Lead vendors can be a great place to obtain quality leads that convert with relative ease into long-term clients. Not all lead vendors, though, are created equally. Some really wish to create a win-win situation between those looking for instance and insurance agencies. Others are in business to make a quick buck. When you’re buying Internet leads, they are the scammers you need to avoid. These 9 tips can show you how.
1. Check RipOffReport.com
RipOffReport.com is a site chock-full of news about consumer rip-offs, advice, a report directory, and a way to file a report. You can look up any business in the report directory and discover exactly what the consumer had to say about his or her experience. Since a business can’t please all of its customers all of the time, you might want to take just one or two reports with a grain of salt. If the reports are numerous, though, and if different agencies are complaining about the same scam, let the buyer be warned!
Before you sign a deal with a lead vendor, type the company name into Google and see what comes up. Another way is to type in the name followed by terms like “rip-off” or “scam.” If there’s dirt to be found, Google will find it.
3. Better Business Bureau
Checking on a company that sells Internet leads can be challenging, because their office isn’t usually located in the town where you practice business. Still, it doesn’t hurt to ask the vendor where their corporate office is located and make a quick call to the BBB. A reputable vendor won’t mind a bit.
4. Pre-Pay at Your Own Risk
Some fly-by-night companies accept your money and take off for parts unknown without ever providing you a single lead. If your intuition is telling you not to trust a company…don’t.
5. Pay by Credit Card Only.
If you use a credit card and are scammed, you can file a report with the credit card company to get your money back. If you send money another way, such as over the wire, and the lead vendor turns out to be dishonest, you’ve probably seen the last of it.
7. Get a Written Contract Signed by Both Parties
It’s an old lawyer’s joke that a verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. A written contract lays out clear expectations and terms of service. Make sure your contract covers states clearly how many quality leads you can expect. It’s also a good plan to cover the subject of leads with incorrect contact information or other “dud” leads, and how returns are handled.
8. Request a Sample Lead Format
Have your sales team look the lead format form over carefully to be sure it includes all the information they will need to follow up. Ideally, you should have the lead’s full name, two telephone numbers, a physical or mailing address, and an email address. Stipulate in your contract how much information needs to be present for the lead to be considered “complete.”
9. Get References
Ask the lead vendor if your sales team could speak to the teams of satisfied clients. A good vendor will be delighted to arrange this. A bad vendor will probably disappear into thin air.
Leads can be a powerful way to locate people interested in the product you are selling. It’s a wise idea, though, to vet your lead vendors thoroughly so that you aren’t on the receiving end of any nasty surprises.