The Lead Generation Cycle
I can never write enough about prospecting. There are few companies that do not need more leads. Dips in sales are tough on cash flow and moral. In order for your company to have steady growth you need a steady flow of leads. Many businesses lack a process for lead generation, so if you don’t have one, you are not alone. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but you do have to have a process. Here’s a simple one you can adopt.
- Define – your ideal prospect then build or procure a list of companies or people who fit. Look at past and current customers who might be part of the list.
- Determine – how you will let them know you exist and how you get them interested in your offering.
- Execute – a plan to generate a certain amount of leads monthly, “Rinse and Repeat.”
Once a prospect has interest, the selling can begin – so that’s the goal.
In order to turn a list into leads, something needs to happen. Here are some ways to turn a list into leads:s
- Cold Call: Cold call the list. This is not my favorite but many companies still do it. This is a pure numbers game. If you call on 100 people or knock on 100 doors, you will reach a certain percent and of that percent you reach, some will be interested. It’s time intensive, fraught with rejection and negative feedback and most people hate doing it. If you choose to do it, I recommend planning a campaign that includes, email and/or mail and prepared voicemails or leave behinds. Be ready to make 6 attempts before giving up.
- Send Information: They mail or email information about the brand or the products and services. This has a very low response rate but it may help build brand awareness so that when the salesperson calls there is at least some name recognition. If you choose this, you need to plan a series of messages that go out consistently over time. People may not respond to the first message but they may respond to the 6th.
- Hold Events: Companies hold events and invite the people on the list. This defines 3 categories for follow up. First, those who attend, then those who want to attend but can’t and last those who don’t respond. Decisions about follow up flow from there. Of those that attend, some will be “hot” leads so be prepared to follow up, follow up, follow up. Studies show that when pursuing a prospect who showed interest, it takes 6 contacts, most salespeople give up after one.
- Connect on Social Media: that’s a whole topic of its own. There are so many great ways to use social media but you need a plan. LinkedIn, if used properly can help you build connections that lead to sales. Start by taking 10 companies from the list and looking for connections on LinkedIn. Find people you know who are connected and get introductions. There are many articles on this blog that will get you started.
- Get Referrals: By far my favorite. Take the list and choose the top 10 companies you want to prospect. Then ask for introductions. Ask your colleagues, customers, friends, and family, everyone who knows you, likes you and trusts you. Tell them what you are trying to accomplish and give them the words they need to make a good introduction. Rinse and repeat! Take the next 10 and do the same.
- Combination: Do a combination of all of the above over a defined period of time.
Consistency is the key. Develop a prospecting process so that you are consistently generating leads.
For more on The Lead Generation Cycle, join me and Erik Luhrs on August 14th at 10:00am PDT for a free webinar: 3 Steps to Get Prospects to Contact YOU Ready to Say Yes!
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