Let’s talk about WORKING AT MONETIZING LEADS. I am about to make y’all feel very, very smart. (Maybe. I hope.)

I recently went to the giant Home & Garden Show, where booth space is expensive, and competitors are up against each other. I presented myself as a ready and able buyer. Total, seven exhibitors. Their score: ZERO. Stunningly, NONE made ANY attempt to capture my information for follow-up, let alone CLOSE on an appointment or conditional sale. I’m confident you are smarter than this, but just in case, a Marketing 101 Lesson from the Prof. of Harsh Reality….

1.) You can’t sell to people you don’t know the names of and can’t contact. Duh.

2.) You pay money for EVERY in-bound call from somebody, EVERY walk-in to your store, EVERY walk-up to your exhibit booth, EVERY visitor to your site. BUT THEY ARE WORTHLESS if you fail to capture their contact information. Note: if you are eager to throw away your money, write out a check and send it to me.

3.) Contact info capture for follow-up should be part of EVERY script for every in-bound call, walk-in, walkup, query, question, conversation. A priority. A basic function.

4.) Contact info capture should ideally occur early, not late, and not at the end.

5.) Employees taking calls, greeting walk-ins, working booths who fail at capture of contact info for follow-up should be re-trained, coached, given three strikes, then replaced with someone who’ll perform.

6.) Specific to exhibiting: It’s hard to get contact info or close on anything standing up. (Every one should have moved me to sit down to talk with them.) I was fortunately taught this while a young puppy in selling. It’s what Sydney Barrows and I call Sales Choreography®: “Get ’em sat down and don’t let ’em stand up till you close.”

7.) Contact capture alone is good; qualifying leads within contact capture, better. (Nobody in any of these seven booths asked ANY qualifying questions.)

8.) Showing up is only 1/3 of success. Therefore, NOBODY should be paid just for showing up and being there. Do you want to pay your dentist or airline pilot or babysitter for doing 1/3 of their jobs? That’d be a pilot showing up in snappy uniform, getting you on the plane, and taking off – then parachuting out over an island paradise. DON’T pay your staff or yourself for 1/3 of the job either.

9.) Here’s a strange idea: Let’s actually close on something. An appointment. A conditional sale. Something. As Zig Ziglar says, there are a few salespeople but a lot of professional visitors.

10.) MOST sales of everything are made through an organized process of effective follow-up. If you don’t have such a process, and use and enforce it, you can forget about top income or top profits.

As a little aside, I took pity on some women at a Mary Kay booth, because they were at least trying. They were out in the aisle asking, “Doyawannatrysomelotion?” I took one lady aside and said: (a) Pause between words. (b) Change your script to: “You have to try this amazing hand lotion!” (c) Deliver the line with a smile and enthusiasm. Her first four tries, three takers. Sigh. That’s me, spreading sunshine ’n happiness wherever I go.

As you can tell, the whole thing left me p.o.’d. I had gone to the show to relax and enjoy myself – I wound up more aggravated than before I got there. I should have gone for a stroll at the zoo.

About the Author

Dan Kennedy

Dan Kennedy is the undisputed master of No BS direct-response marketing and the guru of the information marketing industry. Forty-plus years ago, Dan founded the company now known as GKIC, which continues his legacy today with a renegade style of marketing for entrepreneurs everywhere. For some free marketing resources to jumpstart rapid growth in your business today, please visit gkic.com or call for a free business consultation at 800-871-0147.