At Tax Lead, we are the first to admit that all leads are not created equal. In fact, we normally classify leads into two separate categories: (1) Awareness Leads; and (2) Purchase Leads.
Awareness Leads are prospects who are not necessarily ready to buy right away. They are merely looking for information and may turn into a buyer somewhere down the road. They may be interested in downloading an ebook or a whitepaper on resolving tax issues. But for whatever reason, they are not currently ready to pay someone to tackle their tax issue for them. They may think they can handle the issue by themselves or maybe they don’t have the money to pay a professional. In either case, they are generally not ready to currently engage a tax professional. But tax issues don’t go away by themselves, so many of the prospects will be looking to hire a tax professional at some point in the future.
Now Purchase Leads are a little different. The prospect has a sense of urgency and is interested in discussing the issue with a tax professional and presumably will consider hiring that professional to address the tax problem. When someone wants to discuss the issue immediately, you would not want to offer them an ebook. You would want to offer them something that’s more purchase-oriented, like a free consultation.
Which Leads Are Better?
Well it is not too difficult to realize that Purchase Leads have a greater value. This is obvious. However, there is great value assigned to Awareness Leads when there is an effective follow-up process in place. Awareness Leads may not currently be great prospects, but we all know that many people procrastinate (based on fear, money, etc) when it comes to dealing with a tax problem. As a result, they may not be interested today, but there will likely be an event in future (like an IRS agent showing up at their house!) that will motivate them to hire a professional. So as long as you keep in contact with them via an autoresponder or the occasional phone call you should be the first person they will call.
The end result is that both lead types are valuable. Many tax firms don’t like Awareness Leads because of the longer sales cycle. Unfortunately, they are missing out on many quality prospects.