How to Generate Leads for Your Business
March 6, 2012 Leave a comment
Lead Generation is an essential building block for businesses to find potential buyers who are interested in their products and services. In previous posts, I discussed how to prospect and identify your target market. In this post, I will discuss how businesses can find leads and what mediums can be used to obtain leads.
Many mediums can be used to obtain leads. These mediums include: Direct mail, Email, Marketing, Surveys, Advertising, Social Media, referrals from current customers, business networking, trade show marketing.
You have to see what strategies will work for you. Your product and budget will help to determine how you go about obtaining leads.
Direct mail can be a great way to find prospects. You can create a message with pictures and compelling copy. The idea is to piqué the interest of your prospect and to include a card with paid postage that they can send back requesting more information. You can use CRM software to track your results and fine tune who to target.
Email lists can be purchased from a list broker or self-generated from your address book. You can also use services like Constant Contact that allows people to enter their email addresses if they want email from your business. This is known as allowing them to opt in. Before proceeding with an Email campaign make sure to get permission from people through an opt-in email. If you do not get peoples’ permission to send them email it can be considered spam. Email is a cheaper item than mail. You can have a wider reach to your customers. I would suggest creating a message that is compelling. Make sure to use pictures and colors that look appealing.
Surveys can be a great way to get information about prospects and customers. You can ask specific questions that can provide information on what the prospect is looking for. Also you can ask questions about when the prospect is looking to make a purchase. This information can be stored in CRM software. Surveys can be done through direct mail, email or online through internet polls.
Businesses can advertise their products and services. The advertising can be a spot on the radio, television, Social Media, print and billboards. Television ads can be short commercials that appear on TV shows or they can take the form Infomercials which are at least a half hour in length. Television has been a preferred method of advertising for years because television has a massive audience. The internet is also a great way to advertise. You can use pay-per-click advertising on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google. (LinkedIn Ads, Facebook Ads, Google AdWords) This is an effective method because you can specify who you want to see your ad by different demographics such as Geography, Age, and Profession. You can also use keywords to trigger your ads.
Social Media is a great tool to get leads; specifically LinkedIn. You can explore the questions and answer section to look for potential customers. The questions and answers section is a great way to ask people for information or to answer questions. Answering questions can allow you to position yourself as an expert on a topic. Members who ask questions are allowed to choose which answers they think are good and which one they think is the best. I was named a Sales and Marketing Expert in the areas of Lead Generation, Sales Techniques, and Direct Marketing by members whose questions I answered.
Placing ads in newspapers can also help your business because newspapers have many readers. Newspapers are usually in print and online. Your advertising on this platform could take the form of a classified ad or article marketing. Industry trade magazines also fall into this category. Billboards can also help your businesses visibility.
Referrals/Testimonials from Customers
Referrals and testimonials from your customers is one of the best ways to get leads because they remove doubt from the prospects mind about your capabilities to perform. Referrals could take the form of a video, a recommendation on LinkedIn or a Slideshare presentation. I have the last two that I listed. Referrals and Testimonials should speak to the quality of your work.
Attending networking events at your local chamber of commerce or at a professional association can be a great way to meet potential prospects and to generate leads. At these events you can talk informally and exchange business cards. You can briefly discuss who you are and what you do then move on; remember you want to network with as many people as possible.
Trade show Marketing
It is important to attend industry trade shows either as an exhibitor or an attendee. Trade shows are a great way to keep up to date with trends in your industry. This will allow you to hone your expertise which your customers pay for. Trade shows are a great place for you to get leads because customers go to them looking to make purchases either at the show or soon after. If you are an exhibitor, require attendees to give you their contact information to see a demonstration of your product. This can be the start of an informal conversation which you can follow-up on later.
I have listed a variety of ways that businesses can get leads. The methods you choose depend on your product and budget. You have to see which methods will work for you.
Next time, I will discuss how to qualify leads and convert them into sales.
Until next time, thank you for reading.