Business-to-Business and many consumer marketers need leads.
Leads to feed a field sales force, an inside telemarketing operation, distributors or dealers.
No matter how you get a lead, it is only a single step in the sales process. It is NOT the sale. If your lead comes by mail, phone, fax, E-mail, off your web-site, from a trade show, a PR release - wherever! - it then needs to be worked. Frequently by an inside sales rep to qualify - frequently by an outside sales rep to visit the prospect 1:1 and close the sale.
There are 55 ideas in this collection of how to generate leads. The earlier set of tips took you through #26. Here are numbers 27-37.
Idea #27. Decide what types of businesses and/or consumers have the greatest need for your products and services. And then make what you offer available to them.
There are literally millions of businesses available worldwide - and tens of millions of consumers. Some are better prospects for you than others. The first part of your plan is to decide to go "where the selling will be best for you." And then do it.
Idea #28. To increase your lead flow read the daily newspaper. Particularly the business section if you're selling direct to other businesses. If you sell to consumers, read the entire newspaper ... looking for new audiences to reach with your message.
P.S. Ditto for magazines. Read trade publications in industries that need what you sell. And the same for consumer offers, too.
Idea #29. Here is a 4 part process to gain more customers;
1. Separate "suspects" from "prospects". Suspects are people YOU identify as being able to buy what you sell. Prospects are suspects who express a willingness to at least talk with you about your offer, your product and services.
2. Get these prospects to make an initial buy. Well, of course that is exactly what you want to happen. An incentive for a first time buyer, an extra, a bonus ... anything to get the prospect to become a customer.
3. Upgrade this new customer to the next level. Maybe you cross-sell first, maybe you up-sell. You take some action to turn your new customer into a meaningful and ongoing regular customer.
4. Treat your new customer well. Thank them. Encourage them to return. Ask them for referrals. Follow-up and follow-through at every level ... to let them know you appreciate their business. And look forward to serving them over and over again and again.
This process will not only result in more business from these new customers ... it will aid you in finding more new business elsewhere.
Idea #30. Check the classified sections of telephone books for business list ideas. Then ask your direct response agency or list broker to provide you with information sorted by category. Sources such as D&B attach an ID number to every business. The benefit to you being you can select ONLY fast food restaurants, vs. all restaurants ... manufacturers of a specific product line vs. distributors, piano teachers vs. all teachers or all music teachers.
When you segregate your audience you are more likely to be on target - getting your message to the right people.
Idea #31. Check your best customer files and see if they "cluster" together in "groups".
If it's business, are there a majority of a certain size or type. All companies of 20-100 employees. All financial service organizations. All located in just a few very identifiable and reachable pockets. A restaurant row, and automobile row, Wall Street are each examples of "clustering".
When you can group your customers there is usually a good opportunity to cluster your prospects, too.
Idea #32. Your current customers are your best source for new business ideas, as well as just plain more business.
These people already know you. You have a comfortable together working relationship. So ask your customers for leads - leads inside their company. Another building, another division, another location, another office ... even another floor in their building.
And of course ask your customers for leads into contacts they have that you do not.
Idea #33. Success in lead producing direct mail, print, E-mail, fax marketing comes from a combination of different sources. Rarely is there a single source. Sometimes there is a "best" - yet, only by testing and mixing and matching and trying different combinations can you find what is best for you.
And once you do, know it will change! Just as your market changes.
Idea #34. Make good use of the people who are now using your products. Ask your satisfied customers for testimonials.
Testimonials you can use in your print campaigns, in E-mail, in your direct mail and corporate brochures. Anywhere, everywhere to help you get new business. Testimonials from your customers tell others how good you are - in a way that you never would - and probably never could. Testimonials make you believable.
Idea #35. Use newspapers, special interest publications and industry newsletters to generate leads. Run a small space ad designed to solicit an inquiry for more information - not to make a sale. Make an offer ... a FREE booklet, a Limited Time or Price Offer - something seasonal ... anything to get the attention of your audience. To get them to say "yes, let's talk".
Idea #36. Talk with your corporate employees about helping you find more business.
A direct mail package, a questionnaire, an E-mail message B- maybe a telephone interview or focus group style discussion B- each of these, used occasionally with your employees will help you find new business. And most likely bring forth a fountain of good ideas for your business you would not have tapped otherwise.
Make certain all working for you are also "selling" for you.
Idea #37. Know your industry. Read publications about what you and your company create, offer, build, supply. Go to trade shows and association meetings and conferences. Know what is going on in your backyard - in your marketplace.
Learn what your competition is offering. And what your best prospects and customers are reading.
You will get a constant flow of ideas just by staying in touch through your industry contacts.
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.