Anatomy of a dead-end lead

I run a small business, I get leads and often these don’t go anywhere. I’ve become adept at noticing warning signs from potential clients and know when a job won’t be worth pursuing.

This particular ‘lead’ exhibited so many warning signs that I had to share it. Even though I’ve written about spotting bad leads before, I felt I should do it again.

A screenshot of an emailed-in lead with notations

This kind of thing is funny, to an extent. Lots of these emails hit my inbox (on average 15-20 a month) and thankfully I recognise the danger and know not to spend too much time on them. The people sending them aren’t intending to waste anyone’s time – they’re just not adept at making initial contact with suppliers and/or writing good quick briefs. If I had the time I’d love to reply to each and everyone one of these leads with some nice business advice but sadly I don’t that time. I also don’t think these guys would much appreciate that approach.

Sidenote: I used to have my phone number on this website but had to take it down because the I’d get too many distracting phones calls from people that were preventing me from getting my actually work done. It’s hard to notice those danger signs until you’re 5 minutes into the discussion and then you have to quickly get out of the conversation without offending anyone. Clients who pay money get the phone number but no-one else does.

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