The Lead Generation Handbook By Robert W. Bly

Welcome to my personal book notes on The Lead Generation Handbook by the author Robert W. Bly.

You can find my notes on other works from the same author here:

Let’s dive in.


  • Title: The Lead Generation Handbook
  • Subtitle: How To Generate All the Sales Leads You’ll Ever Need - Quickly, Easily, and Inexpensively
  • Author: Robert W. Bly
  • Author’s website:
  • First published: 1998
  • Type: non fiction
  • Genre: marketing
  • Rating: 4/5
  • Recommended: Yes, although the book is clearly a bit outdated by now.

Key Concepts / Ideas / Notes

Many businesses today struggle because they have difficulty with the one process that can virtually assure them all the sales they can handle: lead generation.

The companies that can generate

  • costeffectively,
  • rapidly and
  • inexpensively,

a large volume of qualified leads, whenever needed, will be overwhelmed with inquiries, appointments, business, sales, and new customers, with minimal expenditures of time and money.

They will never have to fret about finicky customers, competition for new business, bad economic times, rejection, or up-and-down business cycles.

When you have more leads than you can handle, your revenues stay high, without the up-and-down fluctuations that keep other businesspeople up nights.

Sure, referrals and word of mouth are the best advertising.

But what happens when they don’t produce enough business to fill up your schedule?

Master Lead Generation & Prosper

The Lead Generation Handbook is written to help you master simple, proven techniques that can bring you all the leads you want, when you want them.

These lead-generating techniques range from sales letters and postcards to product publicity and telemarketing to magazine ads and the Internet.

Few skills can make as dramatic an impact on your business and personal success as being able to generate large volumes of high-quality sales leads at will.
- Robert W. Bly

Lead generation is a measurable, tangible result of promotion that almost every businessperson understands and appreciates.

The main purpose of generating sales leads is to identify the best prospects for your product or service.

Related to this primary purpose is the secondary objective of building a database of prospects.

People who have already responded to your promotion represent the best quality prospects for such databases.

Example Of A Lead Generation Focused Company And Process

An example of a company that knows the value of leads, and successfully generates and works them, is The Hair Club for Men, a nationwide chain of hair replacement centers.

The Hair Club is a classic lead-generating marketing operation.

Television and radio commercials generate sales leads from men concerned about thinning hair.

The leads are sent literature; an appointment with a hair specialist is made.

If the prospect is a good candidate for The Hair Club process, a salesperson tries to close the sale at that appointment.

The Lead Generation Mind-Set

I assume you want to generate a large volume of high-quality leads that will increase your sales without wasting your salespeople’s time.

My objective is to show you how to do it swiftly, successfully, and cost-effectively.

A successful lead-generating program begins with a consensus that

  1. leads are important,
  2. you want to generate more and better leads, and
  3. getting leads is at least as important as if not more important than the more nebulous communications goals of company image, brand preference, or product awareness.

Lead generation can be severely compromised when companies place image, style, graphic image standards, or other self-imposed restrictions on their communications that interfere with the primary goal of getting more business.

Marketers with the lead-generating mind-set know they have to do the following things in their communications to get large volumes of quality leads resulting in sales:

  • Call for action,
  • give prospects a reason to respond,
  • maximize response, and
  • qualify prospects.

Offers That Increase Response Rates

An offer is what your prospects get when they respond to your ad or mailing, combined with what they have to do to get it.

A typical offer might be, “Call us toll-free for a free booklet on adjustable beds.”

The booklet is what prospects get.

Making the phone call is what they have to do to get it.

The offer is a critical factor in any lead-generating piece or campaign.

The strategic planning, selection, and testing of offers can make or break a campaign, regardless of how well designed or well written the piece is.

As a rule, the more valuable and risk-free the offer seems to the reader, the better your response.

Motivating Sequence

The motivating sequence is a proven, five-step formula for writing lead-generating copy.

It is particularly well suited to direct mail, especially sales letters.

Here are the five steps:

  1. Get attention.
  2. Identify the problem or need.
  3. Position your product or service as the solution or answer.
  4. Prove your case.
  5. Tell the reader what to do next.

Pre-Copywriting Checklist

Here’s a four-step checklist I use to get the information I need to write persuasive, fact-filled copy for my clients.

This checklist should be helpful to copywriters, account executives, and ad managers alike.

  • Step 1: Get All Previously Published Material on the Product
    • By studying this material, the copywriter should have 80 percent of the information he needs to write the copy. And he can get the other 20 percent by picking up the phone and asking questions. Steps 2 to 4 outline the questions he should ask about the product, the audience, and the objective of the copy.
  • Step 2: Ask Questions About the Product
    • What are its features and benefits? (Make a complete list.)
    • Which benefit is the most important?
    • How is the product different from the competition’s? (Which features are exclusive? Which are better than the competition’s?)
    • If the product isn’t different, what attributes can be stressed that haven’t been stressed by the competition?
    • What technologies does the product compete against?
    • What are the applications of the product?
    • What industries can use the product?
    • What problems does the product solve in the marketplace?
    • How is the product positioned in the marketplace?
    • How does the product work?
    • How reliable is the product?
    • How efficient?
    • How economical?
    • Who has bought the product, and what do they say about it?
    • What materials, sizes, and models is it available in?
    • How quickly does the manufacturer deliver the product?
    • What service and support does the manufacturer offer?
    • Is the product guaranteed?
  • Step 3: Ask Questions About Your Audience
    • Who will buy the product? (What markets is it sold to?)
    • What is the customer’s main concern? (Price, delivery, performance, reliability, service maintenance, quality, efficiency?)
    • What is the character of the buyer?
    • What motivates the buyer?
    • How many different buying influences must the copy appeal to?
    • Here are two tips on getting to know your audience: If you are writing an ad, read issues of the magazine in which the ad will appear. If you are writing direct mail, find out what mailing lists will be used and study the list descriptions.
  • Step 4: Determine the Objective of Your Copy
    • This objective may be one or more of the following:
      • To generate inquiries
      • To get appointments
      • To qualify prospects
      • To transmit product information
      • To build brand recognition and preference
      • To increase hits to your website

Before you write copy, study the product and its features, benefits, past performance, applications, and markets.

Digging for the facts will pay off because, in business-to-business advertising, specifics sell.

Closing Thoughts

This concludes my personal book notes on The Lead Generation Handbook by the author Robert W. Bly.

My notes only cover small parts of the book, so if you like what you read, please consider buying the book from the author.

Thank you for reading and stay awesome,

Tim for Online Business Dude

PS: Start And Grow Your Own, Profitable Online Business From Scratch, Step-by-Step, Today!

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