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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 rep for a media company, confident with the assurances her interviewer had given her about the sales support she'd receive. Sometime in her first week on the job-between watching training videos, getting her cubicle arranged just so and meeting the other reps-she got her first look at the extensive lead-generating system she'd rely on for prospecting: the phone book. Her sales manager 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-generation methods range from direct-response advertising and dialing for dollars to direct mail, Web inquiries and referrals. In the past few years, companies providing fee-based leads databases have become another option in the war for qualified prospects. The services typically charge a monthly fee per user, and some require setup fees.

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