Identifying Leads to Pursue
When selecting a lead, keep in mind whether the lead matches the client profile in your market. Here is an example. If you are a DJ specializing in high-end weddings and receive a lead in your market area that specifies a budget of $300 to $500, the likelihood is you should not be purchasing that lead unless there are other compelling factors that will help you determine if it is a viable prospect. Sometimes it may be that the client isn’t aware of what is available in the area. Is there other information in the lead that will help you determine if it is a good lead to purchase? If you are working in a market area that provides platinum weddings and demands high prices with people looking for top quality, then your leads should match that.
Lead Selection Criteria
Can you be of service to the client beyond just what you are offering them? Do you have knowledge of the market area? Can you be a referral source for that client? Not only are clients looking at price and what your service has to offer, but how you will make the event successful. For example, let’s say you are a florist in a market area with five or six banquet halls that you have great connections with. If the leads you are purchasing are looking for a number of vendors in your marketplace, you could be the person giving them these referrals. Many times price gets thrown out of the factor when you can create a value-add to the client.
Will the lead view you as a value to their event or are they simply purchasing a commodity? If the lead is looking for advice and assistance, and you provide that, the value you bring to the client is worth a lot more than the price tag. If someone is just shopping for the bottom line and looking for the cheapest price out there and you do not compete on that level, that lead may not be beneficial for you unless you can turn that lead from being just a commodity shopper to one where you can add value.
Evaluating Lead Potential
Some cautionary phrases to keep in mind when you are reviewing a lead:
“Our event is on a tight budget.” This should be a clear sign that they are price shopping.
“We are looking for the best deal and we can do a lot of it ourselves.” Are they just pumping you for information? It may still be worthwhile to purchase the lead and determine how much they are trying to do themselves. Maybe their idea of “we are trying to do it ourselves” is they do not know how to hire a professional event planner and are trying to plan the event themselves. Look at the market area, look at what the client is trying to do and determine from all the available information if this is the right lead to purchase.
Is the budget misaligned with the event? Does the person truly understand what they are looking for? I am located in a high resort area. It is a great attraction for brides because there are beaches and beautiful scenery. But I also know in my marketplace the average bride or event planner cannot get away with less than $50 per plate. If I see an event that is for 200 people with a budget of $1000, there is a misalignment. The client may not realize how they determined that budget number, but it still may not be something you are willing to follow-up on. Remember to look at the lead clearly and do not respond to every lead just because it is a date that is going to fill your calendar.
Many thanks to Jerry Bazata for this presentation!