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Business Shapes is a London-based, international outsourcing and marketing strategy company that boasts over a decade of experience in both face to face sales and telemarketing. With services including process management, lead generation, lead sales, appointment making, and market research, Business Shapes has proven to be one of the UK’s most well-rounded and well-versed marketing companies today. With such an impressive resume, TheMail wanted to provide a more in-depth look at the practices that have made Business Shapes a success, so we sat down with Managing Director Neil Armstrong to find out a little more about the company

 Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Neil Armstrong, Managing Director at Business Shapes, a professional outsourcing and marketing strategy firm based out of London. I’m best known for running successful sales campaigns, be it, telesales or face to face sales, however, a lot of clients and lead brokers also ask me to help them source leads for their clients or in-house teams. This has proven very successful and I now supply many clients all over the UK with data and leads.

What makes a successful phone lead generation campaign?

My background is very different to most lead producers because I’m well known for running successful sales campaigns all around the world. This gives me a different perspective on things as I know what kind of leads work for my sales teams and how to build a link between the lead and my salesperson’s opening script. So for me, the most important thing when buying leads is to have a lead where the prospect fits the profile I’m looking for, and then I want a natural conversation starter that makes the customer believe we already know each other. For example, selling pet insurance would be great if you knew the name of the pet—”Hi, I’m calling about Tabby your cat, I can see on my records that Tabby’s pet insurance is due for renewal this month…”  If you put your thinking caps on you can come up with some kind of “link” or “attention grabber” that’s personal to the customer for many products. 

You told me that you do not like hot lead campaigns, why is that?

I’m not a great fan of them for a number of reasons, but my main reason is that generating hot leads tends to end up a little frantic. The problem with hot leads is that you can’t predict when you will be getting a hot lead and when a client agent is available. One minute the client has too many agents sat waiting for hot leads to come through, so the pressure is on the producer to generate more hot leads ready to transfer. Then the next minute the client doesn’t have any agents available because they’re all on calls. So now the producer doesn’t have anywhere to transfer the customer to and is losing money so the producer will try to keep the prospect on the line as long as possible and keep trying to transfer them to the client agents. All in all, it’s not a great experience for the prospect.

What’s your advice for companies wanting to buy telephone survey leads?

I only work with lead generators that are reliable as to the time and amount of leads they send each day, this is very important to me as there is nothing worse than having your supply arrive at all different times of the day with large variances in the number of leads. The next thing I am passionate about is working with lead generators who readily take feedback and guidance and then implement the agreed changes so they can generate quality leads at a respectable volume. This can only be obtained if you have a direct relationship with the lead generators or you have somebody working on your behalf to manage the relationship. Once you have a lead set working for you, I strongly suggest getting a mid to long term commitment in place between you and the lead generator to stop the lead generator looking for a second client within the same vertical.

If you’re just starting a new campaign and don’t already have a proven question to use for lead generation, you must make sure the lead generator or broker you are working with gives you ideas and takes an avid interest in your product and sales process. Very often I get asked to generate leads for a new client and it’s obvious that the question will not generate decent conversions for the client so I offer ideas on how the question may work better.

In the ideal world you should be able to just pick up the phone and buy leads as and when you want them, but if you want premium quality leads you need to work with knowledgeable people who put extra effort into getting it right.

To find out more about Neil’s company, visit their website at

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Murray Newlands

Murray Newlands is an online marketing industry veteran, and the founder of TheMail.

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Murray Newlands

Murray Newlands

Murray Newlands is an online marketing industry veteran, and the founder of TheMail.

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