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Get Better Results By Understanding: What Is A Lead

Posted by Deb Bixler

When you understand exactly what a lead is then you will become better at turning all leads into cash sale!

How do you manage your leads? How do you keep leads from getting cold?  These are all questions I get on a regular basis.

Before we start answering I though it might be good to define what a lead is.

Define A Lead

Webster’s dictionary defines a lead as:

  • Act as a guide
  • To go as a a guide
  • To play as the 1st card
  • A direction of guidance
  • Condition of being first
  • A clue
  • Opening words of a story
what is a lead

I found that to be interesting. Do you notice that all of the various definitions refer to the fact that a lead is only the beginning?

One thing that I have always noticed is that many sales reps look at a lead as either a potential host or show or a potential consultant.  We tend to see what we are looking for and prejudge the person who is standing in front of us at any given moment.

When you look at a lead as the end result, you are limiting yourself.

What Is A Lead?

A lead is only the beginning of a relationship. This allows you to see more than what you may specifically be looking for at that given moment in your business.

You may think that a lead would be a good business builder, when in fact they may be someone who can refer you to a business builder.

Maybe you are focused on increasing your calendar. A lead that you are attempting to date a show with could in fact be a bride to be who is looking for someone to set up a gift registry with, or maybe this person is just a product user.

My point here is look at leads as the beginning, a clue, or the opening words of a story.

Practice the 10-second rule and develop every lead. When you share for 10 seconds or less, then ask a question you will be able figure out which one of your many services each lead will fit.

When you look for shows or recruits then that is all you will find. When you look for leads you will find far more.

Find Lots Of Leads

Make sure that you incorporate many lead generation systems into your business.

Learning how to generate sales leads takes practice. The sales funnel is a concept that when understood fully utilizes the definition of what is a lead described above.

The funnel includes multiple lead generations systems in your business and develops each lead within the funnel through customer loyalty to create more business in the future.

  • At your show
  • Out and about (bulletin boards, kids’ friends and parents, people you meet, etc.)
  • Public speaking events
  • Fairs and expos
  • Customer care calls
  • Prize drawing slips
  • Product users
  • Past hosts, customers

A System To Manage Leads

The best system I have found to manage leads is not to manage them.

That sounds silly, I know. I recommend that you do your best to date shows, close deals, and follow up on every lead within 24-48 hours of your initial contact.

In this way you will keep the clutter down in your office, you will minimize your future work and you will be contacting/talking with leads who remember you and remember why they were actually interested in one of your services.

Leads become cold when they no longer remember why on earth they said that they were interested in whatever it is you are offering.

  • When you meet recruit leads at the show, I would recommend dating your appointments for new consultant interviews at the show. Better yet, sign them up at the show!!
  • Date shows at the show. When you keep yourself focused on the fact that you are a successful business owner and are not in NEED of their business, then it will be easy to date shows at the show.  Just like the dentist who schedules your next cleaning before you leave the office, you too can manage your calendar professionally at the show and then not allow leads to get cold.

Many leads will not say no to you. So, if, after a nice conversation, the potential customer, host, or sales rep says “Call me in 3 weeks?” (or 6 months or whatever they say).

A good reply might be:

  • “You know, that is OK, it sounds like this really isn’t for you…. If you change your mind, why don’t you give me a call…” You are professional and not getting strung along from someone who just cannot say no.
  • A  system of eliminating cold leads on your list is to ask the client if they want to be considered a lead. Say, “Would you like for me to keep you on my call back list or would you prefer to call me when you are ready?”

Managing Leads In Direct Sales Office

There will be occasions to make calls from home whether you met the people at a show, fair, expo, public speaking engagement or at the mall. Make those calls within 24 hours of the meeting, while they are still connected to you.

When you have leads that you have to track for the future, make sure that your system brings the leads to the top of the pile effortlessly when it is the appointed time.

Some effective systems of lead tracking are:

  • Rolling contact list
  • Outlook or other email client calendars
  • Hand held data systems
  • Your company’s software program
  • The Client Angel: This is a direct sales software that works for reminding you of everything under the sun. It is an Angel for keeping track of your clients.
  • And my favorite: a file box for index cards with a tab for each month and a tab numbered after each month 1-4. Talk to someone today, make a note, and drop the card behind the week number for the appropriate month for the call back.

Stay In Touch With Your Business Leads

The monthly newsletter for business leads that do not necessarily need a call back is essential. Staying in front of your customers on a monthly basis is without a doubt the most valuable of all continuous contact systems.

If you have not done so yet, start your database for the newsletter ASAP. Just start with a couple contacts and start your monthly newsletter. Even if you only have a couple names start sending out a newsletter that brings value to your customers.

When you gather the email of every guest at your shows, every product user, every contact, and just continuously add them into your address group, it will be a short time until you have hundreds if not thousands of LEADS in your data base.

Send out your newsletter consistently with customer service related information and some marketing as well. You will generate sales from every newsletter you send out and you will also provide a service to your customers. Some will call you with issues with products, and others will think of you next time they have a need. When you put a system in place to keep the newsletter in front of your clients monthly it will turn your leads into sales, shows, and new consultants.

When your database starts to grow, you will not be able to manage it in your computer. At that point you will want an online data system.

MyNewsletterBuilder as the top newsletter service for direct sales professionals.

It’s A Direct Sales Philosophy

Make it your philosophy that everyone you come in contact with everyday is a direct sales lead. Everyone you meet is the beginning of a relationship.

It is your job to figure out which of your many services will add value to their lives or who they know who deserves your services. Create consistent systems that follow up on your leads in at timely manner and it will pay off in sales.


Check Out The Software That Deb Recommends For Direct Sellers
Better Than Quickbooks & Easier To Use! The simple bookkeeping solution for small business owners

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4 Responses to “Get Better Results By Understanding: What Is A Lead”

    4
    Shared by: Deb Bixler:

    Thanks, Janine! Thanks for saying so!

    3
    Shared by: Janine:

    Gold, Deb, absolute gold.

    Love your way of thinking – take the ‘desperation’ out of equation, focus on building the relationship with your client, and success will follow.

    2
    Shared by: Sandy Kreps:

    Love this, going to share it with my team. :)

    1
    Shared by: Brian Shoff:

    Great perspective! I agree with you 100% that a lead is “the beginning”. It’s an opportunity. A seed that has the potential to grow. Care for it properly and it will blossom.

    Great advice Deb!

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