The Leads Suck

“The leads suck.” “That lead is a dog.”

These are common refrains from salespeople receiving company-supplied leads.Yet all too many salespeople wholly rely on company-furnished leads for their business development.

It wasn’t always so

Today’s car salespeople depend on traffic driven to the dealerships. During slow periods, they wait for the next “up,” the next prospect walking through the door.It wasn’t always so.

The 1923 sales manual,Ford Products and Their Sale, included “Forty Points to Observe in Selling,” including:

  1. Scanning newspapers for changes in management in local businesses
  2. Checking the local papers for births, marriages, deaths
  3. Conducting house-to-house canvasses

Can you imagine a car salesperson going door-to-door to identify opportunities to sell cars today?

Have Salespeople become too civilized?

In the movie “Rocky III,” Mickey resists training Rocky to fight Clubber Lang. Why? Mickey tells him, “Well, Rock, let’s put it this way. Now, three years ago you was supernatural. You was hard and you was nasty and you had this cast-iron jaw but then the worst thing happened to you that could happen to any fighter. You got civilized.” 

“Getting civilized” led Rocky to a crushing defeat in his first Clubber Lang fight. Getting civilized is also a huge problem for many successful salespeople.

Civilization is a two-edged sword. It provides identity, a sense of belonging, security and tremendous opportunities inherent in the free exchange of ideas and services.

However, civilized behavior also can be the business developer’s worst enemy, causing them to stop following the behaviors that brought them success – cold calls, introductions, persistence in the face of resistance.

Are you blocking the superhighway?

When being asked to instituted a program to get one introduction a month, a salesperson complained, “You don’t understand. I have been working here 22 years I take great care of my customers. They call me, I do what they need. I wasn’t hired to bring in new opportunity. Asking me to do that isn’t fair.”

This salesperson is blocking the superhighway.The greatest source of new business usually is introductions from very satisfied customers, from your “big fans.”Salespeople are entrusted with prospects and customers for wise management, including securing introductions.When salespeople secure their own leads, they aren’t saying, “The leads suck.”

Getting from here to there – the ethos of the heroic salesperson

The ethos of the heroic salesperson is one way to effect this cultural change and harvest the introductions lying dormant within your big fans.Celebrate the heroic salesperson who leaves convention and safety behind and sets out boldly into the uncertainty of business development.

This change isn’t for the faint hearted. Expecta three- to four-month change process and plenty of complaints and probably resistance

With successful implementation you will hear the cash register ring with sales instead of hearing, “The leads suck.”

Join Andy for his next sales seminar:

“Call me Back in 2 Week” – Now What?

October 29 7:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Holiday Inn – Clark

Register at: