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How many leads do you (really) need?

“I need more leads.”

“How do I get 300 people on a webinar?”

“I need to build a big audience.”

“I need to reach more strangers and get them onto an email list.”

4 different conversations this week. All saying the same thing.

I think the conversation I had *last* week, where my client observed: “If I had an email list with 100,000 people on it, I wouldn’t be worried about lead generation” kinda summarizes the prevailing thinking when it comes to marketing.

Successful marketing means “getting lots of leads.”

Sales is a “numbers game.”

And yet.

My further inquiry: how many more *clients* do you need? Resulted in these responses:

  • About 3 per month
  • Well…1 big one
  • 6 by the end of the year (it’s May as I write this)
  • 12 total

My clients are trusted advisors. They work with a small number of clients over an extended period of time.

The IDEA that you need LOTS of leads is planted by online marketing experts who work with high volume businesses

Coaches who are scaling their business to 7 figures by selling group programs or courses are high volume businesses.

$1 million per year looks like:

  • $2,000 online course = 500 buyers per year
  • $500/month group program = 166 members + replacements for churn
  • $20/month membership = 4,150 members + replacements for churn

These models require lots of leads.

Not only that – but at that volume and those price points – it’s impossible to offer a high level of personal touch in the sales and marketing process and still be profitable.

This is where online marketing (advertising, funnels, online order forms) comes in.

If you need 150 buyers and you have a conversion rate of 5% (which would be *excellent*) – you need 3,000 leads.

If you need 4,000 buyers and you have a conversion rate of 1% (about average for online marketing) – you need 400,000 leads.

But if you’re a trusted advisor with a low volume, high touch, long engagement business model – you really only need a small number of high quality leads.

And when you need fewer leads, you can (and should!) be more personal in your approach – which results in a *much* higher conversion rate.

You don’t need to have a sales conversation with 100 high-quality leads to land one client.

Many of my clients have an 80% (or even higher) “close rate” when they talk to prospective clients who match their ideal client profile.

So let’s do the math.

Let’s say you need 10 clients this year.

  • At an 80% close rate, you’d need 12 or 13 leads.
  • At at 50% close rate, you’d need 20 leads.
  • At a 10% close rate, you’d need 100 leads sales training.

How does this shift your thinking about what would be most effective in terms of marketing?

Do you really need a “huge email list” or would you be better off connecting with fewer people in a more personal manner?

Too many of us (I speak for myself as well here) are lured into thinking that we need to become mini-celebrities, grow an enormous audience, and reach the masses in order to have a successful advisory practice.

Evidence (and logic) (and math) says otherwise.

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