Lead generation has always been a real challenge for marketers, an obsession for many.  Billions have been spent on misguided, irrelevant and wasteful activity in the name of lead generation.

So, the question remains, how do you find and engage leads through a process resulting in a continuing stream of transactions?

These days there are all sorts of automated ways, tools, and techniques that promise, with the simple swipe of a credit card, to solve the old problem.

Here is some news: it doesn’t work.

Talking to a colleague last week about his lead generation, the conversation was initially around the tools, how best to use LinkedIn, adwords, and all the rest, but what was lacking was a guiding principal, an understanding of the real value that could be delivered to customers, how to articulate that value, and what would make the offer irresistible to the potential customer.

We got to talking about fishing, a challenge in lead generation of another sort. We are both keen and experienced dry fly fishermen, and have occasionally fished together over some hard to get at pieces of mountain stream.

We know which flies work in which circumstances, where the trout typically lurk at various times of the day under differing circumstances, and what may lure them into the open based on the natural feed we see around the river.

Based on that knowledge we make choices about the gear we use, the manner and timing of our attacks on the trout, and how persistent we will be in a particular spot.

Why should lead generation be any different?

Just paying for an ad, using a competition, or any one of the usual lead generation tactics without a crystal clear strategy and understanding of the context and current circumstances, would be like going to a random part of an unknown river and just picking a fly at random, and blindfolding ourselves while we cast.

Unlikely to be successful.

When fishing for leads, you need patience, discipline, skill and experience. When you tire of fishing blind, give me a call.