📄 How to generate leads - numbers game or people game?

In order to generate clients for your coaching or consulting business, you can generally do that either with marketing, or with lead-generation.

And if the latter is your method of choice, and you're willing to do cold outreach, there's two fundamentally different ways of doing it.

The first and most common one is when people play a numbers game.

That's when you get those messages in your LinkedIn inbox.

“Hey, I have this thing that I know will really help you! Let's talk!"

Followed by another message: "Just checking in!" and then "Circling back!" and then "Following up here...", and you know:

You’re in somebody’s automated lead generation funnel. (By the way, when you do need to do followup, remember this bit: 📄 Why you should never check in with a buyer, and what to do instead.)

Anyway, when you get those messages, you know that somebody is playing a number's game, and you're one of the numbers.

It’s not that it’s wrong, but in my opinion, it’s not right either.

I mean: it’s automated, impersonal, mechanical.

It doesn’t feel nice, to be in that kind of funnel, I don't consider it a nice way to treat people.

Now, I’m not a lead generation expert, but I’ve spent many (many!) hours figuring out how to play a ‘people-game’, as opposed to a numbers game, and generate leads for myself.

How do I do it?

I simply carefully, manually, review people that I think I can help - before I get in touch.

I study their website, their social channels, I look them up on Youtube, I try and get a picture of who that person or business is or might be.

In other words, as per my dictum: I try to ‘learn people’, and I start doing that before I ever send a message.

The consequence is that once I do show up with a message, I can write things that prove that I’ve invested time in them.

They cannot possibly think “Gah, more automated stuff”, because I’ll be saying things to them - about them, about their business, their copy or their website - that prove, at the very first point of contact, that this is actually personal, and not automated.

The result?

Instead of negative reactions (or none at all), I get appointments, reactions, feedback, clients, and even people saying “Thank you for doing this absolutely cold outreach”.

And yeah, it’s a costly process, to review dozens of websites a day, to only find one or two people I should be talking to.

Is it worth it, though?

Don’t know, you tell me:

One result was someone who signed up for my ethical sales training, who then became a coaching client, who referred another coaching client, and who now is a revenue share partner.

That week that I spent, to find just a handful of leads, with one gem in there, was very lucrative, and is now - two years later - still paying dividends in term of hard cash and commissions.

Of course, results like that are not typical, and it takes a long time to get good at learning people from a distance.

But as a business owner who truly cares, I would much rather play a people game, instead of a numbers game.

What about you?

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