Revenue is the fuel for every successful company, and every current client started at some point as a “lead”.
But how do you define a lead? There are many different thoughts on that. For our purposes I’d suggest this definition…
“A lead is an inquiry into your services or a positive response from a potential client, when informed of your services.”
You could write endlessly (and people have) about “quality” leads and “qualified leads” and so on. Let’s have that discussion another day and focus on X ways to increase the leads coming into your business.
There are three basic ways to accumulate leads. You can SELL, you can ADVERTISE or you can receive REFERRALS.
This involves you or a sales person making a continual and concerted effort to reach out to potential clients, make sure they a) know that you exist, b) the services that you offer and c) why they should avail themselves of your services.
This can be done the old fashioned cold phone call – still somewhat effective, by cold emails collected from website, attending events and joining organizations such as Kiwanis or becoming a member of a local leads group such as BNI.
If you are the owner or a sales person, remember – Always Be Closing. Be ready at any time to make a good contact – you don’t have to be annoying about it – just make sure you have a 10-15 description of your business and service ready to roll out when the occasion is right.
Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise. At least that’s how the old saying goes. Today you have to be pretty crafty to advertise effectively.
Here are some of your advertising options:
- Sponsor local events
- Facebook & Social Media
Traditional advertising typically requires the least effort but, despite losing a lot of audience, can still be quite expensive. Traditional advertising includes newspapers, radio, TV and billboards. If you are using these methods try to promote specific offers so you can do some level of measurement.
For branding purposes (just for name recognition) you can sponsor a local event such as a 5k run or concert.
Branding is an extremely valuable effort in that it can raise the perceived value of your service but is definitely a long term strategy.
Digital advertising includes your website, SEO, Adwords, Facebook Ads and social media outlets (which can also be used for branding) and email.
Learn much more about digital marketing by clicking here.
These are the best advertising, of course, but also the most unpredictable. The best way to get a referral is to ask for it – whether you do that directly or by offering an incentive. For example, I’ve rewarded people $20 for every lead they sent my way – you can add a link to your referral policy in your email signature.
No matter what approach or blend of approaches you use its most important to have an active lead generation program going on at all times. Learn about all the options discussed above, write a plan and put it into action, step by step.
Of course if you decide to focus on digital marketing, we’d love to help you at Inbound Revenue.