Leads come from 2 primary sources:
...current customers - usually your best source for more business, and
...prospects - those who can buy what you sell but are not doing so today.
This continuing series will offer a collection of ideas for both. No, not every idea will be equally applicable for your specific needs. It is a good bet every collection will have one or two thoughts you will find useful.
Let's get started.
Idea #1. Your message must position your product or service using the sales axiom - USP ... Unique Selling Proposition. Or with newer terminology - PoD ... Point of Difference or Point of Distinction. i.e., what does your product offer that the other guy does not? What is available to the customer from you that is not available from others?
Idea #2. You sales message must be aimed to the needs of your audience. People buy when they can be shown you can fulfill their need. Sure, wants and desires are important, no doubt about it. Most often emotion and feeling and warm and fuzzy come first. Bottom line decisions are made on the basis of reason, thinking, a true need.
Idea #3. It is almost impossible to contact your customers too often. In fact, most of us fail to talk to our customers nearly as often as we should. By mail, phone, fax, E-mail, 1:1 - they are each important. Yes, you must have something to say, something to offer. When you do your customers will be happy to hear from you.
Idea #4. Before you create a lead generation program you must have a clear set of objectives. What you do expect to happen? What is the timing? What can you invest to get a qualified lead? Objectives, timetable, budget - they apply to lead generation programs, too.
Idea #5. Creative reflects marketing strategy. Your plan. So, you must establish your goals and aim in that direction. Frequently your current customers will help you ... they'll help you focus. They'll tell you what is important and what is not. Learn from your current customers. When you do, not only will you gain more business from them, you'll learn how to find new customers.
Idea #6. Quantity vs. quality of leads needs to be decided upon at the beginning of any program. There is no right or wrong answer - only what applies to you. Sometimes you need lots of new business leads and you need them in a hurry. Quality is not important. Sometimes you can put up with a low quantity of high quality leads. Plan accordingly.
Idea #7. Know how you are perceived by your audience. What is your position. Are you #1 or #2 and a leader in your marketplace? Or not. Are you perceived as the "Rolex" in your industry ... or are you "Timex"? It does not matter - it DOES matter that your message reflects what your position is. And you can prove it and stand behind it.
Idea #8. Who makes the buying decision for your product? By title and responsibility? i.e., who is your marketplace? Is there any industry or product research available to help you? What about your corporate history? What business codes are your best prospects? Is size of firm, number of employees, location, revenue or turn-over important factors? Know the facts - they will not go away if you ignore them. Know who buys what you sell.
Idea #9. What are the honest appeals of your product ... the benefits to the customer? What at the features you offer that your competition does not? What sales points do you know make a real difference to your buyer? Are there current trends you can capitalize upon? What is the offer ... what are you "giving" to your prospect they cannot get elsewhere? i.e., what's in it for the customer, the prospect?
Idea #10. Direct mail continues to be a strong lead generation tool. When you create your direct mail program remember short vs. long is usually better for lead generation. And know involvement devices work for B-2-B mail as well as consumer. "Things" that get your prospect to "play" with your mail will also get that same person to remember - and very likely respond.
Okay, the first set of lead generation ideas. More to come next time.
For additional ideas on direct marketing, call Ray at +1+928+785-9400 to talk your needs.
Good friend and a true business marketing lead generation expert is Mac McIntosh.
Mac and I are doing seminars together. We'll do one for your company, your association, your organization.
Tell us what your needs are. Mac and I will tailor a day or 2 or more just for you. For details on Mac, see http://www.salesleadexperts.com/.
Or send an e-mail to Mac at Mac@SalesLeadExperts.com.
You can also fax or e-mail Ray. Details at the bottom of this page.