Brokers urged to steer clear of pre-pay leads

Ramesh Sharma

June 1, 2004

With the FSA currently reviewing lead generation, following calls from intermediaries, Vanessa Blount, head of paaleads.com, urged lead generation companies to abolish the pre-payment of leads in an effort to stop brokers being ripped off.

Speaking at the Mortgage Business Expo London, Blount said: “You should never ever have to pay in advance for leads. Pre-payment of leads should be abolished and anything that can get rid of this practice should be encouraged.”

Blount went on to encourage intermediaries to work harder with the leads they secure, suggesting they need to do more to convert them into business. She said: “Using leads can help increase your business but it’s a two-way process. Converting leads will take time and effort. For example, if you make contact with the client within 60 minutes you have a better chance of the lead converting.”

In an effort to improve customer confidence in lead generation businesses Blount offered a number of ‘killer’ questions an intermediary must be asking of its lead generator including: ‘What is the refund policy? Where are the leads sourced from? How are the leads qualified? How do they ensure they are compliant? How is the conversion rate validated? Will I be obliged to ‘tie in’? And how quickly and in what format will the leads be delivered?’

Peter O’Donovan, mortgage manager at Bestinvest, agreed the pre-payment of leads was the main reason he refused to conduct significant lead business. He said: “Having got the leads it is a lot of work converting them and potentially large costs for next to nothing. Also you don’t know who else has got the leads or how long ago they approached the company so I agree, lead pre-payments should be abolished.”

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