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Why You’re Driving Good Leads Away

Say you’re wandering around the mall. A product in a window display catches your eye and you head towards that store. Just before you step through the door, a clerk stops you and asks for your name, email address and phone number. “I just wanted to look around,” you say in befuddlement. But the clerk is insistent. She won’t let you step foot in the store without giving her that information.

Pretty weird way to run a business, right? If a company operated like that, just imagine how many potential customers they’d scare off at the door.

Unfortunately, many B2B companies do operate that way. Of course, they don’t physically stop anyone at their doorstep. But they do tease potential customers to come look at videos, demos or whitepapers…only to require that they hand over their contact info before they’re given anything useful.

This is nothing new–companies have been doing this for years. And on the surface, it seems like a fair trade–you give me some of your information and I’ll give you some of mine. But more and more prospects are wise to this game and they know it’s not the fair trade that it appears to be. Especially these days…

Think about it. What can look like a “fair trade” to the vendor can seem like a steaming pile of risk to the prospect. In trade for a quick seven minute read of a white paper (that they’re not even sure is useful to them), they know they could be providing this company with almost unfettered access to their inbox, office phone and voicemail. Is that seven minutes worth weeks of fending off unwanted phone calls and emails?

Worse yet, these prospects could be ideal customers. They could easily resonate with the solution outlined in that white paper and have no problem talking to a salesperson on the phone or even setting up a meeting… But a lead capture form stands in the way of them ever discovering that.

So think twice about making prospects jump through hoops to access the information you provide. A quest to capture more leads might just be driving the good ones away.

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