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Follow the Lead

Tired of your no-cost methods for finding leads not yielding hot prospects? Maybe it's time to pay for a sure thing.

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This story appears in the May 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The poor woman looked stricken. She'd just hired on as a repfor a media company, confident with the assurances her interviewerhad given her about the sales support she'd receive. Sometimein her first week on the job-between watching training videos,getting her cubicle arranged just so and meeting the other reps-shegot her first look at the extensive lead-generating systemshe'd rely on for prospecting: the phone book. Her salesmanager recommended she start from, get this, the back of the book,a method sure to unlock the powers of this fabulous resource.

You may laugh, but how do you get your leads? Lead-generationmethods range from direct-response advertising and dialing fordollars to direct mail, Web inquiries and referrals. In the pastfew years, companies providing fee-based leads databases havebecome another option in the war for qualified prospects. Theservices typically charge a monthly fee per user, and some requiresetup fees.

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