Saturday, June 30, 2007

Picking A Lead System Part 2

by Tammy de Leeuw
Financial Advisors Netzone

(more signs that a lead system you are considering might be trouble ahead and what to do about it.)

They require a deposit or minimum purchase or registration fee.
Some lead companies charge you a sign-up fee before (or regardless of whether or not) you ever receive a single lead.

The pitch for this is to give you an "exclusive" territory or postal code. More often than not,
such fees are non-refundable, regardless of the amount of leads you receive.

In theory, you could only get two or three leads, making the cost per lead $40-$50 more than the original $10 price you thought you were paying.

Usually,this downpayment money is used to pay the salesperson, which is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, if they have no financial stake in the size of your territory or amount of leads generated, salespeople are less likely to push you to choose a large radius.

On the other hand, however, "I've got mine up front," might cause the same salesperson to be disinclined to assist you, should you have problems with your account. Also, you might be more
willing to stay in a bad program hoping to recoup at least the startup fee. Don't

Ask the question: "What is this "set-up" fee for and will it be refunded if I am unhappy with your service? If it is a non-refundable, all or nothing proposition- steer clear. There are plenty of companies out there that don't require startup fees.

8. They are vague when asked about references from satisfied clients or they say "Bill Cincinnati got three new clients using our system." Who is Bill H? How long was he in the program? How many leads did he have to blow through to get those 3 clients? And most importantly..."Is he still in the program?" I knew of one lead program that used bogus testimonials. One of them was from someone I knew personally who had quit the program months before after less-than-stellar results.

9.They refuse to offer a free trial or sample lead to try out. Ask the prospective lead company if it would be possible to try a lead or two before enrolling. Get an idea of how good the data is and if there is some attempt to hit your target demographic.

10. Customer service goes missing. If the only time you are able to call your lead service is when you they want to sell you something, you might find getting simple credits a frustrating, time-wasting experience. At the very least, a good lead service will answer your emails within a reasonable time period- say 48 hours at most.

I hope you find these tips useful in your search for a decent, honest lead company. They must be out there somewhere.

I look forward to hearing from those of you who have had good and bad experiences with lead and list companies and will publish your comments in future editions.

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