I’m a little frustrated, but I also worry that I am guilty, in part, of creating the situation myself.

One of the services we offer at Barefoot Digital is a complete Lead Generation Machine (LGM) for small businesses, with a local customer base.

I think we need to rephrase what this actually does. I’m also concerned that my passion for small business automation and systems leads some people to feel that they are off the hook from doing the work in their own business.

In both the Lead Generation Machine and the Small Business Automation, the key is that it frees up the business owner and their staff to do the most important thing for the growth of their enterprise: Sell more!

We launched a new LGM for a client over the last couple of days, and early results are very encouraging. But it also highlighted an issue, and not for the first time: After setting the system live and generating 10 enquiries in the first 24 hours (Cost Per Lead – £3.50, Average Transaction Value – £1200.00), it became clear that the business owner was not responding to any of the enquiries, in fear of interfering with what we were doing.

Somehow, in engaging us to take over the digital marketing and lead generation, our customer abdicated responsibility for the new enquiries coming in. My obvious response was to get in touch with everybody right away. Yes, we can and will put some automated follow-up emails in place, but these are mainly for those customers enquiring via the website at 10pm. The psychology at play here, with my limited understanding, is fascinating, and we see it more often than we should.

A business owner explains that they need more leads in their business, but when those leads turn up, what happens? The business owner keeps themselves busy with the “work” of the business, instead of turning those leads into happy customers.

This situation reminded me of a Facebook comment Daniel Priestley made, in reply to someone’s question, on the same day.

The question itself is not that important here, but the answer has universal importance, for every single business owner.

Here’s what Daniel said:

Ultimately remove all expectation that business should come to you… It doesn’t. Ferarri isn’t the go-to brand for sports cars… They sell Ferraris. Google sells Adwords campaigns. Rolex sells watches.

It’s always been and always will be a sales approach that generates the business over time. Being a KPI doesn’t remove the need to sell, it gives you more people to sell to.

That is such a simple but crucial point.

If you have any reservations about selling, or if you are hiding behind your email auto-responder, print out this quote and put it on your wall.

No matter what great technology we have available to us, for a few dollars a month, not matter what industry you are in or how big your business, you need to sell.

Sell! It’s a verb. It’s something you have to do, not something that happens.

Pieter K de Villiers

Author: Pieter K de Villiers

Pieter K de Villiers is slightly obsessed with systems. The systems and process automation he builds for small businesses are transformative, to say the least. Pieter is a Co-Founder of Barefoot Digital and the Amazon best-selling author of “Barefoot Business: 3 key systems to attract more leads, win more sales and delight more customers without your business killing you”.