"Lead Generation is a Misnomer"

"We don't generate leads, we intercept opportunity."

"Lead Generation is a Misnomer"

The biggest challenge when going from employee to business owner is that the work stops magically appearing.

  • As an employee, you are responsible for performing the tasks assigned to you.
  • As a business owner, you are responsible for finding the people willing to pay to have such tasks performed.  
  • As a sole proprietor, you are responsible for both.

Step one of bringing in new business is to "generate leads," or so the conventional wisdom goes.  

Positioning expert Philip Morgan thinks that's the wrong way to look at things, though (emphasis mine; formatted for readability):

I'll occasionally point out that "lead generation" is a misnomer.

Most of us don't create the desire in someone to buy services like ours out of thin air. Instead, we intercept someone's existing desire that's turned into the action of them searching for a solution.

We don't generate leads, we intercept opportunity.

To map this to an analogy: if we are deer hunters, we don't cause a deer to materialize in front of us so we can kill it. If we are farmers, we don't cause a field of full-grown corn to materialize in front of us so we can harvest it. I'm being pedantic, but the term lead generation implies that you can just cause opportunity to materialize.

If you follow this vector of thought too far, it gets you thinking that you can cause your market to want stuff it does not in fact want. Ideas and word meanings do matter!

All original code samples by Mike Wolfe are licensed under CC BY 4.0