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"Quick-Start" Guide

There are many terrific sales leads, as well as business contacts, savings opportunities, and other valuable information, on The Lead Generator. But you have to put in some of your own information in order to access it. Use this Quick-Start Guide to get up-and-running, and start finding new opportunities, quickly.

The basic process for getting started is illustrated by the flow chart below. There's much more to the system than this, but this will get you going quickly.

Getting Started Process

Let's take it one step at a time.

Step 1: Register Yourself and Your Company

  • If you haven't already done so, start by clicking on the "Register" link at the top of the screen.

  • The next screen that comes up will enable you to register as a new User. Enter your email address (which will become your UserName, but which other people won't be able to see it unless you allow it,) and a Password that you can remember. Click on "Save and Continue" to go on to the next step.

  • The system will then show you a page where you can print out your UserName and registration. It will also send you an email to Confirm that you have entered your email address correctly. Be sure to respond to this email, or we won't be able to send you leads and other notices when we have them for you. If everything looks okay, click Continue to go on to the next step.

  • Next, you can register your company's name, address and contact information. Click Save and Continue when you're done.

  • Finally, you'll be asked to upload your contact list. This is the list of business colleagues and other contacts whom you feel could benefit from the Lead Generator. It is also a major source of new leads for you, since the more users there are, the more leads there are. (By uploading your contact list, you will encourage other users to upload their contacts - the primary pool from which you will get your leads.) Click on the "Add From My Address Book" link to upload your contact list.

    • When you Click on the "Add From My Address Book" link, a new window will open with the Plaxo upload tool. (If it doesn't open the first time, just close it and click on the link again.) Select your address book type, click next, and follow the instructions to upload your contact list.

    • You can also enter a list of email addresses at anytime in the text box by clicking on the Contacts link under the My Info button; where you can Invite, Delete or Update contacts at anytime.

    • Once the box has a list of email addresses in it, you can click Submit Contacts to upload them. Then click Continue to go on to the next step.

Step 2: Enter Your Company's Description, Products & Services, and Needs

There are three steps to posting your company's basic entries - which will give you initial access to the database. This involves:

  • Step 2a: Enter Your Company's Description
  • Step 2b: Enter Your Company's Products & Services
  • Step 2c: Enter Your Company's Needs

Let's take them one at a time.

  • Step 2a: Enter Your Company Description

    • After you finished registering yourself and your company, and uploading your contact list, the system will automatically take you to the form for entering your Company's Description. If it doesn't, or to get to this page later, you can click on My Company > Company Description to get to the form.

    • Your Company's Name should already be in the "Company Name" box. If not, type it in.

    • Write a description of your company in the text window, which you can make as detailed as you want. Many users copy text from their Web sites, but be sure to include lots of keywords that you would expect other users to use when they have a need that you can satisfy (i.e. search terms). Also, be sure to include statements describing WHY someone should buy from your company. (Remember, you're looking for SALES here!)

    • You can check your spelling; but click on "Save and Continue" to make sure your Company Description is uploaded.

    • If you want to change what you wrote, you can edit it at anytime.
  • Step 2b: Enter Your Company's Products and Services
  • The next step is to tell everyone what your company makes and/or sells, so they can find you when they have a need.

    • If the system doesn't automatically take you there, click on My Company > Products & Services to enter your company's products and services.

    • Note that the system uses SIC Codes and NAICS Codes to store information about your company's products and services. There are two ways that you can use this tool to post what your company makes and/or sells:

      • Search (using keywords)
      • Drill Down (through the list of SIC Codes and NAICS Codes)

      The easiest method is to simply type a keyword into the search box, and click Search. (You can also type in a specific SIC Code, or NAICS Code, if you know it, and the system will give you its definition.)


    • When you enter a keyword, and click Search, the system will give you a list of SIC Codes and NAICS codes that have that keyword in the description field. Check off all that are appropriate, and click Submit to save them to the database.

    • Try using as many different keywords that you can think of as possible, to be sure that you have posted every possible description of your company's products (or services,) so that other users will be sure to find you when they have a need.

