lead generation, but I do run a lead generation company specializing in solar leads. These solar leads are valued higher because of the nature of the cost of solar systems, so these might not apply to ALL types of local lead generation.
  2. This is in TWO parts: first three – me “venting… then last 3, what I’ve learned.

1) If the companies you deal with can’t close the leads, they will blame your leads.

Fundamental truth about sales: I can deliver 1,000 HIGHLY qualified sales leads but if the sales guy receiving the leads is a turd salesman, ain’t NONE of them going to turn into a sale.

And of course, what do they do?

Turn right back around and point the finger in YOUR face. If they do, make sure you tell them:

Ok, let me explain.. this usually happens with small or new shops where they haven’t really figured out how to work the sales process yet.

Or what’s worse.. you give them more leads than they know how to deal with.

Essentially you are jamming their sales pipeline, so to speak.

Would companies be happy with that? You would think so.. but sometimes it can backfire.

2) Technically challenged – Multi-ten-million dollar companies STILL use Email & Excel spreadsheets over CRM

It’s mind boggling to see companies doing $10m+ revenue a year are STILL using email / spreadsheet to track their sales leads instead of using some web based CRM.

Often times, I’ll ask if they want their leads posted via CRM.. and once a customer told me if I can call them with each and every lead.

Ugh.

3) People bitch and complain, a LOT

Yes, local lead generation is a service business.

Highly scaleable and if you do it right, highly profitable.

BUT.. it’s STILL a service business.

And as with any service, expect your fair share of bitchin’ and complainin’ about what they receive, no matter how well you present it.

It’s amazing that your leads could double or triple their existing revenue yet they bitch and complain about the littlest things.

4) For “higher” value leads, the best conversions come from PCs

(I know you tech geeks are drooling over that pic..)

If you’re not green inclined, home solar systems can petty much wipe out your electric bill forever (assuming your electric usage doesn’t go up).

So obviously, the cost of entry into solar can be quite high.. which means, the person looking for solar is going to be doing a lot of research.

When was the last time you did any kind of serious online research using your smart phone?

Nope, more likely they’re going to be using a PC or a tablet.

Meaning, your best chance of interrupting them and getting to sign up is going to be HIGHER on PCs/tablets.

5) Display/Social leads can sometimes actually be better than search leads

Do you know the AIDA steps in purchasing process? (If you don’t, here’s a primer on AIDA.)

Problem with getting leads who are in the decision process is that they’re often shopping around.

Which means, if they fill out your form, they’re probably filling out forms on other sites too to do their “shopping around”.

Yes, these people are more likely to buy.. but at the same time, they’re more likely to have been pitched 3-5..even 10 times before they make their final purchase decision.

So if your client (i.e. the one receiving the lead) calls this person and has to compete with half a dozen other sales people, he/she is probably going to end up with lower ROI.

6) Rich get richer

OK, this one is going to be a subjective opinion and you may not agree, but oh well, too bad.. i’m writing this post. ;P

Here’s what I’m talking about.

My solar lead generation company, Solar One Media, gets TONS of inquiries from small to midsize solar installation companies, looking for solar leads.

Often times, they’ll have few lead qualification criteria – such as electric bill usage and county/zip.

In another words, there are companies that specialize in various “levels” of qualification.

Some are able to offer cheaper solar systems (from monthly payment perspective) and can accept lower electric bills.

Some have more sales people and more installers in the area, which mean they can accept more counties/zip codes.

So if two companies approach me, one asking for leads for entire Southern California and with $X/mo electric bill,  vs. another company who can handle, say just Orange County and with $2x/mo electric bill, who am I going to send the leads to?

<think about that for a second>

The answer is… the FIRST company. Here’s why

1) People MOVE around – For example, say I target people in Orange county, and “Bob” happens to see my ad. Bob works in downtown Irvine but lives in LA (1 hr north of Irvine in a different county). So when he fills the form, the lead ISN”T for Orange county.

2) The one with $2X electric bill is going to be MORE likely to close than a person with $x electric bill. Why? Higher pain… thus more motivated to purchase.

In another words, i might have multiple buyers but I am going to reward the company who is going to make it easier for me to sell them my lead.

Donald Trump says “think big”.. and this is a perfect example.

I’m NOT going to give the better qualified sales leads to small time buyers.. makes no sense.

Why am I going to give them better leads when they pay me less (overall)? I am going to  reward the bigger guys because their “net” is bigger, so to speak.

Am I wrong?  Got an opinion about local lead generation to share?

Leave them in the comments.

 

22 thoughts on “6 Things I Learned about Making Money with Local Lead Generation

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  2. Jimmy

    “I’m NOT going to give the better qualified sales leads to small time buyers.. makes no sense.” Totally agree!

  3. Delmer

    #1 hits right home with me.. pisses me off when I drive people there and they fail to close. Not my fault, its yours.

  4. John @ 109 Sales/Day Affiliate

    hey Taewoo

    You’ve shared a very interesting approach with us here, and even was willing to give your lead company URL… this shows you’re not afraid of competitors “replicating” your methods, as most would tend to be…

    Now, I wonder, how’s your “Top 5 Solar Lead Generation Mistakes” report working out for you… in terms of conversion — and what’s the prospects feedback on it?

    Does it drive the majority of your business, or you focus more on in person meetings and cold-calls?

    Also, do you offer a service/pack that teaches business to work out the leads and increase their conversions too?

    Hope I’m not asking you confidential info… LOL

    1. Taewoo Kim Post author

      Hey John

      1) I never cold call
      2) report – not enough data. can’t say for certain yet
      3) conversion service – hmm.. yeah thought about that.. haven’t had time to develop the thing

      I don’t mind people copying me. They have no idea what i’m doing.. what I’m paying.. what i’m doing after. They can copy all they want.. but it’s like copying an iceberg. They only see the tip.. the 1% of the entire marketing engine. They don’t see what’s underneath..

  5. Matthew

    Sometimes companies are not ready for all of the leads that will come in from affiliates. Most companies do not understand the whole buying leads and having affiliate world at all and they get to deep

  6. Oswaldo

    hahah aint that the truth when you have multi million dollar companies just blowing money away but they do not have the simple technical things set up. I mean come on dont use hotmail for your email

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