Improving Sales Lead Quality

What is a “quality” sales lead?

For me, a high quality sales lead is someone who:

A–Already knows who I am.

B–Is predisposed to hiring me.

C–Does not shop for copywriting services looking for the low bid.

Of course, not all self-promotion and marketing generates sales leads of equal quality.

For my freelance copywriting services, the best sources of quality sales leads, in order, are:

1–Referrals from clients and others.

2–Marketers who know and read my books or articles (a lot of them say they also read my blog, but it is the books and articles that prompt them to call me).

3–My e-newsletter subscribers.

4–People who have attended one of my seminars or talks.

5–Direct mail-generated leads.

Of these, the referrals and book readers are nearly neck and neck for the top spot.

The marketing channels that generate the LOWEST quality sales leads for me (price shoppers or those unschooled in the value of copy) are in order):

1–Organic search (means they are shopping for copywriters and therefore not predisposed to hire me vs. anyone else).

2–Classified or space ads in marketing publications.

3–Directories (e.g., Who’s Charging What) — they attract shoppers.

Would you rate the sources of your best and worst quality sales leads similar to me?

Or is your experience different?

Note: I did not rank PPC because I do not advertise my copywriting services online. And I don’t include social networking because I really don’t use it much, though I have started Twittering.


135 thoughts on “Improving Sales Lead Quality

  • I’ve been wondering about this. I’ve recently started a mailing list, and I’m upto 525 subscribers. I’ve been wondering how I can figure out which ones are actually interested in what i have to say? I guess one indication are the amount of people that arent unsubscribing.

  • I certainly rank my marketing ‘success’ in regards to the quality and ‘ready to hand over money’ level of the prospect very similar to yourself Bob.

    My ‘Long Time Followers’ (or ‘Blog Readers’) and ‘Friend of Friend Referals’ are at the top of my list as they give me the customers with the smallest focus on ‘price’.

  • I agree that client referrals are the best, but if you’re truly demonstrating value and making your website about your ideal clients and their problems, I believe that you’ll find that the price shoppers fall by the wayside.

  • Bob,

    Thanks for sharing this with us. I agree with most of your ranking but I am surprised by the lack of success with Organic Search.

    I have found this to work well in the early stages of the buying decision. Prospects who find my company through one of the search engines become more aware of my services or solutions. Yes, people are comparing me with other service providers but it is not always a price issue. Many a time, all they need is a price range rather than an exact quote at this stage in order to make an initial decision to proceed with the project.

    Just this morning I got a call from someone who found me through Google who wanted help with lead generation. After talking to him, I found out that he really needed a telemarketing company to set appointments and not a marketing firm like mine. Even though I was not the right fit, I told him so, he agreed to sign up for my newsletter to stay in touch.

    Will he become a qualified lead? Only time will tell.

  • I’d also agree that client referals offer the best quality of sales lead however there is also a lot of value to be found in organic search and this source of lead shouldnt be underestimated.

  • Hi Bob,
    Stephen Law, Freelance Telemarketing Expert here – I think for most people, the differentiatior can be based on the ability to sell to someone.

    If someone is referred to you, this requires the least amount of ‘selling’ to win business because they are already familiar with the quality that you offer. Conversely, the less you know someone, the greater the requirement for sales skills.

    Kind regards,
    Stephen SL-Freelance

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    I should check things out. I like what I see so now i am following you.
    Look forward to checking out your web page yet again.

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