    Hints:

    • The other methods for posting, (i.e. "Drill Down," or by entering a SIC or NAICS code that you know,) can also easily be used to post your company's products and services, once you're familiar with the system. The Drill Down method is especially helpful when you're not sure what to enter as a keyword, or simply want to see what's available. Entering a SIC or NAICS Code is helpful when you want to add or remove a specific SIC or NAICS Code that you already know.

    • You'll be able to come back to this page at anytime to update your product list.
  • Step 2c: Enter Your Company's Needs
  • This is the most important set of initial entries - what your company Needs, or buys. If you don't post your company's Needs, you won't be able to see other users' Needs - and that's where many of the leads are. (Also, note that if you don't enter your Needs accurately, it will raise suspicion, and other users might not feel comfortable doing business with you.)

    • If the system doesn't automatically take you there, to enter your company's Needs, click on My Company > Needs.

      Note: As with Products and Services, the first time you do this it will bring up a menu of options for how to enter your company's Needs (or purchasing requirements,) which are stored using SIC Codes and NAICS Codes. If you've already posted something, this page will also show you a list of what you had previously entered.

    • Select one of the options for posting your company's Needs. For beginners, the easiest method is to use the "Search" method.

    • Enter a keyword in the space provided that describes one of the products or services that your company buys, (a good source for this information is your company's General Ledger or P&L,) and click on the "Search" button. This should bring up a list of SIC Codes and NAICS Codes. (If it doesn't, try using a different term.)

    • Review the list of SIC and NAICS Codes to determine which ones accurately describe the commodities or services that your company needs or buys. Put a check mark next to each one that is appropriate.

    • When you're done, scroll to the bottom of the page, and click on the "Submit" or "Next" button.

    • Repeat these steps until your list is complete.

    Hints:

    • The other methods for posting, (i.e. "Drill Down" and "Find SIC",) can also be used to post your company's Needs. The "Drill Down" method is especially helpful when you're not sure what to enter and you want to browse the list. The "Find SIC" method (where you enter a SIC Code that you already know,) is helpful when you want to add or remove a specific SIC Code or NAICS Code from your list.

    • When using the "drill down" method, be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page and hit the "Submit" button or else your selections will be lost. Note that the process of "drilling down" means "moving up and down in the SIC Code hierarchy."

    • You'll also see another tool, labelled "Update All Needs," which is used when you want to tell the data base that all your entries should be considered to be up-to-date. It's a quicker way to update your file than re-posting each SIC Code.

    • Many users know what their companies need. But some find it more convenient to have their Purchasing Manager make these entries. Either way is acceptable. (The easiest thing to do is just copy your company's Accounts Payable category list.) You will find that you will not get many leads, however, if you do not put this information in, if you enter it inaccurately, or if you enter it incompletely.

    Full access to the database requires some additional entries. For example, you can't search the Leads area if you don't post at least one valid Lead for someone else. And you can't see other Users' Organization Charts if you don't enter your own company's Organization Chart. But this will get you started.

Step 3: Search

Once you've posted your initial entries, then the fun begins: You can begin searching for leads!

  • If you haven't already logged in, do so now.

    • If you forgot to click on the Confirm link in the Registration Confirmation email, you'll need to dig the email out of your spam folder, and respond. Be sure to put our "From" address (Alerts@LeadGenerator.com) in your address book so our email can get past your spam filter in the future - such as when there is a lead for you on the system.
    • After you login you'll see a quick report showing the status of your entries. This is your Quick Reference screen, which you can get to at anytime under the My Company button, using the "My Company Data" link. This page has a summary of all your entries, a Quick Check of leads, your Inbox, and other important information. Be sure to check this report whenever you login, as it provides an "early warning" about data issues, as well as business opportunities.

  • Search for Leads
  • There are six (6) different areas of the database where you can find leads, keeping in mind that a "lead" is basically just a piece of information - albeit one that represents a sales (or other type of) opportunity. Remember that some areas will provide explicit leads (i.e. where the user specifically says he needs your product or service), while some areas will provide leads implicitly (i.e. where you can infer that the user needs your product or service based on something else he has posted). (Check the Users Guide for more information on how to search for leads.)

