Whether online or offline one of the greatest challenges for local businesses is generating new leads.
New leads are the life blood for many small businesses. Leads bring in new customers that offer businesses increase sales boost their income. The challenge for small business owners and marketers is continually finding ways to get your business in front of new clients creating opportunities for potential sales.
1. Keep and Maintain a Database of Potential Clients
One of the easy ways of generating new sales is to keep a database of contact information. A database of potential clients allows you to generate hundreds if not thousands of leads from pre-qualified customers.
With this database, you can qualify leads into different sections that allow you to offer a more targeted strategy. Someone who has previously been a client will need to be approached differently to those in your database who are much colder leads.
But how do you build your list of potential clients?
In your daily dealings, you’ll come across potential customers. Take the opportunity when talking to them to try and capture some further information.
If you’re a service-based business, offer a free quote. During this process capture lead generating information such as numbers, email details, etc. If for whatever reason they don’t go for your services, the information can be used later on to generate leads. For example, say six months after you provide the initial quote touch base to see how they got on with whatever service you gave a quote for. Then give them a little bit extra by providing a discount code should they need any help down the track.
Now, the majority of people won’t get back to you or if they do they won’t be in need of your services, but a percentage of them will. And that is work you would have never had if you hadn’t captured that information and followed-up.
2. Develop your Ideal Customer’s Persona
To convert leads into sales you need to know what makes your ideal customers tick. You need to be sure that they are someone who you can actually convert and they’re someone your business wants to work with. To figure this out you need to look at who your ideal customers are.
You may already have a good idea, but it’s best to take a fresh look at it in see what holes your lead generation strategy may have. Take a look at your previous customers, what made them profitable and why did they want to use your business. Develop a profile on them, what are their wants and needs.
This will help your marketing team to determine what your ideal customer is looking for and where they are looking for it. You can then use this to get your business in front of them – either converting them straight away or capturing their information to place in your sales lead funnel.
3. Develop Lead Guidelines
How will you know when to contact a lead within a different segment of your list? Strategically think about it. Take the example in the first point. A 6-month timeframe may be great if you’re a mechanic and you were contacted about a car service because 6 months may be around about the time they’re thinking of their next service, if you reach out it will put you front of mind.
However, if you a home renovation company, 6 months may be too long. By that time, the lead will have gone with someone else and already started their renovations. Why not follow up with them after 2 weeks? They will have probably received a few quotes from other builders and have a better idea at what they are looking to buy. You might be able to talk to them about their needs and how you can help them out, but by simply making contact again builds a relationship and increase your chance of converting them into a sale.
You need to think about how your sales team will use all these great contacts that you company has built up.
The guidelines will help the members of your team to know which people should approached with different sales tatics, because as you know sales isn’t a one size fits all. Someone who is if further down the sales funnel will need a different approach to a new lead that you are really trying to nurture.
4. Create Detailed Lead Strategies
Create content targeted to your ideal customer persona for the different stages of or sale funnel. Let’s use the mechanic example above, if you have an existing customer database why not create an automated email that is sent out after a certain period gently reminding that it’s time for a service. Again, this simple reminder strategy may be enough to get them to book their next service with you. And if done in the right way it can create build a positive link between the client and your company that inclines them to recommend you to their firends and family.
New leads will need more nurturing, so why not create a marketing and sales strategic that’s a bit more personalised talking to them directly over the phone without trying to sell them yet. See what their problems are and offer advice to help them with no attachments. If you have a common thread of problems create a landing page on your website dedicated to answering them with and email opt-in form that you can direct them to. If they’re not ready to make a decision don’t force it. Make a note of it and reach out to them after the predetermined time.
The tips above are just a small taste of how you as marketers, business owners and a sales team can build a prequalified list of leads, cultivate it and follow up in the right ways to generate more sales.