why is shit never easy?

Well I spoke to my lead provider on Friday and he said there wouldn’t be a problem with delivery until 8pm PST, which was definitely good news; however we have a slight problem.  He informed me lead cost has gone up an additional $5.00 per lead.  Now some of your may be thinking, “big deal, what’s 5 bucks?”  But when you multiply that a couple hundred times, it adds up to a lot of money quite quickly.  For a large company that is already established and has a lot of guys on the phone, it’s not as big of a deal as for a smaller operation like myself who is still on a tight budget.  At first these leads were $49 each, then they jumped up to $55, and now they are $60.

I’ve looked at my figures every which way and there is no way I can pay that price.  I’ll slowly go broke doing that.  $55 was pushing it and at $60, it won’t happen.

Nothing is ever easy right?

So I spoke to him about what else he offers.  He does live transfers for $35 each, and radio calls for $47 each.  He mentioned radio is very sketchy with lead delivery and he would not recommend them being my primary source, especially if I have someone else on the phone.  The live transfers are the cheapest, and he said I’d see conversions of 8-14%.  The only issue is that I’ve tried live transfers in the past and was not able to convert them at all.  The original live transfer company I dealt with was overseas (India) while this one is state-side, which may make a difference.

At $35 each, I’d be able to purchase plenty of leads for me and my first employee, but if the leads are not converting, it doesn’t matter how cheap they fucking are.  You could sell me leads for 5 bucks a pop, but if they convert at 0%, it does me no good.

So I’m facing a bit of a dilemma here.  I’m thinking I’ll talk to him a bit more about his live transfers tomorrow and possibly do a small trial to see how I like them.  If they turn out to be good, then place a larger order and get someone else in my office on the phone.  If they suck, then look into something else.

I told my buddy that I sat down with last Thursday to put some thought into what we talked about and to let me know what he wanted to do by next week.  It will take me a few days to get his computer and phone setup anyways, and during that time I can test out the leads to make sure they are good enough quality.

If the leads end up sucking, then I can just tell him to sit tight until I’m ready for him to come on board.

I’m not even sure if that’s what I’m going to do yet.  It’s looking like a more realistic expectation is that these TV leads are going to convert at 10%-15%, if they convert at only 10%, that’s a $600 cost per acquisition, which is way to fucking high.  It needs to be in the $200-$300 range.  You can survive if it’s under $500, but anything over that will make you go broke.

The main issue I have with the live transfer leads is that its outbound telemarketing, so these people aren’t overly motivated to get their shit taken care of; verses someone that calls in off of a TV or Radio commercial.  The person calling in is being proactive and already understands they need to do something, which is what is so good about those leads.

Live transfers are a different kind of pitch and a different type of sale.  It’s more of a boiler room mentality, and I hate selling that way.

I got a lot to talk about with my lead provider on Monday.  Hopefully I can come up with a solution.

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