If there’s one thing you need to know about making your business into something profitable, it’s that you have to be able to generate as many sales leads as possible.
The only way you’re going to be able to convert potential customers into hard sales is if you first generate the leads and get them started in a conversation with your company. So the vital business question becomes, “What are the best strategies for creating these sales leads?”
You can find many different kinds of strategies out there for building sales leads. However, we’re going to stick to just a couple of the tried-and-true methods for creating the best leads for your sales team to pursue.
Below you’ll find some of the top lead generation techniques to help grow your business (including a crafty way to generate leads without lifting a finger)!
Build Your Network
If there’s one surefire way to generate new sales leads, it’s to get out there and start networking. The people you meet in your day-to-day life and as part of your business efforts are going to be your greatest resource for leads.
By putting on a friendly face and meeting people, you’ll have the chance to make people excited about your business and encourage them to get in contact when they need what you’re selling.
There are all kinds of great places where you can meet the people who will help you build your business:
The best place to make the necessary contacts for sales leads is an industry event.
- Nearly every industry is going to have a few events throughout the year, including conferences, mixers, and events geared exclusively toward building networks.
- You can find a lot of great local industry events by following Facebook groups, scanning Craigslist, or engaging with a site like Eventful.
- Whether you choose to travel the world or stay close to home with these events will depend on your aspirations and your industry, but these events are almost always useful for generating great leads.
You should also attend events that are designed specifically for entrepreneurs.
- This is where you’ll be able to meet people outside your own industry who may be in the market for the types of services or products you’re selling. Everyone at these events is looking for the latest and greatest products, and your job is to prove that you’re exactly what they want.
You can also generate leads for your products and services by getting off the web and out in public.
- Offline marketing can be just as important for generating leads as what you do online.
- Carry business cards with you wherever you go and hand them out as often as you can. Visit coffee shops, bars, and other social places for great opportunities to start conversations and get your cards into the right hands.
- If you put a unique link on your business cards (that still leads the consumer to your main website), you can use analytics software to track how successful your cards are at generating new leads.
When you focus on building the ideal network for your business, you won’t have any trouble converting those connections into sales when the time is right.
Social Media Marketing
For businesses that have a strong brand identity, social media marketing will often be the best method of creating new leads. Consumers today tend to be more attracted to powerful stories, images, and videos, so this is where your energy should be spent. One recent study, for example, found that consumers are 4 times as likely to respond to video content about a product than by reading about it.
You can try out a number of social media platforms to see what tends to generate the most interest among your target demographic. While you have a lot of options for how to develop your ideal lead-generating strategies, there are three key elements that your posts need to include.
Your posts need energy and purpose.
Customers respond best to fiery content, and you have to make sure your love for your content and your products shines through in order to encourage people to respond. If you want your customers to be as passionate about your products as they are about some of the top brands, your content needs to show how strongly you share your customer’s values.
People today are constantly receiving messages from every corner of the media.
If you want to stand out from everyone else, then you need to make sure you’re generating content that will inspire people and make them stop and think. Introducing a little spice or conflict (without inciting anger) into your messages will pay off by getting people talking and referencing your company.
Your brand identity is your calling card, and your tone needs to fit the type of products or services you’re offering. For a lot of companies trying to attract younger customers for their sales leads, this means that your content should be fun and humorous while still getting your message across. In other situations, you might have more success when you stick with a more professional tone — it depends on your overall business strategy.
Finally, you can let your customers handle much of the work of generating sales leads. With all of the marketing that companies are doing these days, people are often turning to their fellow consumers to find out where to purchase products. In fact, in 2015 about 80% of consumers reported that they trusted online reviews as much as they did personal recommendations.
- What this means for you is that you may want to start a program where your customers can receive discounts or other rewards for sharing the good news about your business. By offering customers a free month of content for each new referral, one subscription company was able to generate around three times as many leads (and $230,000 more in earnings) than through other marketing efforts.
- Some of the most common types of customer referrals include personal recommendations, links sent through referral programs, or writing reviews online. Regardless of the method, you and your customers will both benefit when they let others know about your company.
Lead Generation: The Fuel for Business Succes
Anyone who starts a business knows that it’s going to take hard work, but focusing on the right areas is what sets the best entrepreneurs apart from the rest.
When you look at how the top brands generate new leads, you’ll see that it comes down to three main tactics:
- Building online and offline networks
- Using social media to inspire productive conversations about your products
- Creating opportunities for customer referrals
When you put the time and effort into building your sales leads using these proven strategies, you’ll be moving leaps and bounds ahead of your competitors. Building loyalty and interest among consumers is just as important as sales for today’s businesses, which is why your ability to generate leads is crucial to your success.
Have any of these lead generating tactics worked for you in the past? Do you have other kinds of strategies that you use in your business? Be sure to contribute to the conversation in the comments!