A Choice Between IT ‘Top of Mind sales Leads’ and ‘Latent Needs’ Prospects is a Straw Man Argument

strawmanRecently I was on a conference call with a computer business owner discussing his marketing plans and going over our technology telemarketing plans.  After explaining the difference between prospects that have ‘Top of Mind’ needs versus prospects that have ‘Latent’ needs, he told me that this was basic information and he called it Sales Leads 101.  I was confused because most computer consultants that do marketing don’t understand the difference.  They normally expect the telemarketing team to find ‘Top of Mind’ it sales leads but they should be getting ‘Top of Mind’ leads through it lead generation by sending out post cards, email marketing, SEO marketing, referrals etc…  Then he hit me with a bomb, he said he could get a telemarketing firm for just $600 a month to get him 22 leads.

He was setting me up to try to sell him by overcoming a false choice or a straw man argument.  The idea that he should choose between this $600 marketing plan and our $2900 telemarketing plan.

I had to think a little bit about how the 22 leads for $600  was possible…  Then I tried to make sure he really knew how they were supposed to be generating all those leads for him.  It turns out that really this other firm was sending out post cards, email marketing, internet marketing and then when the leads come through they convert them into appointments.  When the discovery came out I asked him why he wasn’t doing that for free himself?

In reality sending out post cards, emails and internet marketing are all easier then cold calling to get appointments.  I believe that it services marketing firms should be doing all this themselves.  However, if they decide to pay an outside firm to do all those things for them then then don’t need to decide between that and hiring a cold calling firm to get technology sales leads for them.

The really Big question was could this other firm really get 22 ‘Top of Mind’ leads by using these techniques?  The idea that there could really be 22 people a month in one market that are ready to switch and are fed up with what ever they have in place for IT is ridiculous.  If they said they could find 5 or 6 a month I might believe that.