You’ve printed flyers, you’ve sent out mailers, you have blasted your social-media followers, but you’re still not getting the lead flow you need to grow your company into the next billion-dollar brand. Well, there are hundreds of ways to generate leads, so don’t hang your head.
Here are ten of my favourite.
These work great for B2B companies or a business that works in a very technical space, as people love to read and gain expertise about their industry. Make sure you don’t promote your services or products.
People don’t want to be sold, they want to be informed. So write it from a neutral perspective and give actionable insights. Share the eBook socially and ask your network to share it for you.
You’ll want to ensure that you have a landing page set up that requires visitors to input their name, email and phone number for a chance to download the eBook. Pages like this can be built easily with tools like Unbounce.
Do you have a newsletter yet? If not, you’re missing out on one of the simplest way to generate more leads. Make sure you put a newsletter sign up in every possible place that makes sense on your website.
With these newsletter, not only do you have a captive audience (people have to opt-in to your newsletter) but email pathways are a great way to avoid getting lost in all the Internet noise. Again, don’t make it all about you. Instead, share with your contacts your insights, recent wins you created for your customers and industry news.
Having a blog is one of the best lead generating tools you can use, as it not only allows a company (or person) complete control of what is said but also an opportunity to have the undivided attention of the reader.
Make sure that your blog is optimized to generate leads by having a sign-up section for your newsletter and by using the margins to promote your products and services. And I feel like a broken record, but don’t make the blog all about you! Give real value.
Related: Leads that Will Lose you Business
Twitter is a dream for generating leads. Use it to reach out to influencers in your industry and get into conversations with them. Their followers, who are probably some of your potential customers, will see your interactions and follow you or visit your site.
You can also follow trending subjects that pertain to your business and interject your thoughts into the general discussion by using the # symbol. For instance, if you are in the mobile world, you may use #iphone to find and eventually get leads.
5. Networking events
While a lot of action happens in the digital world, the real world still provides a lot of advantages – especially networking events. Even events that didn’t directly pertain to my business have provided me with some of the most valuable contacts and leads.
You’ll meet more people, expand your network and gain referrals. Plus, it’s a great way to build your brand. Make sure to bring business cards and don’t be afraid to ask the people you meet for their patronage.
6. Develop an engaging video
Please don’t produce another terrible commercial and post it on YouTube. The world doesn’t need any more of these. What people always want more of is entertainment. So, spend some time on developing a great idea that promotes your business and engages your customers.
Once you’ve uploaded the video, you can get the ball rolling on making it go viral by using services like StumbleUpon to drive traffic to your video for pennies per viewer. Video sites like YouTube allow you to put links directly into the video. Use these to link back to specific landing pages on your website.
Yes, infographics may have been overused a few years back, but people still share them and still stop and read them whenever they can.They’re quite cheap to produce as well. Simply come up with an original idea (again, don’t make it about you), find a quality (but affordable) graphic designer, then share it socially and ask your network to pass it along. You can also submit your infographics to publications that cover your industry.
Always put your logo and website URL on the bottom of the infographic. This way readers will be able to visit your site.
Webinars are an inexpensive way to get your message to thousands of potential customers. There are many services that allow you to broadcast a webinar quickly and easily. And if you make it a recurring event, you’ll continue to grow your following. So, come up with a great idea that helps your customers and promote it using social media, your network and your newsletter.
At the end of the webinar, feel free to ask the attendees to download an eBook, sign up for your newsletter, or visit your site. This will bring the leads flowing in.
9. Media coverage
Do you know what journalists hate? Being hit up by dozens of PR agencies hour after hour, day after day. Do you know what journalists hate a little less? Having an owner of a company reach out to them and tell their story in a real and authentic manner.
In fact, your chances of being covered go up significantly if you do the reach out yourself (as long as your pitch is on point). A few tips regarding reaching out to journalists: Don’t mass email them, do not open with “to whom it may concern” and don’t pester them (one follow up email is sufficient).
By getting your name out in the media, you begin to develop a following, increase your personal brand and come off as an expert in your domain – all that can help you get leads.
10. Strong branding
Customers love authentic companies. They like it when a company has a strong and clear message and that message is consistent across all of their marketing platforms. So, don’t try and be everything to everyone.
