When selecting a lead, keep in mind whether the lead matches the client profile in your market.  If you are a DJ specializing in high-end weddings and receive a lead in your market area that specifies a budget of $300 to $500, the likelihood is you should purchase it unless there are other compelling factors that will help you determine if the party planner is a viable prospect. The client may not be aware of what’s available in the area.

Is there other information about the prospective client that will help you determine if it is a good lead to purchase? If you are working in a market area that provides platinum weddings and demands high prices with people looking for top quality, then your leads should reflect that.

Lead Selection Criteria

Can you be helpful to the client beyond the services you are offering them? Do you have knowledge of the market area? Can you be a referral source for that client? Not only are clients looking at price and what your service has to offer, but how you will make the event successful.

For example, let’s say you are a florist in a market area with five or six banquet halls that you have great connections with. If the client leads are looking for a number of vendors in your marketplace, you could be the person giving them these referrals.

Many times price gets thrown out of the factor when you can offer addition value to a prospective client.
Will a client view you as a value to their event or are they simply purchasing a commodity? If the party planner is looking for advice and assistance, and you provide that, the value you bring to the client is worth a lot more than the price tag.

If someone is just shopping for the bottom line and looking for the cheapest price out there, that lead may not be beneficial for you unless you can turn that person from being a commodity shopper into someone who is looking for additional guidance and advice.

Evaluating Lead Potential

Some cautionary phrases to keep in mind when you are reviewing a lead:
“Our event is on a tight budget.” This should be a clear sign that they are price shopping.
“We are looking for the best deal and we can do a lot of it ourselves.” Are they just pumping you for information? It may still be worthwhile to move forward and determine how much they are trying to do themselves.

It’s important not to let the initial budget prevent you from following up on a lead that has potential. Oftentimes, planners who are early in the process will throw a number out that isn’t really relevant to their plans, simply because they’re uneducated about prices.

Maybe their idea of “we are trying to do it ourselves” is they do not know how to hire a professional event planner and are trying to plan the event themselves. Perhaps the desired price they’ve listed is more wishful thinking than a carefully planned budget.

Look at the market area, look at what the client is trying to do and determine from all the available information if this is the right lead to purchase.

Other Considerations

Is the budget misaligned with the event? Does the person truly understand what they are looking for? I am located in a high resort area. It is a great attraction for brides because there are beaches and beautiful scenery, but I also know in my marketplace the average bride or event planner cannot get away with less than $50 per plate.

If I see an event that is for 200 people with a budget of $1000, there is a misalignment. The client may not realize how they determined that budget number, but it still may not be something you are willing to follow-up on. Remember to look at the lead clearly and do not respond to every lead just because it is a date that is going to fill your calendar.