It is funny how some people prospect for sales leads. Over the last year and a half we have taken our website and online marketing very seriously. Part of this has included SEO (search engine optimization) and content marketing in order to "Get Found" on search engine.
It seems the more we get found the more we are sold "SEO and Getting Found Services". Here is a big sales mistake we see a lot of companies doing, heck we to have been guilty of this early on. This sales mistake is not understanding how to prospect for leads/clients. If you are prospecting in the wrong areas, you will never find that golden client you are searching for.
So back to the mistake these "SEO experts" are making. Ok so if you are an SEO expert, the best place for you to prospect is not online searches. For those of you unfamiliar with SEO, here's what this means: these seo experts are finding companies that are already being found via search engines. Granted could they use more help? Some of them, but in our case we rank pretty high in the search engines and are getting found all the time. That would be like me personally looking for clients in a design magazine or a marketing association. These people already do what we are selling.
No if we are selling design the the marketing association members and marketing services to the design people this might be a great fit. Honestly though we really do not like design and marketing (industry) associations for anything more then socializing. It is not were we prospect.
So all you SEO companies, google is not your hot-bed of sweet leads. You'd be better off looking in the yellow pages and calling everyone that had an ad. These people need SEO help and probably have a budget.
The problem is most companies making this mistake are either young and green to business and sales, lazy or maybe overseas. You see it is very easy to use a computer to send out mass emails or form submissions to prospect. And although these people are playing a numbers game, I would bet the lead to close ratio is very small because they don't know their audience and are selling the wrong solution to the people they are going after.
Sales is very similar to marketing in that sense- if you do not know your target audience, it doesn't matter what technique you use, you will fail. By no means am I saying online prospecting isn't effective, it is highly effective for certain businesses. Web designers for example. I can see that your site sucks so now I know you are in need of my service. Again, though, this is not something that can be done by a bot or some other machine. It needs to be done by a trained human. So prospecting takes work, do not take the easy route. Put in some blood, sweat and tears and your sales will be much higher with your quality due dilligence and hard work.