Want Higher Response Rates? Start Treating Your Sales Prospects Like People
You can’t expect to sell anything if your prospects don’t trust you.
Sales isn’t an easy job. It takes the right personality and a certain set of skills to be successful. That’s why whenever I’ve hired for a sales position, I’ve found that it’s very hard to find that right person.
That’s because so many salespeople have the wrong attitude when it comes to communicating with their prospects. They’re so focused on the numbers game – from pricing to commissions to quotas – that they forget that they’re talking to real people.
I can’t tell you how many times a sales rep has come to me complaining about how a prospect has ghosted him (or her), and wondering what he did wrong.
But the truth was, he was the problem. You can’t come charging out of the gate, pushing the sale and expect the prospect to fall in line. Sales is about communication, about nurturing that relationship and building trust. And you can’t expect to sell anything if your prospects don’t trust you.
Why your prospects don’t trust you
Sales reps already have a reputation for being shady. In fact, according to research from HubSpot, only 3 percent of buyers trust sales reps. And for good reason! After all, sales reps are doing so many things wrong:
- Talking too much and not letting the prospect share his or her needs
- Grilling the prospect with too many questions
- Being overeager when it comes to making the sale
- Going into a conversation with a prospect unprepared
- Not taking the time to understand the prospect.
Related: Sales Strategy Example
The point is, it’s through trust that you find success. Prospects know when they’re being treated like dollar signs, when you’re talking through a script and focused only on the transaction. And the minute they feel mistreated, they’ll walk away. Believe me.
That’s why when talking to the prospect, you have to forget about the sale. I know that sounds like the exact opposite of what you should do, but hear me out. If you’re too focused on the sale, your prospects won’t trust you. They won’t open up and share their needs, and they won’t believe in the value of your products or services. So, you have to forget about the sale – at least temporarily.
What do you focus on instead? Building that trust. And the best way to build trust is through open and honest communication.
How you can improve your communication with prospects
In any relationship, communication is key, and sales are no different. How you communicate will dictate how your prospect responds to you and whether or not he or she will ultimately buy from you. That’s why having strong communication skills is essential.
Here are the three things you need to do to communicate effectively with your prospects:
The first thing you need to do is slow down. Don’t be in such a rush to talk about your products. You need to nurture the prospect and ease him or her into the idea.
Start by getting to know this person. Ask questions, and let the prospect do the talking. Better yet, research your prospect ahead of time to find some common ground. Maybe you both like the same sports team, or maybe the prospect wrote a really interesting article recently. Whatever it is, lead with that commonality to start building a rapport.
The goal is to get the prospect to feel comfortable around you and then open up more and share his or her needs.
Remember how I said you should let the prospect do the talking? According to HubSpot, 69 percent of buyers surveyed said that the number one way to create a positive sales experience with them was to listen to their needs. You need to truly hone in on what your prospect is saying. Then you can identify where you can help.
Sometimes, that may mean you discover that your product isn’t actually right for that prospect. Rather than trying to push the product further, you can part ways gracefully. Don’t look at this scenario as a bad thing; it will free you up to focus on other prospects who are a right fit for your product.
In truth, sales reps are more like consultants – or at least that’s how they should behave. As you’re listening to your prospect’s needs and pain points, focus on what the right solution for those pain points is. Once this person has explained his or her situation, show how your product would be of value to that situation specifically.
The key is to see things from the prospect’s perspective. Put yourself in his or her shoes. You’ll find that your prospects are people just like you, and they want to be treated with respect. They don’t want to be “sold” to; they want to solve their problems. And if you can provide that solution, they will likely trust you.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
3 Steps To Healthier Client Relationships
Do you have clients that constantly push the boundaries, who have unrealistic expectations and inconsistent feedback? What if you could have a client base of only people who value your work? Firing the wrong clients can help you get there.
It’s not easy to admit that a client is actually doing your business more harm than good. When it gets to the point that you are spending all of your time and energy trying to please one client, then it’s time to look at what they are contributing to your success.
In the early days of your business, it’s understandable to hold on to difficult clients as every penny counts. However, as time goes on, firing a disproportionately time-consuming and challenging client could free you up to go looking for new and better business.
Here are three steps to take to healthier client relationships:
1. Get perspective
Step back from everyday tasks to make some notes about the client relationship in question. Ask yourself what you value in your client versus what drains your energy and puts you in a bad mood.
Understand what the deal-breakers are and whether the client in question has crossed the line. It’s possible that you just need to have a frank conversation with the client, but often these kinds of client relationships are too far gone.
2. Fire the wrong client
There’s no one-size-fits-all for this process – you have to do this in your own way, but be clear on the reasons. If the client has been as unhappy as you are, they will most likely understand that this relationship is not a good fit.
However, there are times when a client has no idea that they are being unreasonable or thinks that this relationship is productive. That’s when it’s difficult to explain why you are deciding not to take their money.
Make it factual and don’t bring in your feelings. If you have examples of situations or email threads as proof show them that this is not how you believe a successful relationship should be. Be clear on your values and what you envision for your business.
Be polite and professional throughout the conversation and focus on the relationship fit, rather than pointing out their personal flaws. Explain the next steps and how the handover process will take place. You want to make sure that the end of the relationship is as amicable as possible.
3. Find the right clients
Firing a difficult client is likely to affect your bottom line in the short term but it will give you the motivation, and headspace, to go looking for the right clients.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Make sure you know what you want in a client – make a list of things you won’t stand for again with future clients, and one that describes your dream client.
- Use your time and resources wisely, and aim high to secure clients that will be worth your while.
- Identify potential clients and projects that are profitable, that will inspire you and that you enjoy working with.
Tip: make sure the Terms and Conditions on your website, and in your quotes, are well-defined. State your prices clearly, don’t leave room for interpretation. Don’t back down if a new client quibbles over a cost estimate. Take complaints of this nature as a warning sign and walk away.
Don’t ever think that you’ve wasted your time with the wrong client. Each client you work with helps you to refine your offering and progressively understand what you’re good at. Firing a client is never easy, but sometimes it’s a necessity for the successful and sustainable future of your business (and your sanity).
When you fire the wrong client, you can streamline your business to play to these strengths, and ensure you offer a world-class service or product.
7 Steps To Master The 80/20 Revenue Model
Imagine a world where 80% of your revenue came from 20% of your customers. Now what will it take to make it your reality?
We are often so focused on new leads that we forget to master the art of upselling and cross-selling. To generate more income from existing customers you need to focus on quality over quantity, and be strategic in your approach. Here are seven steps to help you on your way.
Understand what you want to achieve
When you upsell, you encourage customers to buy a higher-end product or service than the one in question – such as an airplane seat with more leg room. Whereas cross-selling tempts customers to buy related products that satisfy additional, complementary needs. A simple example is when you check out of an online store and the shop tempts you to buy similar or complementary products that you suddenly just can’t live without!
Tip: Identify which one makes sense in your business, and what the additional or complementary offering will be.
Long-standing relationships and loyal clients are worth their weight in gold. Make sure they know they will remain a priority, even when you are busy with bigger or more profitable projects.
Constantly over-deliver and exceed expectations. Make yourself ‘irreplaceable’.
Don’t presume you know what your customers want or need – do your homework and ask them. You need to understand their hopes, dreams, fears and challenges. Three simple ways to do this are to:
- set up regular one-on-one calls
- catch up over coffee
- or email them a quick survey to complete.
Add real value
Ask yourself, ‘how can I help this client achieve their goals or overcome this challenge?’ You need to find ways to add real value to make the additional expense worthwhile. Also make sure your pricing is fair and competitive, without selling yourself short.
For example, one of the products we cross-sell at Yellow Door is video content. It’s a key part of a holistic marketing strategy and is a great way to bolster content for launches, social media and newsletters.
Paint a picture
To excel at upselling and cross-selling, you need to help customers visualise the value they will get from the higher-priced item. Whether it’s a 30-second video, an infographic, or a well worded email – take the time to explain not only what the product is, but how it will benefit them or their business.
Offering a reward or incentive can increase your upsell or cross-sell conversion rate. For example, offer free shipping or a discount if the client purchases two or more products or services.
Ensure your team has the expertise and capacity to deliver the relevant service or product at the right standard. Alternatively, find a non-competing service provider to complement your offering and agree on a referral or commission structure. This way you can expand your offering without increasing your overheads.
The key to success is to understand what your customers value and then respond with products, services or features that meet those needs.
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