I got a job with an EPoS software vendor.
It was a remote sales job.
Appointment setting was the goal.
I would get commission on every completed sale.
I was confident of making it worth both our time invested.
The client’s email inbox was flooded with email leads every day.
(He was persuaded the lead quality was poor. After a few days in the office, I was inclined to agree.)
I came across an EPoS lead generation website for sale that would seem to answer the problem.
Here’s how my investment panned out…
“I Need a Lead Gen Site.”
The website owner was an IT professional with a knack for grey hat SEO.
He saw an niche opening in the electronic point of sale market online,
And decided to take the plunge and publish a lead generation website.
He had a link builder to build a footprint of backlink references.
Next thing you know, leads came pouring in.
But what about the quality of enquirer?
On my first conversation with the website’s owner he offered me the chance to trial some leads for free.
I jumped at the chance.
My Trial Lead
One of my first free leads was a multi-store regional butcher business.
I booked a meeting off the 1st call.
They wanted a completely custom EPoS till and electronic weighing scale system set-up with thermal printers.
I attended the meeting with my EPoS client.
We travelled out of town the HQ and it was a smash.
Really enjoyed it – and had a lot of potential.
As it happened, it didn’t work out but an encouraging sample.
After a few more decent inbound lead phone calls, I decided I was going to get an asking price for the website.
I’ll say at this point, I had NEVER even thought of buying a website before.
(This was definitely a first.)
He wasn’t coy, “£800.00 all upfront.”
Now, I just about could get that.
But, of course, I had some questions:
“How many leads are you getting through the site at the moment?”
“Do you have a database of old leads that I could have?”
“Can I have the contact of your writer?”
“Can you teach me to use the editor?”
Now, these questions might have been quite smart – for a marketing manager.
But for a digital entrepreneur, they were “born yesterday” NAIEVE.
The story goes that I bought that website and thought it was all going to be mine.
How was I wrong!
You see, my questions and concerns before buying were lacking understanding about the MOST critical point of buying a website…
Securing website ownership.
Suffice to say, I got stung.
Buying A Lead Generation Site: Trial & Error
These are the things that went wrong:
- The domain name was still registered to the vendor
- He had the website hosted on his private servers
- The website admin access was under his old ID
- The website needed continual backlink building – of which I had no experience
- The website rankings quickly dropped after my ‘takeover’ (purchase)
And on top of it, I didn’t make one single sale from it!
But, I couldn’t even blame that on the website.
The main issue I came across was actually a systemic problem in the sale function of my client.
As I said at the beginning, my role was appointment setting.
What I found was that regardless of this new site’s lack of leads,
I was actually getting loads (and with much better quality in the long run, might I add) from my clients company website.
I actually had too many to leads to follow up.
Plus, I was converting lots into appointments.
HOWEVER, when filling up my client’s diary, I found many appointments were being burned…DAILY.
Seeing such major drop of I wasn’t shy in asking why…
Honestly, I didn’t really get a satisfying answer. But from my position, it seemed he had become a bit disillusioned with the business.
I think he actually resented taking the call often.
Suffice to say, my commission never really materialised and our arrangement fell through, sadly.
But what stung most of all was the loss of £800.00 on a site that I never really even used in the end.
I actually think the vendor just picked up the pieces again and took the controls again.
I didn’t contest anything.
How could I?
I chalk the loss up to experience and pressed on the next.
Would I Buy A Site Again?
I’d say, “no.” But only because after 10 years of online business development I’m light years ahead of where I was then anyway.
I’m now in the business of building properties from scratch.
No need to build on another man’s platform.
Should You Buy A Site?
I’d say, in my experience, the key to a successful online business is content quality and audience engagement.
Neither of which needs any headstart.
It’s an organic process.
Buying a website won’t get you the advantage.
In short, cutting corners just isn’t worth it.
You’d be wasting both your time and money.
Just my personal recommendation.