The series continues.
Let's review. Leads come from many sources, 2 primary: . . current customers - usually your best source for more "new" business, and ... prospects - those who can buy what you sell, yet are not doing so today.
There are scores of places to search for new business. We pick-up the series with an interesting idea on where you will find more prospects.
Idea #38. If you're a public company - your stockholders are a source for leads. Include an announcement with your annual report, dividend payment, your company publication, news or press release to the financial community. No matter what type of company you are, you will find leads from suppliers, and even those who you are not buying from, yet. A special enclosure in your employees pay envelope, with their bonus check and expense report reimbursement will get you leads. A flyer sent to customers with their invoice - asking for leads will create response. Just asking works.
Idea #39. A good way to create leads is by staying in touch with your customers between face-to-face visits. With direct mail, by fax, by phone, by E-mail. Contact alone will get you more leads than your competition - who is not reaching out.
Idea #40. This is tough - still, it works. Get your product specified or prescribed. Get your corporate name and brand product in the blue print, on the option list. This is almost a must for anything government - it works well in certain professional industries, too. Such as builders and contractors in all areas, with architects, in the medical field, especially with hospitals and other larger care providers. When you educate your potential buyers, they are more likely to recommend you. Likewise, consumers, dealers, distributors even, frequently ask for a product by name. Because they know it, are comfortable with it, know it will work for them.
Idea #41. One of the very best ways to get more business is to teach those who sell your product all about it. On the surface, this appears obvious. Because it is! Yet, far too many "wing" the education part - and hope the sales rep is quick on their feet. Not good. All memories are short when it comes to remembering features, benefits and sales points. Even your best customers don't know what you offer as well as you do ... and they never will. So offer seminars, sales training sessions and on the spot help to the people selling your product / your service. It will translate to more new business for you - including more from your already best customers.
Idea #42. The same thought applies to all contracts - be they public or private. Teach those buying what it is you offer ... and the benefits of doing business with you. With government, the military and educational systems hands-on is the best way to build relationships. And frequently the only way you'll get considered and on the bid list is to share your knowledge up-front. It may be a little easier in the private sector - still, when you show a willingness to work from the ground up you are more likely to be taken seriously. And then bought from.
Idea #43. Help your dealers and distributors sell more. Offer your support with a direct mail lead generation program. Maybe one you split the costs on. Each mailer is personalized to the dealer - all the leads go back to the dealer. The message is all you! Point-of-purchase merchandise displays is another way to get more business. If your distribution system lends itself to "stores", an exhibit will get more of your product sold. Simple sales literature in a take-one rack - maybe an educational "how to ... " booklet will be helpful. Anything you do in a cooperative way to support and encourage your reps to truly rep you will help. It won't work with every dealer - it will with most. And you both win with more sales.
Idea #44. Another way to get the attention of your sales reps is by referring all leads to them. Independent reps, dealers, distributors, wholesale, retail - when you direct your buying audience to where they can get service and buy your product, everyone wins. Print advertising (newspapers & magazines), direct mail, broadcast (radio, television) and today your web site, can each send your prospect to where they can buy your product. Let the dealers know you're doing this - get them to "buy-in" on the idea, and again, everyone wins.
Idea #45. Use a toll-FREE telephone number in your print, your mail, your E-mail marketing, on radio and television. Make it easy for your prospect to call to get more information and get it immediately. The easier you make it the more leads you will generate. And then have an offer. A reason for the prospect to call. Maybe it's a FREE "how to ... " booklet, maybe it's a catalogue, or a ticket for entry to a business trade show. Maybe it's simply the names & addresses of the 2 or 3 closest dealers who carry your product line. Whatever the reason, a toll-free number will get you more action.
Idea #46. Coupons get action. So mail a coupon, or include it in the newspaper, offer it online, fax it - get it in the hands of those who can buy your product. And use it to drive traffic to a store, an exhibit, a trade show ... someplace where it can be used - when they make a buying decision. Some use a double coupon offer; the first to drive traffic, to simply get the lead, to generate some action. And the second good for a bonus, an extra, a premium - something over and above the usual. And, know your coupon will work best when it has a drop dead Limited Time Offer - a date. Must be used by "X" day to take advantage of this special offer.
Idea #47. Another way to drive traffic to a store or trade show or special event is with a demonstration. If you know people buy when they see your product in action, doing what it does - then demo it. You begin with a personal, friendly, informed and cordial "invitation". Most often through the mail - could be over the telephone. Maybe by fax or E-mail. And you complete it with a personal, friendly, informed and cordial sales rep doing the "show & tell".
This is the 5th in this series. Ideas #48-55 will be up next time. In the between time, to learn more about lead generation and how it can work for you, talk with Ray - or visit Mac MacIntosh ... details below.
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.