Prospecting Tools vs. Lead Generation

Recently, I’ve been bombarded with tools and software from different “gurus” that are being marketed as “lead generation” tools.

Some of the headlines read:

  • Grab Red Hot Leads
  • Grab Hungry Leads
  • Grab Hot Leads By The Truck Load
  • Powerful Lead Generation Tool

I was thinking about this over breakfast and catching up on some reading. Check out the Wikipedia definition of a “sales lead“. The true definition of a sales lead is a person or entity that has expressed an interest in your product or service.

Many of the tools and services being hyped or marketed online today are “prospecting tools”.

The line between a lead and a prospect has certainly become blurred and I’m not certain online marketers are making it any easier.

On a lighter note, I was amused this morning to find a post on a popular Internet marketing forum from a company in India that provides web development and Internet marketing services. They were asking for ideas on how to generate leads for their websites. Ironic that an online marketing company is asking for ideas on generating leads when they trying to help customers potentially do the same.

While many tools that are scraping data, compiling it as a “sales lead”, there are many services, companies, and software that by definition generate a qualified sales lead according the Wikipedia definition.

What are your thoughts? Has the line between true lead generation and prospecting become blurred? What are your thoughts on lead generation and prospecting online?

Prospecting Tools vs. Lead Generation

 

Craigslist Phone Authentication and Internet Marketing

It’s March 31st, 2010 and my stats indicate that nearly 40% of all my inbound traffic this month is related to craigslist phone authentication not working. It’s amazing how many Internet marketers or Craigslist users are trying to figure out to work around the phone authentication issue.

I’d like to propose one thought on why this is such a big issue¬† right now; Too many online marketers put all their eggs in one basket. Lots of folks discovered that Craigslist was a good marketing alternative to understanding how to use Google or some of the other major search engines, directories, blogs, classified ads, or other marketing tools.

Now, Craigslist has implemented phone authentication which for many does not appear to be working at all and I have not seen one valid work-around or a post that would indicate someone has figured out how to get around Craigslist phone authentication.

So where does that leave the folks that have staked their entire online business model with Craigslist? Time to try something different. I’m guessing that some creative folks out there will develop a Craiglist alternative or develop a list of really good classified ad sites.

It’s never good to put all your eggs in one basket, just as many marketers discovered when Google turned off their Adwords account for no understandable reason.

Marketers used numerous classified ad sites before Craigslist so why would they have stopped? Craigslist was too easy. If online marketing was easy, everyone would be doing it. Online marketing takes time, effort, and some good old fashioned hard work from time to time.

Here’s my advice if your business is crashing because you can’t authenticate your Craigslist account. Try something different. Don’t stand by and watch your business tank, and what ever you do in the future plan on being more diversified in your traffic sources.

See my original article and thread here: Craigslist Phone Authentication

Shameless plug for two classified ad sites: