When generating more leads is NOT the solution

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Generating leads“Hi Simon, how’s business? You busy?” asked Dave.

Simon sighed. “I’m doing ok … but I could do with more work, to be honest.”

“What’s the problem?” Dave encouraged Simon to open up.

“It’s seems obvious,” Simon admitted, “I need to generate more leads. If I had more prospects to speak with … well, it’s a numbers game, you know? … Things would be much easier if I could just find more prospects.”

Simon’s situation is played out in so many businesses all over the country … actually, all over the world.

Maybe you’ve been there too? (Maybe you’re still there?!)

What’s more, not only is his situation familiar to many, so is his diagnosis of his problem.

At face value, what Simon’s saying seems plausible, doesn’t it? If he doesn’t have enough clients, then surely he’s got to focus on generating more leads?

Sadly, for many people like Simon, that conclusion is going to send them further into the “busyness delusion”. They’ll get even busier, doing what they believe to be right, and yet will continue to get the same frustrating results.

How come?

Because for Simon – and for many like him – the problem is not a lack of leads.

The real problem is that he doesn’t have a clear, compelling offer, described in a way that people want to engage with.

And to make matters worse, he doesn’t have a reliable method to convert his prospects into clients. He likes to think he’s ok at selling, and so he enjoys “winging it” in conversations.

Without a clear message, his prospects are uninterested at best, confused at worst.

Without a reliable method of sales conversion, his selling efforts are inefficient at best, and ineffective at worst.

He thinks his problem is “lead generation” so he gets busy trying all sorts of tactics.

His real problem is a weak conversion capability (starting with his offer!).

And here’s the kicker … generating more leads makes his problem WORSE!

Simon will (if his busyness pays off) end up with more confused prospects. Those prospects will then have an experience of him that hurts him.

He’s busy generating more confused prospects.

He’s made the wrong diagnosis, and is solving the wrong problem.

Hopefully that’s not the case for you … but it’s worth some thought.


When you’re creating leads and attracting prospects, do you have a clear message?

Is it a message that your audience easily understands?

Does it describe a solution they really want? (Why do they want it?)

And … if they we so interested they wanted to have a conversation with you, do you have a reliable way to move them from “prospect” to “client”?


He doesn’t realise it yet, but Simon would have enough income if he improved his offer and increased his price. He’d need only 8 clients each month, and he’d have enough income for financial security.

Right now, he thinks he needs 12 clients. (That’s 50% more … which is a big difference.)

He doesn’t know his conversion rates because he doesn’t measure them. This is why he’s made his wrong (and potentially fatal) diagnosis.

But the good news is that Simon is a fictional character – a representation of so many people running a small business. And, as he’s fictional, “we” (the audience watching his performance) know that his conversion rate is actually 15%.

If he knew this he’d be shocked.

(Do you know yours?!)

So, for Simon to have the 12 clients he thinks he needs, he must generate 80 leads each month (because 80 x 15% = 12 clients).

No wonder he thinks he needs to be busy generating leads!

Yet … with a clear message, a better offer that his market understood and wanted, and a reliable (tested and improved) way of converting prospects into clients … let’s just say he could be approaching a 40% conversion rate.

What’s the effect of this?

To get his (reduced) 8 clients each month he only needs to create 20 leads (because 20 x 40% = 8 clients).

Just 20 leads, attracted by a clear message, a clear offer and converted into good clients via a proven method.

Or 80 leads, generated by a lot of distracted activity, shaken up by inconsistent and confusing messages, making conversions hard.

80, the hard way … or 20 quality leads, the smooth, calm, effective way. Without being so busy.

Isn’t it a shame Simon can’t see this?

He’s going to be very busy for a long time to come.

Without the results he wants.

Are you like Simon?


This is a guest blog by Chris Gardener.

Chris is co-founder of Strategic Mentors. They specialise in working with busy, often overwhelmed, self-employed people, whose financial situation is very up and down, which makes everything unsettled and uncertain. Chris provides them with certainty of monthly income, through step-by-step guidance, joining a community of people just like themselves and providing personal mentoring, all delivered through a Financial Security Program, which guarantees to get them monthly financial security, which they typically achieve in 6-12 months.

Chris is also author of The Busyness Delusion, available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle. A guide for self-employed and small business owners, it follows Simon’s story, from realising he can’t keep being so busy (without good enough results), to meeting his mentor, Frank, who shows him a smarter, easier, more certain way to achieve what he wants. We watch as Simon takes in the lessons, and attempts to put them into practice, sometimes succeeding, sometimes making mistakes. Find out more here.