There’s a classic joke where a man has to have his car towed to the mechanic’s shop. He watches as the mechanic pokes methodically around beneath the hood. After a while, the mechanic closes the hood and wipes his grease-covered hands off with a rag.”Well,” asks the man. “Do you know what the problem is?””Yep.” Replies the mechanic, confidently. “It’s broke.”Sometimes, figuring out what’s wrong with your underperforming lead generation program can feel about as enlightening. It feels like everything is running smoothly, but it’s just not going anywhere. It’s obvious that something in your program is broken…but exactly what that something is isn’t so obvious. Back to our computer analogy from the last post, your program just seems to have suddenly crashed.
There are three common reasons why a lead generation program crashes: you’re not reaching the decision maker, your script is shut down before you really get going, or there just isn’t a need for your product or service. Let’s take a look at each of these and see if there’s something we can do about them.
1) No contact with decision maker – do you have the name of your decision maker? This is a vital piece of information that can transform your program almost instantly, and all it takes is a little research on the front end. Dialing without a name will produce low contact rates; when you ask “who buys [insert your product here]?” you are telegraphing the gatekeeper that you are a sales person and you do not have a existing relationship with the decision maker. The gatekeeper, who is paid to be protective of his or her employer’s valuable time, is likely to shut you down right there.
2) Early termination of your phone call or script shut down – This is the most common reason why lead generation programs crash. This is most likely to occur when you sound like you are staged, forced or reading a script. Take the time to learn your script and practice reciting it until it sounds natural and flows easily. This can also happen because your introduction ( this is where you state who you are, what you do and why you are calling) is way too long. Early termination happens early because you have approx 12 sec in the beginning of your call where the decision maker is deciding whether he or she is going to stay on the line. Think of your introduction as the headline of a news article or ad; you have about one breath’s worth of speech to engage your audience, or you’ve lost them.
3) No need for your product or service – Have you found the right mix of companies to call on? For example if you are a website designer you may find smaller companies to be better prospects than larger. Larger companies may have an in-house staff or be working with a dedicated design firm because they are so web intensive. In smaller growth companies, there is more likely a need for your level of expertise, but they are not ready (or able) to commit to hiring a full time in house person. Take a good look at your list of prospects and analyze them with a great deal of scrutiny. If a prospect isn’t a good match, there is no need to waste your time…or theirs. There are plenty of other fish in the sea. Total lead generation crashes, where no leads at all are being developed, may have all or some of these issues. And it only takes one of these problems to be present to create a crash. If you can identify the weak link, then you have a great chance of reviving your program and getting back in the game.