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You don’t need more leads – stop asking for them

The #1 problem I see people asking for my help with, is lead generation.

Lead generation. New clients. New prospects. More leads. New leads.

Roughly 25% of all funnel businesses claim that their number 1 problem is some form of lead generation or new client.

Finding new clients and leads is so important to funnel businesses and agencies, that topics like sales and niching to find new clients accounts for 50% of all our enquiries.

I think if I was to ask “do you want more leads for your funnel business” 90% of respondents would say yes.

This is because “lead generation” is highly overrated.

You can’t handle more leads

You can’t handle the tooth

Let’s say I’ve got 1000 people ready to buy from you. They’re qualified and they’ve got their credit cards out, ready to buy.

What does that look like to you? How would you feel if 1000 people approached you, ready to buy, in one day?

Most funnel businesses and marketing agencies would have a panic attack. They couldn’t handle that many leads or customers in a year, yet alone a day.

And that’s the problem. We all crave new leads, but we can’t handle more than a few at a time. If you’re being honest, would you even want that many new customers or leads?

Are you already working every hour you can? Most funnel businesses are working so hard at delivering work to customers that they don’t have time for new leads.

That’s the cycle right? You find a new client, work hard with them and you neglect your lead generation. So your client’s project finishes and you know you need to find new customers.

Maybe you look at your bank balance and think “I need another customer. A $25,000 client would really sort things out. That’ll fix everything.” So again, it sounds like new leads would fix the problem.

But if you’re already working hard on your customer projects, could you even handle more leads? Let me ask you these questions:

  • Have you ever had a new lead come in, promise them a proposal and then never sent that proposal?
  • Have you ever written a proposal and never sent it, for fear of being rejected or “it’s not good enough”?
  • Have you got ANY current customers that you haven’t spoken to in over 3 months?

If you answered yes to any of these, your business isn’t ready for more leads. It just won’t benefit you. I know how that sounds, I really do. But new leads right now won’t help your business.

If anything, you’ll just be more stressed because you have new leads coming in which you need to work with. If you’re using leads to plug your revenue holes, your problem is not needing new leads.

You’re being lied to

How many times have you accepted a connection request on LinkedIn, only to have a stock message sent to you atoseconds after accepting?

Who the fuck said I had a problem with no leads? You’re like those emails telling me to buy pills for my junk.

Aside from copy/paste messages like this being FUCKING WEAK LEAD GENERATION (it’s like a fat fitness coach) and highly irritating, they can make you feel like you need more leads. Like you’re missing out.

And these types of messages are frequent as hell.

I help people get leads via some kind of system.

The problem isn’t new leads. The problem is probably something deeper. And all the Facebook ads, webinars, emails, posts, messages and blogs talking about lead generation are pointing you in the wrong direction.

Remember, what have you done with the last leads you were given? Did you close them? Did you even send the proposal? Was it the perfect client? Do you want to work with that again or more? Do you want more of that client?

At it’s core, the reason I believe lead generation is massively overrated is because we don’t fully commit to the leads and customers we have already. You’re not maximising the spend and value per current customer.

Moving as many customers as you can onto recurring revenue products and services. Upselling them to high ticket products, cross-selling other services to them. And if you only have 5 customers, or 1 customer, then you have less of an excuse because you should be talking with them once a week.

“But Mike, I don’t want more of my current customers! They don’t pay well, they’re tough to work with and I don’t like the projects. I want different leads.”

In that case, your problem isn’t lead generation, your problem is defining your leads. Your problem, as I mentioned above in the introduction, is defining the qualifiers and niche that you’re going after.

The reason I don’t worry about lead generation, is because I know that the clients I attract are either a) from a referral or b) attracted to the work I do with clients.

If I dedicate as much time and value to my customers as I can, and get them epic results, the leads will take care of themselves.

I’m not saying leads aren’t important…

“But Mike, I literally have NO leads. Surely I need leads to start my business?!”

New leads are like seeds. If you’ve got the right pots and soil and you want to grow chili peppers, you need to plant those seeds and let them grow. Most people struggle to keep one chili plant alive and healthy.

There’s no point in trying to take too much on at once. If you try to grow too many chilis you’ll just neglect all of them. You’ll get more chili peppers than you’ll know what to do with if you nurture just ONE plant really well.

And, those chili peppers will give you MORE plants. But again, if you’re not set up to handle those future seeds, they’ll only go to waste.

If you want more leads, we need to address why you want more leads.

Leads won’t solve the problem

“Sales cures all”

Mark Cuban

Mostly true, mostly. Sales does cure the majority of problems. However, LEADS aren’t sales. And, is it really that you need leads, or sales?

Do you need revenue? Or profit? Are you suffering from a lack of time? Or that no one seems to want to buy your stuff?

WHY do you want new leads? Why do think that leads will solve the problem? What’s the pain point in your business that you’re suffering from? Is that likely to be cured by more leads?

In APEX Campaigns we talk about how lead generation is an expensive, costly and time intensive act. It’s important for some businesses. But most service businesses like funnel builders should really be nurturing their current partners and customers.

If you want more leads because you’re busy, that’s almost certainly not going to help. You’re only going to get more busy. Sounds obvious, but I know a lot of businesses who think they can market their way out of a productivity problem.

  1. Have a think about why you think you need more leads.
  2. Can you handle more leads? If not – you have a scale problem.
  3. If you have customers already, but you want more leads, you’re either not nurturing them enough OR you have a qualification problem.
  4. If your lead generation doesn’t happen automatically, you probably don’t have a defined niche.

These are just some ideas. I’d be more than happy to talk these points out. You can join my Facebook group here and ask me to elaborate. Or check out my training below on how to find customers if you do need them.

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Mike Killen

Mike is the world's #1 sales coach for marketing funnel builders. He helps funnel builders sell marketing funnels to their customers. He is the author of From Single To Scale; How single-person, small and micro-businesses can scale their business to profit. You can find him on Twitter @mike_killen.