Qualified Leads: Key to Business Recruitment

Years ago I attended a corporate real estate function in New York City. I was there ostensibly to recruit companies to my state. Instead the event felt more like cattle moving around the convention center from one grazing opportunity to the next. People moved from one kiosk to the next trying to grab a neat give-a-way or enter a drawing for a Harley Davidson or some other terrific prize. You’d see hands lunging towards the give-a-ways or dropping their business card in the drawing bowl, but no one was discussing the product or their needs. Skeptically I wonder who was selling and what the value proposition was for the sponsors.

Fast forward to 2011, I recently had the opportunity to attend Business Facilities’ LiveXchange as a representative of Team New England, a 6 state economic development collaborative. What a great concept. Thanks to the excellent up front work by Business Facilities’ staff, over a day and a half; I had 12 meetings with site selectors and corporate executives with legitimate projects. The quality of relationship building time and number of leads surpassed my expectations and a month out, is already bearing fruit.

I am now convinced that our increasing work with lead generators and attending Business Facilities LiveXchange are two of the best investments we’ve made in business recruitment. According to the “experts,” trade shows can be an expensive and a hit-or-miss approach to business recruitment. Mindful of that concern, we’ve improved our yield at shows by working in advance with lead generators to set up meetings with qualified prospects Business Facilities’ LiveXchange is the pinnacle of business recruitment opportunities. By pre-qualifying leads and setting up meetings for its sponsors the odds dramatically improve in the economic developer’s favor.

John A. O’Toole, CEcD, EDP
Business Development Manager
CL&P – Yankee Gas Services—Economic & Community Relations