    • In the Company Descriptions area you can make an inference that someone needs your products or services based on what they do, where they are, and other attributes.
    • In the Products & Services area you can make an inference that someone may need your products or services based on what they make and/or sell.
    • Look in the Needs area for companies who explicitly need or buy your company's products and services.
    • Look in the Leads area for people with an explicit or implicit need for your products and services. (Note: You can't search the Leads area however unless you post at least on Lead to it yourself.)
    • Look on the PR Boards for people who are talking about issues with which you can help, as well as make inferences that they have a need.
    • In the Ads area you can make an inference that someone may need your products or services based on what they're promoting.

    Once you find an oppoortunity, reach out to the prospect by sending them a Message on the Messaging Subsystem. Also, check your Inbox frequently, and respond to any Messages that you receive.

Step 4: Next Steps

After you've had a chance to post your data and do a few searches, you can move on to using some of the advanced techniques for generating leads.

  • Enter Any Sales Leads That You Have

    It may seem a little odd to enter sales leads into a system that you joined in order to get sales leads. But, of course, that's what The Lead Generator is all about. A sales lead that you enter may not represent a chance for you to make money, but if someone else could make money on the idea, it's a good lead - and it makes the system better for everyone, and that includes you.

    To enter any leads you have:

    • Click on the "My Company" button, and then click on the "Leads" link, and follow the instructions to post a new Lead. After you have one or more Leads entered, this screen will also show you the titles of Leads that you've already entered so you can review, edit, delete or update them.

    • Enter a title or subject for the lead in the appropriate space.

    • Enter the text of the lead in the text window. Put in as much information as you can about the nature of the opportunity, keywords, or even contact information if you want.

    • Click on the "Submit" button to post the Lead to the data base.

    • Repeat these steps for any additional leads you have.

    Hints:

    • Don't put an Ad in the Leads area. The Leads area is moderated, and any ads you put in the Leads area will be removed, and could result in a suspension of your ability to search for leads

    • Posting Leads is the easiest way to get leads. Most users search there first.

    • Many salespeople have trouble believing that they have any leads that would be valuable, or worth posting, but they're usually wrong. Any need that you can't fulfill is a lead for someone else - and it gives you tremendous leverage in the relationship.

  • Post Ads
  • Most users will want to post a couple of advertisements before they finish their initial data entry. Your ads can be as detailed as you want.

    • Click on the "Ads" link under "My Company".

      The first time you do this it will bring up a screen with a button labelled "Add a New Ad" that you can click to add a new advertisement. After you have one or more Ads entered, this screen will also show you the titles of Ads that you've already entered so you can review, edit, delete or update them.

    • Enter a title or subject for the Ad in the appropriate space.

    • Enter the text of the Ad in the text window.

    • Click on the "Submit" button to post the Ad to the data base.

    • You can also upload any corporate brochures that you want to make available to other users. (If you're looking for a job, by the way, you can also post your resume here.)

    • Repeat these steps for any additional Ads you want to enter.

  • Post Your Company's PR

    Your Company's Press Releases and announcements are a lot like a Blog on the Lead Generator. But it can be searched, and followed, by other users. Be sure to post your company's announcements, and search this area for potential opportunities.

    Note that one of the advantages of the Lead Generator is that it provides your company with a way to increase its visibility in search engines, and posting an active blog, or PR Board, is an easy way to generate lots of links back to your company's Web site.

  • Advanced Search

    The system offers an advanced search capability so you can concentrate your searches geographically, among affiliates, and more. You can also set up Saved Searches, and use Quick Check to do instant searchs.

Remember:

  • Any area can contain leads. Be creative in your searches. Check out the other sections of the User's Guide for more tips and hints.

  • Reach out to people. Some leads will come to you, but you'll get more leads if you take the initiative, search aggressively, and make contacts.

  • Answer your Messages, and keep your information up-to-date; otherwise, you'll get blocked from the database.

  • The Lead Generator includes a FREE, on-board Funnel Management System that you can use to keep track of your prospects. Use it to maximize your efficiency.

  • For more information, read the detailed Users Guide for search tips and hints on how to use the system effectively.

  • And, most importantly: Tell your friends! Remember, the more users there are, the more leads there are!

Good Selling!

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