There are an increasing number of companies trying to make money by using “free sales leads” as a loss-leader.
A high focus for some of those companies is trying to take advantage of the perceived naivety of Retail sales reps. This article is a warning for all new sales people, especially those in R2B. Type “free sales leads” into any search engine and you will be inundated with hundreds of listings. Unfortunately, very few are free and even fewer are leads.
Let’s be honest, if you had the ability to provide a sales person with true sales-leads, would you do that for free… ?
… No, neither would I.
On a fly-fishing trip, a number of years ago, I was told that “most flies are tied to catch fishermen, not fish”. This idiom may have more truth in sales than any other profession, because we are often the easiest people to sell to.
That is the part of the problem with “free sales leads” they are designed to catch us, not for us to catch customers.
Even if the quality of the “leads” looks good, even if the companies are in industries relevant to your products and services, do you really think that you are the only sales person receiving this gift?
When you call on the “leads” and the person answering the phone gives you the impression he/she has been getting calls from sales people all day, that is probably because they have – and guess who gave their contact details to your sales brethren… ?
Because, like you, I am a sales person I define the word “lead” in two very specific ways:
1. A lead is when a customer, or potential customer, contacts a vendor for a quote/bid, or to gain information that could be used in a quote/bid.
2. A lead is a qualified opportunity with a potential, or current, customer.
Anything else is simply a phone number and a contact name, and we can get those from the phone book.
So, be careful when signing up for something that sounds too good to be true – it probably is.