The Right Way and Wrong Way to Generate Leads

The Right Way and Wrong Way to Generate Leads

September 10th, 2014 // 12:34 pm @

The Right Way and Wrong Way to Generate Leads

Lead generation is a tricky business, because no one wants new leads for the sake of having leads. What you are really after is a pool of highly targeted, highly interested prospective customers.

This means your lead generation has to achieve two critical goals:

1. Entice your target market to ‘raise their hands’

2. Educate, nurture, and increase the likelihood of becoming a customer

Now, the problem here is often times Goal #1 and Goal #2 conflict with each other. Often times your market will not just raise their hands to be sold, they want something of value, and at the same time you can’t give away pure content/benefit as it will not lead closer to a closed deal.

Typically, lead generation works as follows:

1. You present some bait or magnet to your target audience that will allow them to self-select as a likely customer

2. Some portion of your audience requests the bait and exchanges contact information, and becomes a lead

3. The new leads consume the bait, educates themselves, and receives some follow-up from you

4. The leads, by having consumed the bait, now want to become your customers

You’ll notice that steps 1 & 2 correspond to Goal #1; while steps 3 & 4 relate to Goal #2.

This is oversimplified for most savvy marketers, but will better illustrate the RIGHT vs. the WRONG way to generate leads.

Now lets assume for a moment that you are promoting EXACTLY what you are delivering. It’s possible to disguise your sales pitch as a benefit which if mastered can be very effective. However, if you can crack the code with complete transparency, you will have an even more powerful lead generation system. For the sake of this exercise, let’s strive for the latter.


The wrong way to generate leads is to focus too heavily on either Goal #1 or Goal #2. The process must be balanced in order to produce the maximum number of new customers.

If your sales pitch is perfect and converts 100% of the time it will only yield as many new customers that opt in for a ‘sales pitch’(Wrong Way #1). On the contrary, if you generate 1,000’s of leads but convert only a few; you’re left with an equally dissatisfying result (Wrong Way #2).

You see this played out with large corporations who spend millions on marketing simply because they have it.

As an example, let’s pretend you own a local garage door company and are eager to generate new business this year. You decide to run a radio ad to drum up prospects who might need a new garage door installed.

Wrong Way #1: A simple radio ad that talks about your garage door business and tells them to call to get a free estimate on a new garage door.

Wrong Way #2: A radio ad that offers a free weekend getaway by visiting a website and registering for the drawing

Both the wrong way examples will produce customers. Perhaps you will even cover the cost of the promotion and make some money; but you can do better. We aren’t in business to break even.


The right way to generate leads creates a perfect balance between building a lead list and nurturing to yield customers. Having both Goal #1 and Goal #2 supporting each other, instead of competing.

We will not close 100% and we will generate ridiculous amounts of leads. What we will do is turn out more new customers who are better qualified, more educated, and eager to refer.

Let’s take our local garage door business down the right path…

Right Way #1: A radio spot that promotes a free report and DVD that helps home owners evaluate their existing garage door, entitled: “The 7 Deadly Flaws That Cause Your Garage Door to Fail, and How to Spot Each One”

This is just one example of a ‘Right Way’ lead generation magnet. There are literally dozens of different baits you can use that achieve the same mission. Below is a checklist to help you evaluate if your bait is strong enough, which I’ll use on the garage door example:
Does the Offer Create Interest and Curiosity (Who could ignore the 7 deadly garage door flaws?
Does the Bait Help the Audience Self-Select as a Potential Customer (Only people with a garage door, and probably an older garage door, would be interested in request the resources)
Does the Process Educate and Nurture the Prospect (These resources should do a lot of heavy lifting once it comes time to close)
Is the Prospect Guided Down a Path to become a Customer (A lot depends on the actual resources, but I would include an offer for a garage door consultation to ‘Have an Expert Review’ of your door, and throughout the book counter every negative about garage doors with assurance of quality and warranty)

The trick in figuring this process out is to work backwards. Identify what your benefits and selling points are. Then craft a resource/bait/magnet that illustrates, educates, and sells the prospect. Write a promotion that sparks curiosity and calls out your target market (you want to disqualify and much as you want to qualify).

Don’t forget, you can always start over with your existing unconverted leads. That is an effective, cheap way to test a new lead generation offer before expanding it to a cold audience.

-Ryan Manning

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