Lead Generation Techniques
Getting leads and lead generation techniques are always a hot topic with salespeople and small business owners. There is always plenty to sell but never enough people to whom the sale can be made. Because it's not just anyone that is the target of a lead hunt , but rather interested people that are the fruit on the tree ready to be picked. And while every salesperson is looking for that silver bullet, the one thing that really works in those lead generation technique seminars offered online and at the nearest Holiday Inn for just fifty-nine dollars, the list of ways to get leads always, always comes down to a few that are the best and will never change. These are certainly not listed in rank of importance, but the list must start somewhere.
Just the mention of it brings shivers to the spine of the most hardened sales people: cold calling. This stuff is no fun at all and a person can easily get a weird complex by doing a lot of this door to door looking and hunting. But it has been a staple of lead generation techniques for over one hundred years and it will never go away as a valuable tool. Related to cold calling is what some people call farming, and that is just calling two hundred people or businesses from the phone book and getting your name in front of them as the solution to their need. Then there are ways to turn the tables on the salesperson going to a seminar idea. Pleasing God isn't about being good and about doing good things, although they are important. Rather it's about having the attitude of David and trusting Christ as Savior and Lord: "Have mercy upon me O God according to thy lovingkindness and according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions." (Psalm 51:1)
The idea of conducting a seminar oneself is a very intriguing one because the salesperson or small business owner has become an expert in his vocational field. There can be few lead generation techniques more powerful than taking advantage of that expertise through the posing of a question to the public and then answering it in a seminar. Do not make the mistake of crafting the seminar to be a sales pitch. Instead it must be a neutral sharing of much needed information and the providing of answers to the guests' questions. Time at the end of the seminar can be a few minutes of sharing one's products, but do not ruin the good will sown throughout the seminar with an ending full of hard sell. The seminar is built to be a showcase of one's expertise, and the opportunity to put your name in front of the attendees as the first place to call when the need arises. Hand in hand with the seminar idea is getting booked as a public speaker in a number of venues where you can share your knowledge with others. Again, it's about sharing information and not selling, although literature about one's own business can be passed out; the idea is to be asked back again so don't blow it with over aggressiveness.
In terms of lead generation techniques, when it comes to the use of the Internet, nothing really comes close to the use of affiliate marketing for one of the proven lead generation techniques. Based on letting other companies place ads on one's own site as well as one's own company on many others, this can vastly enlarge a company footprint and generate new sales leads. But don't stop there. Use viral marketing techniques, especially in the area of an email marketing campaign as another of the many lead generation techniques available to anyone with a penchant to use the Internet. Viral marketing is really about enticing people to pass on a message to other's in their sphere of influence. Just as a stone thrown in a lake can produce ripple effects throughout the lake, so the practice of viral marketing also does the same throughout the marketplace.
Generating a newsletter as a free subscription can be part of a powerful list of lead generation techniques for small business owners and sales people. This is part of the taking knowledge advantage that market warriors such as business owners and veteran sales people have of their niche market. If one does not have the time to put together their own newsletter, invite email recipients the opportunity to subscribe to other newsletters with a similar message that have a link to your website. The more help that one can be in getting potential customer's questions and problems answered, the more opportunity a person will have to making sales. Additionally, blogging can be another of the many ways a person can pick up leads for new customers, and can also be a way to network and share personal thoughts that might not be available anywhere else. Well written blogs can gather hundreds if not thousands of readers over time.
Let's finally go back to a few other time tested shoe leather lead generation techniques. Give away one's business card at least twenty times a day. Ask for referrals from almost everyone a person gives a card to on a daily basis. Visit trade shows and network with others and offer to consult in your area of expertise for free. There are no easy ways to get most leads, but there are smart ways to generate them.
Lead Generation SystemsFor many businesses, lead generation systems and services can dramatically increase sales while saving valuable time for employees. To keep businesses profitable, a steady flow of new customers is necessary. This steady flow of new orders can mean more profits and great growth. But for a sales force to be successful, contact with potential customers is mandatory. Reputable lead generation systems and services can help companies locate, and hopefully sell to, quality contacts. Cold calling can end up wasting a sales person's valuable time and may not be the most effective way to sell a product. Services that provide legitimate leads can not only save time, but can help to zero in on customers who are genuinely interested in what a company has to offer. Most of these lead providers will have already done the homework that is required to discover solid sales prospects. This may be done by pre screening individuals and companies to find out who is truly in the market for the items that a client sells. And if a client knows that they will be able to eliminate the distasteful task of cold calling for their employees, this can be a good incentive to turn to professional lead providers. A provider might also offer an appointment setting service. This service means that someone else has already done the cold calling and a client's sales force is free to contact potential customers who are predisposed to listen the what the sales person has to say.
Telephone prospecting is another service that lead generation systems could provide. Whether the need is for long or short term leads, these providers can zero in on quality contacts that can increase sales. An added benefit of this approach is that telephone canvassing can create a greater brand name recognition, even with contacts who do not opt to make a purchase. Another reason to turn to services of this nature is that most businesses have down times at certain points of the year. By seeking new prospects during these down times, the dip in sales may not be quite so steep, or could even out completely. Established customers need to be nurtured as well and professional telephone prospectors can sometimes help with this important task. Clients can generally set their own list of criteria for any leads that are generated. This criteria will usually be based on the typical customer profile. Cross selling and up selling activities might be aided through telephone prospecting as well. Should an organization decide to schedule some kind of promotional event or campaign, lead generation systems can help to spread the word. In most cases, leads are solicited by individuals who have been thoroughly trained in how to effectively make that initial contact with a potential customer rather than minimum wage employees working off of a script. Such expertise can help a company's sales force become just that much more effective and profitable.
Established leads also need to be nurtured and lead generation systems can help in this area. Regular customers will remain on board with a particular company largely because of a continuing relationship. Such relationships need to be cultivated. Acting as a representative of the client, sales professionals will develop a schedule that makes regular contact with a client's customers, maintaining and nurturing a sense of good will that will keep orders flowing in. Finding new vendors is a task that most organizations want to avoid. A personal touch can make all of the difference in keeping regular customers faithful. By working with lead generation systems, companies can be assured that these valuable contacts are being tended to. This may be done through a combination of regular phone calls and automated emails. Another benefit of this service is that customers can stay educated on any new products or promotions that are available. If a special event is coming up, a company's sales force may not have time to touch base personally with every customer to inform them of the event and answer any questions. Services that provide and nurture sales leads can handle these communications for their clients, leaving the sales and marketing employees free to plan and orchestrate the event. The helping hand that is provided by these services can make all the difference in a company's bottom line.
Another service that may be offered by lead generation systems is the creation of relevant content. Such content could include articles, white papers, e books, email templates, blogs, case studies, reports, newsletters, marketing web sites, and letter templates. Benefiting from the professional expertise of these services can inspire confidence as sales personnel do their job. The Bible talks about the blessings that belong to believers who trust God. "Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is." (Jeremiah 17:7)
There are also lead generation systems that have a special expertise on the World Wide Web. These services may provide landing pages and mircro web sites that can be used to generate sales leads. Before signing on with one of these organizations, there are certain questions that a potential client should ask. How much on line marketing experience does the organization have? How will leads be driven to the landing site? How does the organization define a lead? Will any leads that are generated be researched and qualified? How much in depth information will be available with each of the leads? With the many options that are available, companies can experience a substantial increase in sales with a little help from these services.