Almost since the beginning of time, the relationship between buyers and sellers has been unequal, if not outright adversarial. In times of shortage, sellers have had the upper hand. But in times of plenty, buyers have had the power. This dynamic is so fundamental to the market economy - at all levels - that it has been enshrined as the "Law of Supply and Demand." In cultures that use money, the mismatch between supply and demand is usually reflected in price changes. In societies that barter, then the one with the stronger need is often at a disadvantage, other things being equal (a point we'll come back to in a moment).
Under ideal conditions (which rarely exist, of course) all parties to the transaction have what is referred to as "perfect information" and the option to walk away. For example, it's assumed that, if there's a shortage, it's a real shortage, that everyone knows about it, and that there are substitutes available. It assumes that buyers are free to buy from whomever they want, or not to buy if they choose; just as it assumes that sellers are free to sell to whom they want, at whatever price they can get. As a result, prices eventually reach an equilibrium level, and society and individuals are both served a greater good. And while people will try to "game" the system (e.g. sellers might try to create false shortages, hide disparaging information about their products, form cartels, etc., and buyers might lie about intended volumes to get discounts, create boycotts, etc.,) over time equilibrium is usually achieved.
With the advent of the Internet, of course, more buyers have access to more sellers (and vice versa) than ever before, and more information is more widely available - driving prices closer to equilibrium faster and faster, even as it creates more opportunities for both efficient vendors and smart shoppers. But the fundamental exchange is still goods (or services) for money, and the equilibrium price always has a floor of the most efficient vendor's marginal cost - even if the product is made in an overseas sweatshop.
But what if you could change the dynamic? What if, as a seller, you could get your costs down to be lower than your most efficient competitor's? Wouldn't you then be able to reduce your prices, and win more business, perhaps even at a higher margin?
And what if, as a buyer, you could exchange something other than money in the transaction that the vendor will actually accept? Wouldn't you then be able to purchase goods and services for less cash, saving money, and have more left over for other things?
The question that the Lead Generator poses, of course, is: What can you do, as a seller, to lower your costs below that of your most efficient competitor? And as a buyer, what can you offer the seller instead of money?
The answer, whether you're a seller or a buyer, is "information."
Information that you currently have is worth a lot to the other party, whether you're a buyer or a seller. And all you need is a way to leverage it, which is where the Lead Generator comes in.
If you're a seller, for example, even if you're the most efficient vendor in your industry, one of your major costs is marketing. That is, no matter what business you're in, you have to spend money finding customers - making people aware that you're there, telling them about your products, and persuading them to buy. Of course, the Internet has (arguably) made that a lot less expensive lately; but what if you could reduce your marketing costs by a factor of 10 - simply by leveraging information that you already have, that doesn't cost you anything to produce, and that you're not currently doing anything with?
And if you're a buyer, even if you're the most careful shopper there is, at some point you still have to pay something for the product. But what if part of your payment was in the form of information - information that you have, that isn't doing you any good right now but that the sellers would gladly take, and give you a discount for?
The Lead Generator is a game changer. Welcome to Marketing 3.0.