How to generate business leads
Entrepreneurs with savvy marketing strategies care about three things: getting more customers, increasing sales and saving time. They tend to focus most, if not all, of their marketing and sales resources on closing hot leads which means the not-ready-to-buy-yet leads end up getting thrown out with the garbage.
Some have tricked themselves into believing that they don’t need to advertise at all and can rely solely on referrals for lead generation and repeat sales. But they discover that this may cause them to get stuck in a growth holding pattern. Contrary to popular thinking it doesn’t take a big budget for small businesses to increase new leads and get more referrals.
Six techniques that can help you generate leads
1. Focus on lead capture: You need to gather useful information that allows you to make business decisions that add up to profits. Establish a standard process for your business to capture lead information during any interaction with a potential customer.
2. Put networks to work: Establish a web presence for your business and optimize your website. Make sure your page titles use key words. It’s never too late to get involved in social media and use it as a mechanism to drive traffic to your website. Expand beyond your peer groups into networks and industries where your product has a need. Make sure to capture information of all who visit your website or networks.
3. Meet the needs of all: Get the right message to the right person at the right time. Monitor who visits your website, the forms they complete, the emails they read and the links they show interest in. This allows you to target your message and product/service based on your potential customer’s needs.
4. Create partnerships: Build relationships with businesses that offer complementary products and services. Build your partner’s business into your business and yours into theirs. The key to a powerful partnership is to create added value for your customers.
5. Become community oriented: Support local initiatives that benefit the community. When you create a relationship with your consumers they’ll be willing to pay for a product or service once it meets their needs.
6. Develop a referral strategy: Create a systematic way to generate referrals. Start with your 12 highest potential relationships; these will be the people you initially ask to make referrals, whether they’re current or past clients, former colleagues or personal or professional friends. The best time to ask for referrals is at the time of purchase, shortly after a recent purchase or after a customer satisfaction survey. NEVER ask for a referral when a customer is not happy! Track referral volume and conversion rate month-to-month.
The “get more customers now” approach, combined with a lack of time and resources, hurts small businesses and often cause serious inefficiencies in the marketing and sales funnel.
Lead generation does not have to break the bank. Once you implement an established process and focused execution you’ll have the ability to secure and generate leads while sustaining your business.
1. Identify the type of leads that will optimize growth and profitability of your business
2. Define what you consider as a qualified lead
3. Calculate how many leads you require to reach your sales targets