Lead Capture: A New Era in Lead Generation
“These are the new leads. These are the Legendary leads. And to you they ‘re gold, and you don’t get them. Why? Because to give them to you would be throwing them away. They ‘re for closers,” barked Alec Baldwin’s character, Blake in the movie Legendary Glen Ross. He was yelling at his agents about the importance of granting hot leads to the less productive members of the firm. Why? Because every sales professional knows that the key to successful selling is directly linked to acquiring reliable leads. In fact, top producing agents would define themselves as being in the business of leads rather than the business of sales. And although much has changed since the film’s setting in the 1980s, lead generation remains the crux of sales and keeping abreast of advancement is essential.
The agents of Legendary Glen Ross certainly faced several concerns as they looked to develop their real estate business. For one thing, they had to rely on their broker office to provide them with leads and to evenly distribute them among the agents. Unfortunately for them, only the select few top producers got the hot leads. Even if they wanted to purchase the leads on their own, they couldn’t afford them. The cost associated with generating leads made them extremely expensive for the average agent. Furthermore, once the agent got their leads, they had limited options in communicating with their prospective client. They were limited to land telephone systems, mail marketing, and the dreadful door knocking. Remember what it was like when you needed to make that urgent phone call to a hot prospective lead? That’s right, you needed drive for miles looking for a telephone booth, park the car, and hopefully you had enough money to make the call: seems almost archaic.
Over the years the business of purchasing leads became more affordable for the average real estate agent. This may be due to a few factors. One reason is that escalating property values produced dramatic increases in real estate revenues. This resulted in an agent having the ability to budget more for marketing. Secondly, modern technology made it possible for lead generation companies to perform their market research with less cost and expense. Additionally, the sales profession also changed and somehow has outgrown its reliance on the purchasing leads industry. Agents realize that purchasing leads does not offer the cost-effective sales rate they once desired. Even though leads were made more affordable, they remained expensive and they required a lot of work in turning those prospective leads into profits. A closer examination of how leads are generated may explain why sales professionals are less willing to purchase leads.
FAULTS IN BUYING LEADS:
- Unknown Quality of Leads
- Not Knowing the Lead’s Desire
- Unsolicited Communication
When an agent purchases lists of leads, they are purchasing lists generated from a variety of sources. Most lists are generated from market surveys and research. These surveys are performed with several methods such as telemarketing, online surveys, mail and postcard surveys, etc. There are several faults with these methods. One problem with purchasing leads is staleness. By the time information is obtained and processed, cataloged for sale, sold and purchased, and then the agent applies the list to his or her marketing plan, the lead may have changed its mind, found another agent, or resolved its needs elsewhere. Another issue is that the agent is unable to learn about the significance or insignificance about the quality of the lead. The agent purchases a batch of leads and must approach each lead with the same level of attention. The agents have no way of prioritizing or categorizing the leads by the level of motivation. In addition, the agents are unable to learn something significant about the lead. Not knowing exactly how the leads were generated hurts your ability to know something about the lead. Knowing the leads name, address, phone number and/or other contact information does not tell you the entire story. In fact, some would say that preparing yourself to approach the prospective lead is more important than having the lead. And without knowing about the lead’s motivation, interests, likes or dislikes, an agent is unable to adequately prepare for that initial approach. Another problem exists when the lead does not solicit the communication by the agent. Many present telemarketing and telecommunication laws affect marketing professionals’ ability to contact prospective leads. By contacting leads from a purchased batch, agents must contact leads that do not initiate the contact with the agent and, therefore, has no expectation of communication. This usually results in an awkward introduction and, at worst, a legal infraction by the soliciting agent. Finally, purchasing leads is more affordable, but they remain relatively expensive. In many cases, the results do not justify their costs. Sound business judgment would advise against utilizing these methods. In fact, most top producing agents and sales professionals do not rely on these methods for their success.
Some agents have decided to self-produce their lead generation system. By using mail and online marketing, agents try to generate their own market research in order to obtain fresher leads, generate specific information from potential leads, and initiate contact with potential leads prior to the agent’s direct communication. However, this approach also results in less than desirable conclusions. It could get extremely expensive and time-consuming. The amount of work involved is extremely arduous. These issues contradict the basic principles of any sales professional, which is to do more with less. Basically work smarter not harder. Without proper marketing tools, lead generation becomes more of a burden than a benefit.
BENEFITS OF LEAD CAPTURE:
- Knowing the Quality of Leads
- Knowing the Lead’s Desire
- Initiate Communication
- Cost Effective
Today, lead generation is made easier for every sales professional in the form of “Lead Capture” systems. These systems allow agents and sales professionals to use their current marketing streams and turn them into powerful lead generation devices. This is done with a unique toll-free number that provides numerous extensions that may be utilized to induce calls from prospective leads. When the prospective lead calls, they get to hear information about a specific product, service or consumer tip. As they listen to the information, a report is generated directly to the agent about the caller. As a result, agents or sales professionals realize several benefits. One obvious benefit from using lead capture systems is the freshness of the lead. The immediateness of acquiring a lead from their call assures that the lead is fresh. In most cases, the agent will instantly receive the information about the caller on their cell phone and/or e-mail. Another significant benefit is that the agent is able to prioritize among the leads. As the caller listens and makes selections to the number, the systems provide indications of the lead’s motivation. The agent will know if the lead is one that needs immediate attention or if it is one that is just a curious caller. This saves an agent a lot of time and effort. These systems also assure the agent that the lead is interested in a specific service. The agent will also know the lead’s motivation and interests. When the prospective lead calls the toll-free number they will be making certain selections to listen to specific information. Lead capture systems take the lead’s actions and generates information to the agent about the lead. Information that is imperative in preparing the agent for the initial communication with the prospective lead. Another important benefit is that the lead actually initiates the contact with the agent. The lead then should expect to receive some kind of responsive communication from their call. In addition, the lead capture system provides a mechanism that assists agents in not violating the do-not-call regulations. And the most important advantage to lead capture systems is that they make lead generation highly cost-effective. In fact, they will actually save an agent thousands of dollars in time and marketing expenses. How does this happen? Well, the information generated from a lead capture system, educates a sales professional about the effectiveness of its advertising. Therefore, the agent or sales professional is able to redirect its marketing dollars to the areas and sources that work. In addition, they are creating lead generation systems within their own source of marketing. These systems basically enhance the impact of the agent’s existing marketing budget.
Even though the methods and forms of generating leads has dramatically changed over the last few decades, all sales professionals know that the business of selling is not in “selling” but in lead generation. This is why Blake in Legendary Glen Ross said that the top leads are for closers only. He also said, “A-B-C. A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing. Always be closing, always be closing.” There is no sense in purchasing and spending money on leads if they are going to waste, or if the leads, for some reason, do not result in closings. Especially in those days, leads were precious commodities. Thanks to the advancement of lead capture systems, the average agent and sales professional is able to successfully compete in the lead generation business. These systems provide fresh leads, a hierarchy system for quality of leads, creates interaction with prospective leads, provides information about prospective lead’s motivation and interest, and, most importantly, it adds savings to your marketing plan. The bottom line is that an agent able to empower themselves with controlling their lead generation becomes a powerful sales professional. In fact, the new generation of agents and sales professionals can’t afford not having some form of lead capturing system.