My company is focused on generating consumer leads on the Internet. My typical client is a company selling their services or products through a call center. If my explanation seems elementary it’s just a consequence of trying to explain to family members, friends, and perfect strangers what I do for a living.
I often consider how my company is part of an online and offline marketing ecosystem. As out of fashion as it may be these days I’m just wired to be concerned with other people, particularly the ones I work with. Lately this concern has led me to think quite a bit about how I can help be a part of the economic recovery that everyone in the U.S. seems to be waiting, hoping, and working for.
How can one small business in a rather niche marketing business help? What impact can realistically be expected? To me these questions are just seeds of procrastination and defeatism. So perhaps the real question is, what am I going to do and will it work? The first part I have a good answer for but the second one I’ll just have to get back to you about later.
Here’s my very humble idea. In the next year I plan to do everything in my power to see to it that the leads that I generate wind up in the hands of sales representatives working inside the U.S. Sound trivial? Perhaps it’s not going to create that many jobs but consider the jobs it can create under the right circumstances. Many of my clients are holding fast on any ideas to hire new sales people and some may at some point consider farming out the call center work to other countries. But if I offer incentives to those clients to increase their U.S. call center staffing or at least maintain it then in a small way I’ve contributed to helping U.S. workers gain or at least hold their ground. What sorts of incentives am I talking about? In many ways the incentive is as simple as addressing the lead price concerns of the client. If I can keep the clients’ lead prices at a comfortable level or attempt to exceed their desired value per lead then the incentive has already been given. Another question is how do I police the clients to ensure they keep their side of the agreement to use U.S. call centers? Many lead generation companies are already accustomed to the need to keep tabs on the behaviors of their lead buyers. So keeping up with the clients is not a big problem in my estimation.
I’m sure that some very accomplished and respected business people would see price incentives as a rather foolish move when the company offering them doesn’t directly reap the benefits. I respectfully disagree. I’m believe that selfishness and self-serving attitudes got us where we are and they will keep us here longer than need be. This is not to say that business must be philanthropic in order to be ethical or effective. But helping each other dig out of the hole we’ve stepped into can’t hurt.
I’m sure that there are many direct and not-so-direct ways that my company and others like it can help to stimulate job creation in the U.S. In my humble opinion it has to be a focus for everyone who is in a position to be a part of it. Hopefully goodwill and American ingenuity will see us all through.