Do you remember... when leads were a weekly occurrence?
Many years ago, it was not uncommon to get a few leads a week. Back in the Eighties they would come via fax from the manufacturer. Advertising was done through various media sources like Radio, TV, Direct Mail and Print Advertising.
In the last 12 months, I can count the leads on one hand that I've received from my territory from the manufacturer. That number is TWO! Well, maybe three, but no more. I've been driving my self up a wall trying to figure out why.
Is the territory saturated that many sales people that everyone is covered? Hey, I'm in NJ, and pretty much you can't drive more than a quarter mile without finding a prospect.
Could it be that no one is interested in Ricoh MFP's? How about, gee maybe everyone is searching for copiers on the web and they are finding us before we find them? I tend to think if that was the case, then I've have a few more leads than TWO! Maybe, just maybe they are all connecting with the various web sites that offer to get you proposals and you never have to speak to a rep? Naw, I'm not buying that either.
I'm at a loss, and have now resigned myself to the fact that I'll probably never ever get a lead from the manufacturer for my territory. For me, getting a real lead is gratifying, and helps me through the rough and tumble times when we can put in an entire day of phone calls or in persons and get nothing. Leads, help me stay motivated!
Moving forward I'll just have to get more creative and find avenues to generate my own leads. I've done it in the past with active blogging about copiers and MFP's. Donating to Non-Profits, barter price for membership and trade ads in Association Journals has helped in the past. However, desperate times calls for desperate measures.
Now, you don't expect me to tell you what I'm going to do next, do you? It's no secret, I'm just going to work harder with the items I discussed above along with working smarter with existing accounts to maximize the "other" services/products that we provide. Our existing accounts is a gold mine, we just need to understand "how to mine them".
I'm kinda getting off the subject here. I'll tell you a funny story. I've spoken to my manufacturers rep on several occasions about the lead thing. I even went so far as going to the manufacturers site and putting in a false lead, just to see what happens. Well, what happened is the web page of "request a quote" does not work! Let me clarify, it has not worked in at least three months!! Every week or so, I go on and try to enter a lead an every time nothing happens when you click the submit button! Son of a....., maybe this is why, right? Thus, I spoke with my rep about this for at least the fourth time, and you know what that person stated? "Yeah, you know what, we really don't see any leads from the web site anymore". I'm like WHAT, that's because the site is not working!!! That's the reason you're not seeing any leads. As my Father in Law states, what do you expect from a pig but a grunt.
If my rep is reading this, I'm sorry, I think you do an awesome job in supporting me, however you should fire your webmaster ASAP!
Would love to hear from others how they generate leads or if you are getting leads from your manufacturers web site.