Sales leads or enquiries are an essential part of the marketing process. After all, a steady flow of good quality sales leads, when acted upon correctly, can lead to a regular stream of lucrative business and allow business owners to plan ahead with confidence.
This brief post contains 10 powerful lead generation ideas, which you can add to your marketing arsenal. Why bother with so many lead generation options? Many small business owners make the mistake of relying too heavily on just 1 or 2 sources of leads. The problem with that approach, is that if one of those lead sources slows down or stops delivering, you are in BIG trouble! It’s far better to develop a wide spread of inbound, sales lead opportunities.
So, let’s get started!
Sales Leads via Word of mouth
If you want to get the marketplace talking about you to their friends, give them something to talk about!
The golden rule of generating leads via word of mouth, is that you need to be remarkable if you want people to remark on you!
Sales Leads via Email marketing
This is easily one of the most powerful forms of lead generation I have ever used. For very little cost, a professionally copy written email marketing campaign can generate a steady supply of high quality, targeted sales leads for your business. Don’t do like most small business owners and use amateur marketing copy, but it doesn’t work.
Sales leads via Twitter
I have personally generated well over £100,000 for my business, directly via leads I attracted via Twitter. Sadly, I have met just a tiny number of people, who use Twitter correctly as a form of lead / business generation.
Here’s a tip: Be selective and don’t just follow every person and every trend you see!
Sales Leads via Tele Marketing
Whilst I do not recommend you try this yourself, you might want to consider using a professional telemarketing company as a source of lead generation. This works better in some industries and countries than others, so look before you leap.
Tip: One thing telemarketing companies have in common is that they’re very good at selling what they do to their target market [you]. They’re not always so effective when it comes to generating leads for their clients. So, before you consider hiring a telemarketing company, check out their references. Talk to their clients if possible.
Sales Leads via Networking
I choose to do all my networking online these days. Whether you choose online or offline networking, the key is to network with the right kind of people.
Form associations with people who either have a need for your services or access to people, with a need for your services. Let them know what you do and the kind of people you work with, so they know who to recommend you to. This will greatly increase the volume and quality of leads you get.
Tip: Not all contacts are created equal. Yes, as human beings we are all of equal value. However, when it comes to business, some people are far more influential than others. Seek out the influential.
Sales Leads via Mail shots
Mail shots, (sometimes called direct marketing) has become an increasingly powerful way to generate leads. With more and more marketing moving online, a hand signed letter from a fellow businessperson these days REALLY catches the reader’s attention.
Sales Leads via your Website or blog
Your site should be a lead generating machine for your business. Jim’s Marketing Blog attracts over 100 emails a day, many of which come from prospective clients or customers. Your website should be doing the same.
Tip: Make it easy for people to contact you. Publish your phone number and email address. If you use a contact form, just ask for their name, email address and message. You don’t need anything else to begin with and every extra piece of info you ask for, massively lowers your conversion rates!
Sales Leads via Joint Ventures and Endorsed Relationships
Sales Leads via Newsletters
Newsletters are a great way to generate leads. I have found that a well written newsletter, which resonates with your audience, is a very effective way to position yourself as the person with the answers, to their problems. Then, when they decide to get professional help with their problem, you are already the natural choice.
Focus on providing useful information, not sales pitches. Too many newsletters are glorified ads, with little genuinely valuable information, which is the exact opposite of what you should be doing. The most successful newsletters are focused on the needs of the reader. Be useful and let them know you’re there to help them if they have a problem.
Sales Leads via Advertising
The right message, placed in the correct advertising vehicle, can produce fast, measurable results. The reason so many small business owners claim advertising doesn’t work, is that they use amateur copy and put it in the wrong place. Advertising works! It works extremely well. However, an uninspiring message sent to the wrong people, at the wrong time, doesn’t work (how could it?) If you are thinking of advertising and you have tried before and found it didn’t work, either get a professional in… or leave it! You can waste a lot of money with ineffective advertising.
Obviously, there are far, far more proven ways to generate leads, than can be covered in a blog post. However, I hope those above have got you thinking about investing in some new lead generating activities.