In the process of lead generation, there is a need to evaluate. This is not limited to evaluating the interest and budget of a prospect. You can also evaluate the prospect’s current situation to see if their interests align with what they are really missing. That in turn though actually means your lead generation strategy involves a bit of critiquing on your part.
Critiques Via Lead Generation Should Be Constructive
In the accounting software business, criticizing the tool can easily lead to criticizing the user. How? One good reason is that certain accounting functions are a complimentary extension of the user’s own accounting skills. If you are going to adapt this critical approach for lead generation, never forget that criticism must always be constructive.
This is why, at first glance, criticism does not sound like the best way to generate sales leads, accounting or payroll software leads. You want to appease a prospect as best as you can to maintain their interest. Pointing out flaws constantly and without permission sounds more like a plan to poison a lead generation campaign, not nurture it.
The technique is not just about staying content with permission either. Your lead generation strategy should make sure your criticism is something that your prospect can apply (and hopefully, with the added assistance of your own products). The requires keeping it in check. That requires suggesting alternatives that are only doable. Do not just tell them everything that is wrong about the current state of their tech.
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When you go overboard with criticism, it is when you ask the prospect to do the impossible. Do not be deceived by the celebrities who use confrontational, stress-inducing tactics that claim to best ‘draw out potential’. If you want your lead generation strategy to market you as an industry expert and established critic, learn to know when you will be asking for the impossible:
- 1. Can they afford it? – A classic marketing mistake is to suggest a nice, fancy solution but not seeing your suggestion through the eyes of prospects who cannot afford. In fact, this is such a classic lead generation error, it is running gag in every jab against the business world. Who has not seen a parody of salesmen who promote products only to have a nice fat price tag at the end of their pitch.
- 2. Do they agree with it? – In software lead generation, there is a difference between a prospect who is not impressed and one who does not understand why they should be. The former has good reasons to disagree while the latter still needs to find reasons. Unless you understand whatever underlying world view is behind their perception of you, prevent your lead generation campaign from coming off as offensive.
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- 3. Is it something you can do? – Finally, if you want your criticism to blow up in your face, suggest something you cannot even accomplish yourself. During lead generation campaigns, do not respond recklessly to those who complain by ‘challenging’ them to do something about it. Make sure you can demonstrate how easy it is and how doable it is for a prospect lest you be the worst of hypocrites.
Done right, good critiques can give you a lead generation strategy that lands you at the top of industry expertise.
Done wrong and the same lead generation plan will turn you into an object of scorn for everyone you approach.
Therefore, make sure to always offer constructive criticism when evaluating accounting software leads and suggest only the things that are quite doable.