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The Trick to Selling the Lead Generator in a Virgin Territory

As you begin selling the Lead Generator, you may have to address the challenge of there not being many leads in the system for a new or prospective user yet. And you may have to answer the question: Why should the first users in your territory post to the system if there aren't already many other users in it yet?

Someone could be reluctant to subscribe because they own a local business, and there are no other users in the area who could be prospects. Or you could be talking to a networking group, and they're happy paying $20/week for breakfast, and taking two hours out of their week, for now.

So the question you may need to deal with is: What's the incentive to subscribe if, from the user's perspective, there's not enough data in the system to make it worthwhile?

The "Catch-22"

Obviously, we have a bit of a Catch-22. Without leads, there are no users; but without users, there are no leads. So how do you jump-start your territory?

Logically, if there were a lot of subscribers, and therefore there was a lot of data in the database, then it would make sense to subscribe. In that case, of course, selling is easy. (And arguably, we might not need reps.) But how do you get someone to put in their data if it's unlikely that they will get any leads out right away? And, if you're focusing on generating paid subscribers rather than just building to critical mass, how do you get someone to pay if there are (from the user's perspective) no leads yet?

The answer turns out to be simple, assuming that even a free account isn't motivation enough. You ask them to "bet on the come." That is, you basically ask them to invest their information in the system, and in your ability to leverage it on their behalf. To do this, you pose the question: "If I can be successful in getting people onto the system so you can have access to their needs, will it have been worth the effort of posting your information?" Most people will enthusiastically say yes, and subscribe.

The reason is simple. It costs them nothing. And if you do the work for them, it doesn't even cost them any time.

Problem solved.

The Networking Group Example

Let's use an example from a networking group to show how dramatic the "bet on the come" strategy can be. In this case, we'll use the "30-second commercial" to introduce the Lead Generator to a roomful of businesspeople, all of whom are there to network with one another for the purpose of finding more sales. When it comes time for you to give your 30-second commercial, simply say the following:

"Who needs more sales?"

Act as if you're raising your hand so as to encourage people in the audience to do the same, if they need more sales. But don't say anything else for a moment. Let people respond to the question.

If the people in the room are like the hundreds of groups we've met with, most will raise their hands in response - because finding more sales is precisely why they're there in the first place. Many will say something like, "Well, duh, of course; that's why we're here."

You can then tell them briefly (i.e. in 30 seconds) about the Lead Generator. For example, you could say: "The Lead Generator is an online networking system designed to provide users with highly qualified sales leads. It works a little like a dating site, where you have to put in your needs in order to see other companies' needs. But if you do, you can get access to unlimited, highly qualified sales leads for free. So, if you're interested in finding more sales, and in growing your business, please see me after the meeting."

You can use whatever commercial you want, and the more intriguing you can make it, the better. But the key is to let them know that the purpose of the Lead Generator is to help them increase their sales by providing them with highly qualified sales leads. And where do these leads come from? Other users. And how do they get access to them? By putting in their own information.

After the meeting, people will approach you about the system, and tey will want to know more. Depending on the group, it may be as many as 1/3 of the audience or more; but the repetition effect will quickly cause everyone to approach you. And when they do, you can tell them about how the system works (e.g. "you have to give to get," "you put in your needs in order to get access to other users' needs," etc.) Most will "get it," and be interested. Inevitably, though, people will ask how many users there are; and depending on the situation in your market, they may raise the issue of there initially not being much data in the system for them. And so, they might ask, why should they post their data? Why should they spend the time? And, if you want to generate support accounts, why should they pay?

The Answer

As with most objections, the best way to handle the situation is by asking a question. And in this case, there is one question that virtually always does the trick. Start by asking permission to ask a question, and then ask the following:


Let's assume for the moment that there currently are no leads in the system for you. Suppose, however, that we were to be successful in promoting the system, and in getting users on the system who were good prospects for you, posting their needs. Would that be worth $50/month?


Invariably, (but certainly not surprisingly) the answer is almost always "yes." In fact, even if it were to cost ten times as much, most people would tell you that it would be worth it. And almost everyone will feel that way. They will quickly see it as investing in your success, which feeds their success.

The fact is that, for most companies, marketing is incredibly expensive and risky, no matter what business you're in. (At the Lead Generator, we're just trying to reduce the cost and risk by letting you leverage information that you have in order to get information you want.) And everyone knows it's expensive, and often painful. It's no secret. If they're a local business, they might be paying $1,000 a month just for Yellow Page ads or Google Adwords. How well is that working? Or they might have to make cold calls, and suffer rejection. How does that feel?

On the other hand, investing their data on the chance that the Lead Generator can work - and that you can be successful in marketing it, and getting their prospects on the system - is a drop in the proverbial bucket.

If someone says no, just move on. They either don't "get it," or they don't have the time. (Who doesn't have an hour???) But anyone who is trying to grow their business will understand very well that every marketing initiative has risks and costs. But if they understand what we're trying to do, they'll understand that the Lead Generator presents a model that has a significantly lower cost and risk than anything else on the market. So the question becomes, Is that worth the investment of a few minutes in your own success?

Certainly, people may want to know what we're collectively doing to make it happen. And that's one of the reasons why we're building out the VAR Program. All you need to do is your piece, of course, and we'll do our piece. But if the subscriber does his piece (puts in his data, gives us their contacts, and even pays for a support account,) they'll get what they need - highly qualified leads for a fraction of the cost of anything else on the market.

The Implications of Asking People to "Bet on the Come"

It's pretty clear that if you can get a hundred people to subscribe, you'll have achieved critical mass in your local market. (And you'll have a slug of commissions in your pocket, assuming you sold support subscriptions.) At that point, no one will object to subscribing because of a lack of data. But you can actually use this argument all the way up - until you have thousands of subscribers, and tens of thousands of dollars in commissions.

What could be easier?

The Lead Generator is a service of and JV/M, Inc.
1221 N Church Street, Suite 202 • Moorestown, NJ 08057
856-638-0399 •