Why Traditional Lead Generation is Failing
Every week we encounter business people complaining how the tactics they have always executed for Lead Generation are not returning as well on their investment.  Even a cursory examination of the business landscape provides us with obvious reasons why, including:
•        Telemarketing – Our experience has shown that average phone calls necessary to personally connect with a prospect have increased from 4 calls to 8-12, making the business case for investment difficult.  Overworked “survivors” from downsizing at prospect companies are too busy covering three jobs to answer phones, thus, answering machines and other gatekeepers inhibit the hit ratio.  Only those most meticulously planned, scripted and orchestrated telemarketing campaigns have success anymore.
•         Direct Mail – Increasing mail rates are making this avenue less desirable and, sustainability conscientious prospects disapprove of this method of contact (how many e-Holiday cards did you receive last season?).
•        Need – Ask yourselves, “besides specialized pricing, what value/information can I bring to the prospect that they can’t find out for themselves on the net?”  This biggest challenge to traditional Lead Generation activities is that the prospects have access to all the information, when they need it and, therefore, think they don’t need or want your contact.  They are educated, sophisticated and ready to reduce your product/service down to a finite comparison (read: bid).
The last point is leading marketers toward a new means of Lead Generation – Attraction Marketing.  It is leading them away from  selling to prospects as it is to starting a conversation with them in communications.  Because of the above conditions, we can’t make a prospect take a call or need our product/service when we desire, so we need to connect with them on a systematic and consistent basis with meaningful and insightful information (not an easy task).
This can take the form of an insightful e-mail leading to hyperlinks to Mini-white papers to academic theses.  The key is that the communications must be personal and relevant to their needs.
You may not even be aware of this shift, but it is occurring in all areas of business and is playfully captured in an article, “If my dentist understands e-mail marketing, so can you” http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2010/3549/if-my-dentist-understands-email-marketing-so-can-you/?adref=znnpbsc43410 (get around the first few paragraphs to the “meat” of the article).
Hopefully from this short primer on the subject you will notice even more of this activity in all areas of business and, if you would like to begin working toward improving your own efforts, here’s a short checklist on some easy ways to boost your e-mail results: 
And finally, if you would like to truly understand the whole marketing shift and Attraction Marketing in detail, I suggest you pick up the book, eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale by Ardath Albee.  I won’t say it’s an easy read, but there are some useful tips interspersed in between the content that makes us  marketers’ hearts beat faster.
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