Recently I encountered an interesting issue regarding lead generation.
You see, I have a friend who is working as a budding wedding videographer in a certain company. Let’s call it Production X. So, I was thinking since my friend is working there, maybe I can help Production X to generate leads for them. More leads equal higher probability of closing more deals. More deals mean more income generated. And if the leads I gave them generated into sales, I get a cut of it. Simple as that.
In my opinion, it’s a win-win situation. There is absolutely no risk for them. Production X doesn’t has to pay me anything at all up-front. I do up my own site, generate my own traffic, SEO, content – all done by me. All the expenses are from my own pocket. Well, it seems the risk are on me… not them.
I told Production X it will be easier for me to work exclusively for them. In a way, I act like an agent. Any leads that came to my site will be forwarded to them. They will take care of the customers’ enquiries. So, my job is solely on helping them to generate leads only.
However, there is a problem. They feel uncomfortable of me (my site) representing Production X. They feel that I may mis-represent them, their company image might be affected, quality issues of my site etc. They also feel it’s “not right” for my site to generate leads exclusively just for them. They think it’s better for the leads to have more choices to make my site less biased.
Seriously, I don’t understand the rationale behind it. It’s not like I am scamming the leads and say that I am from Production X. I just pass the raw leads to them. Period. When they answer to the customers’ enquiries, the customers will know that they are dealing with Production X. Your branding is still there. At the end of the day, the couples who engage you as their videographers will know Production X rather than my site.
Well, in my opinion, it’s the same analogy as a financial advisor/insurance agent who is representing Prudential. The agent can ONLY sell Prudential products (life, term, travel insurance etc). Even though the agent can only sell Prudential’s products, that doesn’t mean Prudential’s products are no good or the agent is biased. As long as the customer’s needs are met and is well-covered under their various insurance plans, it’s good for every party isn’t it? Prudential gets more business, the agent gets his commission, and the customer is well-insured.
Production X then suggests that maybe they can put a banner on my site or I can write reviews for them and some other videography companies as well. Both are not good alternatives. First of all, the CTR for banners are low. Secondly, I don’t know how much they are willing to pay to put the banner. My site hasn’t generated enough traffic at the moment. Putting a banner is useless and I can’t command a high price. A lead who fills up the contact form is far MORE valuable. Writing reviews? That’s even worse. A review should be non-biased and not getting paid for it. I don’t want get into another fiasco, like the food blogger who demanded free food for a food review. 🙂
In fact, some SEO companies have approached Production X. The charges are not cheap and they aren’t guaranteed a #1 listing on Google. So, they didn’t hire a SEO company and I understand their reason. Side tracking: If an SEO company claims that it can guarantee you a #1 spot… run away as far as you can from that company.
So, Production X is not willing to a hire an SEO company and they don’t like the idea of me generating leads exclusively for them. So what can they do: Post ads on magazines, directories and offer their services through wedding forums and of course through referrals.
From what Production X says, they are getting about 4 projects a month on average. They have 3 wedding videographers and I think they can get more business than that. Of course, words of mouth (referrals) is the best method. But before they can become viral, a critical mass (read customers) is needed. A small pool of satisfied customers can only do so much and it will take a long time for them to spread the words out.
That’s where I feel my site can come into the play. Get more leads, more business for them. In turn, let the new customers spread more good words about them through word of mouth. At the end of the day, if they feel they are getting too many customers and they don’t need any of my leads further, that’s fine for me. That’s the ultimate goal, isn’t it? I can then say I did a good job helping them. But right now, they are not in that situation.