On this 223rd episode of my Monday Morning Pep Talk, I will discuss an opportunity that most sales professionals miss while growing their business. Most sales professionals do not completely track and/or analyze where their business originates. During this episode I'll introduce a new term that I call a "Seed Lead" and I'll discuss its importance and where it fits into your overall sales funnel.
First, let me give you the definition of a "Seed Lead.” It's a lead, in the context of sales, a potential customer or client who has expressed interest in your services for the first time but is not a referral from someone in your network of private clients, transaction partners or local referral partners. These individuals might have engaged with you through your marketing efforts, emailed you, called you, texted you, direct-messaged you, or shown interest through various channels, indicating a potential opportunity to engage with you and your services. A seed lead is important because this type of lead is an introduction to an entirely different and new sphere of influence. They become the "seed" that could start a new "referral tree,” which is a network of new clients that could grow over the course of your business. The sales professional with the most active referral trees grows their business the quickest and has the strongest foundation.
In MMPT #210 (Take Flight: Marketing and Its Importance to Your Business), I asked you to look at your business like an orchard full of referral trees that bear fruit with the fruit being your closed transactions. You don't bear fruit unless you plant the seeds which become the "point of origination" for your orchard. The beauty of an orchard (your business) is that the individual trees and branches in the orchard (your clients) continue to bear fruit season after season if they are cared for consistently (watering and pruning). You get to decide how large your orchard is through the amount of trees you plant and the care you give the trees (The Law of Compensation).
The point of this call today is to remind you of the importance to track where your seed leads originate. When you know this data and are able to analyze it, you can now decipher where to spend your marketing dollars, your effort and your time which will give you the biggest ROI (return on investment). Some of the most productive sales professionals forget this simple process. Here is what you need to do every time a new client enters your pipeline ("point of origination"):
- Take copious notes in order to capture contact information and how they found you. The "how" is your marketing strategy that originated that seed lead.
- Immediately capture that information in your database using the segmentation or tagging option your database provides. This is the step most sales professionals skip.
- If it was an introduction/referral, make a note of who and track that person back to the point of origination. What marketing strategy created the original "seed lead". Tag as a "referral" and the appropriate seed lead source.
- Use that segmentation or tagging mechanism to sort your seed leads by lead source.
- Identify your top 3 which we reference in Take Flight as your "3 Rocks of Marketing.”
- Focus your marketing dollars, time and effort into your "3 Rocks of Marketing.”
- Pull this list each quarter to analyze the most effective marketing strategies for your business. By analyzing your seed leads quarterly, you may identify new and emerging marketing strategies. When I was selling, social media was not in most people's top 3 but now it is non-negotiable for everyone.
For more on "3 Rocks of Marketing,” revisit MMPT #211 from Take Flight V4.0.
If you are sitting here as someone who has not "tracked their seed leads,” my suggestion is to go back through all of your transactions for the last 3 years and track back to the point of origination. Remember, a referral doesn't count unless it comes from a national network. For those of us at Sotheby's International Realty, a significant set of "seed leads" could come from our efforts and networking within the brand. If you don't want to go back 3 years, go back through 25 transactions. 25 transactions should give you a sample size of data large enough to analyze where to put your marketing dollars, effort and time. At a minimum, start tracking now so you can have data to analyze in 2025 and 2026.
Running a business requires the collection and analyzation of data. If you don't collect where your "seed leads" originate, you are wasting an incredibly important opportunity to maximize your ROI and ROT (return on time). Put this in the category of a high impact, easy to execute and low-cost strategy that will drive your business. If you don't track your lead sources, do you really have a business or do you have a hobby?