Is your agency struggling to find quality leads? As you probably know, there's no shortage of high-volume, low-quality lists on the market. So how do you find the worthwhile leads, the ones that convert to sales?
You'll want leads from a company with a reputation for delivering valid, useful information. There are a lot of companies claiming to have good leads, but a few checks can help you narrow the list:
#1: Know Your Needs
It's possible to order the wrong list from a good company. List sellers can slice-and-dice data any number of ways, but that won't help you if you don't know what you need. So are you selling to young homeowners or seniors looking for late-life security? Before talking to any list seller, make sure you have a sound understanding of the key demographics (age, gender, marital status and income, for starters) of your best prospects.
#2: Do Some Research
Before buying any list from a new source, check the company with the Better Business Bureau. It's not foolproof, but BBB listings can warn you away from some bad apples. Another tip: Reach out to other agents you know and trust to see what's worked for them. Even if they want to keep their best sources close to the vest, many will share horror stories and bad experiences with shady list sellers. That's information you can use to narrow your list of potential sellers.
Finally, check the broker's references. If a list seller can't provide a robust list of satisfied customers, consider it a warning flag.
#3: Ask Before You Receive
Once you've identified a few brokers you might want to work with, make sure you understand how each one operates. Here are a few things to check out before placing any order:
1. How were the leads obtained?
2. What demographic, sales and/or lifestyle information does the list broker collect on the leads?
3. What contact information is available for leads (e-mail, home address, work address, cell phone and/or landline)?
4. When was the list updated and verified for accuracy?
5. Have the leads requested or at least given permission ("opted in") to be on the list?
6. Does the broker offer refunds for incorrect or missing information on the list?
7. What sales model does the broker use?
- Will the broker provide lists directly to a buyer or
- Will the broker contact leads using demographics the buyer provides
#4: Start Small
Once you're satisfied with the answers from a few list brokers, it's time to test their services with real prospects. You may want to start with a small purchase and see how effective the list is at generating response, and how quickly and completely the broker addresses any questions or concerns you have.
Once you've found a reliable broker, you can breathe a sigh of relief. But don't stop traditional lead building. Remember the names you get from local advertising, networking with friends or family, or just striking up conversations at parties can be the most effective leads you find.