Sunday, July 20, 2008

Buying Leads in Direct Sales

I think at least once daily someone asks “where can I buy leads for my MLM business?” I have both had my name bought and sold and I’ve bought leads, so my comments are based on real life experience.

I’ll start with my own name being bought and sold. I am always very careful when I sign up for “free information”. I either intentionally give myself a middle initial, or I misspell my name. I do this to track what offers I receive and from whom. Many years ago, my daughter actually submitted my name to a site that claimed they had lots of work at home information. Knowing I always loved to see the newest fads, my daughter submitted my name. She used her own first name as my middle name. The site itself spoke of work at home newsletters. What happened over the next 5 years was that I was inundated with offers. Five years later, folks were still buying and selling my name. Five years later I was still receiving offers from those hoping to recruit me. A few times I emailed the person that had postal mailed their offer to me and asked where they got my name and address. I was very nice in my emails. The responses I would get would just floor me. It was the same story over and over again. The person was sold my name and was told I was a “fresh lead”. In a few cases the person was even told my name was under one week old. When the name buyer would go to the company and ask for a refund on my name, they were told I lied to them, that I just must have changed my mind and that I was indeed a fresh lead. The fact that this happened so many times over a 5 year period told me that this was a common occurrence.

Please remember, my daughter originally signed me up to receive free work at home newsletters. It was not even a site saying “work at home opportunity”.

When you buy leads, you have no idea where the lead has come from. You don’t know what the person was responding to, what the person was thinking they would be getting, how old the lead is, or even how many others were sold the same name.

I have purchased leads exactly 3 times, each time from a different company. My results were the same each and every time. I met some very nice people but over and over again, I was told that they too had signed up to receive free information and had no idea that folks would be calling them with business opportunities. One woman I called, she and I just clicked, leading to a wonderful conversation. We developed a friendship. We still communicate today and its 10 years later. Over the years she would tell me each time she received a postcard with a business opportunity, or even a phone call from someone hoping to recruit her. She was also amazed at how many times her name was bought and sold.

I had some folks tell me that they received 6 phone calls all in one night saying “I understand you are seeking a business opportunity”. I’m fairly chatty, so folks, both men and women were comfortable to share with me the amount of calls they received and also some of the lines handed to them over the phone.

My suggestion is to seek other ways of finding those interested in learning about working at home and to skip buying names.

Audrey :)

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