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What questions should you ask when hiring lead generation experts or companies for small businesses?

Can anyone share some crucial things small business owners need to consider to uncover the best lead generation companies for small businesses?

Top voted answer
Sonja Ceri

Sonja Ceri, CMO at

‘Lead generation’ can range from reputable and ethical activity, through murky waters to dodgy and unethical practices. I recommend asking the following questions before considering engaging a lead generation professional. 

  • “What is your process for working with a new client?”
Look for: an indication they will listen to your needs and understand your business before starting. They should ask about your goals and objectives. 


  • “Can you provide some previous client referrals?”

Look for: a willingness to put you in touch with past clients for feedback. 

  • “What is the best way you’ve found to generate leads?”

Look for: activity that considers the needs of both the client and the ‘lead’. For example, the lead (person) should ultimately be relevant for (ideally interested in) the product or service. If the process involves scraping contact details of people who are not likely to be interested, the lead quality is likely to be low (and the business processes unethical). 

  • “Where do you find the best quality leads?”

Look for: acknowledgement of ‘quality leads’. Again if the focus is on generating a large volume of leads rather than on the quality of the leads, this is an indication of a ‘churn and burn’ process.

  • “How do you ensure compliance with the SPAM Act and the Australian Privacy Principles?”

Look for: acknowledgement of both the SPAM Act and the Australian Privacy Principles - both of which are important when dealing with people’s data. It’s important for your business to comply with these laws (there are serious penalties for not doing so) and for your partners to do so as well. 

When you’re trying to build your business, it can be tempting to go with the ‘fast and cheap’ options that inevitably present themselves online. If something looks and feels too good to be true, unfortunately, it usually is. Consider the high road and your business will benefit in the long run!