There was a commercial for the Department of Health that aired a few years back. It depicted a woman in several situations where she could not stop talking to her friends, to a waiter, or to anyone who would listen; however, while in the doctor’s office for a check up, she was asked if she had any questions and she simply shook her head “no.”
Too often this depicts the relationship between buyers and sellers in the lead industry. There is a train of thought amongst lead sellers that less is more. If you’re talking less about how leads are working then it conveys things are being optimized as best they can, right? Nine times out of 10 this is not the case.
The day you stop asking questions is the day you need to ask yourself, “What kind of questions should I be asking?” Are you getting the best performance out of the leads you are currently buying? Are you having monthly meetings with your sales rep or account manager to discuss quality of the leads and how to optimize campaigns that are working well?
The fewer questions asked, the weaker the line of communication becomes between buyer and seller resulting in an even weaker overall focus of the campaign. In the end, you as the buyer have wasted money on a campaign and the seller is left with a defunct relationship that is hard to win back.
So what’s the solution? It’s pretty simple. It’s time to start scheduling these calls with your rep, diving into the metrics at hand and finding ways to improve conversion. There are more companies selling leads and generating leads then ever before, and as conditions change, you as the buyer will have to rely on more and more providers to fill the void.
The biggest fear here is that your lead provider is going to increase their cost for better performance. Why shouldn’t they? Driving better volume may indeed cost more for the provider but it shouldn’t stop you from trying to improve. Ultimately, if the return on investment outweighs the added cost of leads it is still a win-win scenario.
A word of advice when having these conversations with your lead provider though – simply telling them that the leads “suck” is not going to move the needle. Furthermore, when asked to elaborate, telling them that “the leads used to not suck so bad but now they really suck” is not going to help much either. Be thorough, look at all aspects and really dive deep into a plan that will work for both sides.
GearyPMG offers several services and processes that help open the line of communication and create transparency, thus stronger relationships with our clients. From simple strategies like only staffing senior account managers, to more advanced offerings like secret shopper campaigns and detailed business intelligence visualizations, we customize to the needs of our clients.
Your campaigns can always be optimized, and it starts with opening the lines of communication between buyers and sellers. Start scheduling those calls every 30 days, and as a result you will have a stronger relationship with your lead provider, a happier sales floor, and an increase in overall performance in 2012.
Taylor Shackleford, taylor.shackleford@gearypmg – manages business development for GearyPMG and has 10 years of experience in the lead generation market. In his past life Taylor worked at Experian and Quinstreet.