What’s your best source of great leads for your small business?

Do you know?

Your business relies of leads. Leads that become qualified and then convert to sales. Without these leads, you will eventually lose all your clients and your business will go under – harsh but fair.

If you understand where your best leads come from, you can do more of that marketing. You will grow your business with a high return on investment from your marketing. Do you know your best source of leads for your business?  Is the source with the highest number of leads also the one that generates the most business?

Lots of leads isn’t always good!

This sounds like a strange thing to say, I know. But how many leads to you get that you qualify out pretty quickly or that simply lead nowhere?

Networking can be a great way of building your business, but it can also lead to a lot of wasted time and energy if things aren’t working properly. Let me talk you through what I mean here. I am going to use BNI for this example, but it can be the same no matter what flavour of formal networking group you work within.

I spent many years at BNI, both when I was employed as the Marketing Director at Managed Networks and then within SME Needs.  However, the number of leads I got far outstripped the amount of business generated. This was because people played the game, giving out referral slips so they hit their targets, but without ensuring they were proper referrals. Whilst leads can be useful, I would far rather they’d held onto the pink slip, warmed it up and then talked about the referral.

Quality over Quantity

I don’t know about you but I would rather have 10 good leads that convert to 7 qualified leads and some sales, than 30 leads that don’t go very far.  There is one key reason for this: time.

You only have a finite amount of time (assuming sleep, food and family feature in your needs somewhere). You have got to spend time marketing your business and generating sales, but you need to make the best use of your time that you can.  30 leads means:

  • 50-60 phone calls – at least (let’s say 5 mins each, as an average)
  • Lots of emails – 5 mins each again
  • An indetermined number of meetings – at least two hours, including travel time

This can easily add up to days of your time, so how do you minimise the amount of time lost to poor quality leads?


Where do your leads come from?  Do you have a record? Do you know which marketing channels are working for you and which aren’t?

best source of leads

We all love getting leads from our marketing, but we don’t like the ones that lead nowhere. If one, or more, of your marketing channels are generating leads that are mostly poor quality, there is something wrong and it needs fixing. If you don’t know where your leads are coming from, how will you fix it?


  1. Find out what marketing channel developed each lead. If in doubt, ask the prospect.
  2. Record that information in a way that it can be measured (we have a spreadsheet that we are happy to share –get in touch)
  3. Review the results periodically, including looking at when your leads are dying. The faster you identify this, the sooner you can do something about it.

We hope this helps