I’m Not Looking For Lead Generation, I’m Looking to Be the Person Who Pays for Leads

Jan 20 2011

I’m relatively new to the domain monetization business but I’m not new to business.  I have had the fortune of being a 5th generation owner in our field and was taught by my father and family on how to run a business, any business.  Our business  was started in 1865, way before there was such thing as the Internet, pay per click, and……..electricity.  In those 150 years nothing has changed when it comes to running a business, just the way you achieve those results.  That and you can’t have slaves.(Just kidding we never had slaves)

I was taught that there was something special about running your own business.  You made the calls.  You made the decisions.  And you paid the people that brought you business.  The salesman worked for you and if a salesman made a ton of money at his job, then you made 5 times what he did.  Because I’ve never really worked for anyone that’s how I think.  I read all the articles about lead generation from Morgan and Teen Domainer but all I can think about is the fact that I don’t want to just generate leads, I want to own the business that the leads are being generated for.

I realize you can’t just go out there and start a law firm or an insurance company but you there’s no reason you can’t start a company that sells product or services on the web.   I want to own companies, not generate leads for companies.  I realize there is fantastic money in generating leads for others but it’s just not for me.  Every company in the world has people generating leads for them.  They’re called salespeople.  But they only get a cut of the action, I want the rest. I get the same feeling Morgan gets when he finds a law firm to give him $20 a lead, the only difference is my feeling comes from finding a produt that I can sell at a good profit.  A good enough profit that I can pay others to sell it for me.  Don’t get me wrong, I have sites that generate leads but that’s only to make a little money on the way to my end goal of building companies.  It also is helping me learn to generate my own leads so I don’t even have to pay someone else the lead fee. That’s how greedy I am.

I’ve always been a dreamer.  I see a store that is doing well and I don’t want to own that store.  I want to own that store and the whole block.  I see someone getting $25 a click for a lead and all I can think about is how much frickin money are those people making to be able to pay out that kind of lead generation money.  Is that dreaming too big?  I don’t think so.  One thing I’ve been blessed with is the ability to see opportunity.  I see opportunity on the web for those that have established businesses.  There is more opportunity to sell product and service on the web than any other opportunity in time.  I will make my millions, not flipping domains, not sending customers to others, but selling my goods.  The same goods my family has sold for 150 years just instead of serving local and Midwest customers, now I get to sell to the world.  It’s no longer tens of thousands of possible customers but hundreds of millions.

So call me naive, call me a dreamer, that’s how I think.  I’m not the front page story of the guy that started from nothing.  I was given opportunity since the day I was born.  The difference between me and most people is the fact that I saw it and ran with it every chance I could.   By most people’s standards I am rich but I don’t have the wealth of Kevin Ham and the two Franks.  I am in the same boat many 40 year old men are with companies.  I am asset rich and cash poor. I have to borrow against all my land and assets to start the next company.  It’s easy for me to borrow for brick and mortar type things, not so easy in domains.  Ever go to a bank and try and borrow 500K to buy a domain.? They’ll let me put a 100 acres up to pay for it but they won’t take the domain as collateral.

I see the next opportunity staring me in the face.  It’s selling my products on the web.  I didn’t go out there and buy plants.com for $500K, no,  My Dad and I put 500K into land and a production facility to grow enough plants to meet the demands of a larger customer base. I think my money is much better spent behind the scenes, building infrastructure.  I will buy the killer domain AFTER I create a successful online business.  And of course I’ll let Theo or Fusible break the story when I do. 🙂

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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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  1. Troy

    Look at ServiceMagic.com. Some businesses are in the business of providing leads. For example, they get a pest control lead and sell it for $15 to 4 different providers, $60 total. Now maybe one of those 4 providers will pick up a new client but 3 are guaranteed to get nothing but a bill for the lead. Yeah, selling leads can be a great business if you know what you are doing.

  2. TeenDomainer

    Great points and I have started projects where I am the end business, but I can not have a presence in every state and 15 different jobs. Some websites might only have a few leads a month which would not need a full business being built around them but I will take the extra bucks a name can make me every month with no extra work.

    It’s like if someone walks into your business and they are looking to buy gravel (I don’t know if you sell gravel but lets assume you don’t) You don’t have gravel but your friend down the street does so you tell the person to go there and for the referral your friend gives you a small cut or sends you a few customers in return.

    Its all learning experience for me, learning about different industries and areas online.

    But I totally see your point Shane, one day too I hope I will be able to own that company that buys leads from guys like me. To quote WS2 sometimes “Greed is Good”

    1. Post author


      Great point and very relevant. I did have a person ask for gravel and I didn’t have it. I sent him down the street. After two more people asked I decided to start selling gravel. I now sell 500K in mulch and gravels.. The guy down the street just closed his business. Absolutely true story and thanks for the set up.

  3. TeenDomainer

    Great story, I’m glad it worked so well, but put back into an online setting you would have had to try and “collect the leads” to know it was worth it to sell gravel first. 🙂

  4. Donny

    Then you have lead companies that sell leads to the consumer on a non exclusive basis, then in turn that consumer buys it and resells that lead to 3 other agents and so on. So then in reality your dealing with about 10 people that have a lead. Some Insurance lead companies don’t care what happens to the lead after it goes to the agent.

    If you don’t create your own exclusive leads is it hard to compete. You’re at the mercy of these lead companies. It would be better to find out where they get their traffic and just buy those sites.

    In the long run you would come out way a head.

  5. Logan

    Excellent points by everyone.

    I do online lead gen now (insurance) but I can also see that selling my own downloadable information product is how I’m going to make real money for myself by keeping the lion share of the profits just as Shane implies here in his post.

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