Debt Settlement Client Results

Unfortunately, from time to time we bring on a new client who simply prefers to do business the old fashioned way. They call us, place an order, receive leads and then we don’t hear from them again until the order is filled. As a general rule, we check with all of our clients at least halfway through their order to ensure they are receiving all the leads we have sent and that there aren’t any obvious problems (posting, bad numbers, etc.), amongst other things. Experience has shown us that sometimes there can be problems, especially when you rely on technology. This helps avoid issues and certainly helps us with quality control.

Some clients prefer to be left alone and some are willing to keep the lines of communication open. Typically, when we don’t hear from someone if we reach out, it’s a sign of a company that is new to the business, and more often than not when we follow up with them months or years down the line they are no longer in business. I’m not saying that this is the reason why, but I am saying that this is a very big sign as to why it might be. Seasoned vets know how Internet marketing works and they understand that it’s all about creating a relationship and not treating a new relationship like a transaction. If you decided to order leads with a provider, hopefully you spent some time and did your homework on them. Time is money and if you are spending it, you’d better be sure you do everything in your power to make sure you get the most of it.

Okay, enough with the boring stuff, here is the nitty gritty.

Client A (which is what we’ll call them here) ordered 50 Debt Settlement leads from us about 1 month ago. Halfway through the order, we called them 2-3 times just to see how things were going. No response. On top of that, their office number was never answered by anyone. It usually went to a generic message machine, and a few times it went to a cell phone with a generic message and a different number! Odd, we thought. Three-quarters of the way through the order, we reached out again. Still no response and still different and odd voicemails, no receptionist and no answer. Regardless, the order was filled and still no response. We can’t help but wonder if they even received any of the leads we sent at this point. Instead of cutting them off, we decided that we would put them on what we call a drip campaign and send them free leads just in case they weren’t satisfied with what they did get. At about 110 leads, we stopped and reached out again:

“Client A, we sent you over 100 leads and you still have not responded. We went the extra mile for you, can you please show us some appreciation and at least tell us what happened with what we sent? Were they good, bad, barely decent…tell us something!”

Finally, the client responded:

Honestly, the contact ratios were horrendous. I wanted them to work more than you did. We deal with many Internet providers and I can say this was one of our worst experiences. Even the people we got a hold of were on the phone with other companies or asked to be removed.  I thank you for trying but it just wasn’t a good experience for us.

Much of this response simply didn’t make sense. The first thing that came to my mind was that they mentioned the contact ratio and not the closing ratio. While I realize that the contact ratio is important, it’s not the bottom line. The contact ratio is a metric that is used for fine tuning, gauging and comprehending. I wonder if they closed any sales? What happened? I reply:

How many did you close?

Their response:

5 so far.

If you had a lead provider that was willing to invest in your company blindly and send you free leads until you started to see a hefty ROI, wouldn’t you nurture and respect that relationship? The last thing you do is tell them that their leads aren’t good enough! They closed 10% of what they ordered, and I’m still perplexed as to where the issue with the leads is. Typically, the seasoned veterans we work with would have called us up and gone over all the leads in an effort to figure out which publishers were working for them and which weren’t. Sometimes publishers work well with certain businesses and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes you close the first 5 deals and sometimes you close the last 5. It’s a numbers game and the only way you will ever figure it out or get a grip on it is if you pay attention to your numbers and analyze what those numbers tell you. A quote that sticks out in my mind is from Bill Gates’ book Business at the Speed of Thought. Gates says: “How you gather, manage and use information to serve your business, will determine whether you win or lose in business”. It’s true!

If you are reading this and buy leads on the Internet, please do yourself a favor and communicate with your lead provider. It totally blows my mind that there are business owners and CMOs out there who work like this.

Keep in mind that we filled this order inside of 3 weeks. Most of the leads we sent them (about 60) were in the last week. These were all exclusive and all real time. They still have, according to them, a lot more to contact and still possibly close.

In an email shortly after the ones mentioned above, the client reports that “most of the Internet lead providers show us a 12-18% closing ratio.” I’m not saying that is a flat-out lie, but I will say that 2-3 years ago when Debt Settlement was hot and business was booming, our best clients reported at most an 11-12% closing ratio. With all of the new regulations and the FTC cracking down on the debt settlement model, I find it very hard to believe that they are seeing that kind of return, especially when they aren’t answering their business line and it is routed to random cell phones. I’m just saying.

Why am I reporting this? Some of you might be thinking that I’m crazy to write this because the story above is a bad reflection on our lead quality, but I don’t think it is. We have the debt settlement vertical pretty dialed in, and we have a laundry list of clients who think our leads are great. Some start off great and some don’t. The difference lies not only in our efforts but in the lead buyer’s efforts as well. I also like to keep things transparent with our business and believe that my 11 years of experience can help some of you out there, especially if you are just starting out.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post and take something from it. Feel free to leave a comment and discuss. We would love to hear from you!