Do you have times throughout the year when new leads tend to dry up?
Most of us do! The challenge of finding new leads on a regular basis is ongoing for most small businesses.
Maybe we need to ‘Think Outside the Box’ to come up with different ways to create a constant flow of leads coming your way.
Be prepared to think differently to come up with new and creative ways to generate leads and referrals for your business. In your business communities, ask for assistance, ideas and support and meet with those who inspire you to think creatively. Forming a group that meets regularly to help brainstorm ideas for each other is a great way to keep coming up with new ideas.
Here are a few already tried and tested lead generation activities you can use:
Become a Member of Business Communities
The most effective way of generating more leads, qualified referrals or find partners to form strategic alliances or joint ventures is to be a part of one or several business communities.
Groups with structured meetings to facilitate people developing strong business relationships and passing on qualified referrals usually give the best results and give you the highest return on investment.
There are many different types of network groups today from small casual and informal meetups to the more structured groups. Some meet weekly, fortnightly, monthly and some on a less regular basis.
It is recommended that you visit a group, ask the members or regular attendees what their experiences have been and then make an informed decision about whether to join the group and to attend on a regular basis where possible.
Leverage your Past Successes
Look at the successes you have achieved in the past! Who are your ideal and happy clients?
Make a list of your clients who keep coming back to you and are happy with your products and in particular your services.
Then ask them for a testimonial. These testimonials can be done in several different ways:
- Video Testimonial- these are by far the best and seen by social media platforms as the most genuine and become some of the highest-ranking posts
- Written testimonials- these are good as long as you display the name of the person giving the testimonial and preferably a photo. This shows the person reading that the testimonial is genuine and from ‘a real’ person.
- Google Reviews- ask you clients to go into your Google My Business page (ensure you have set this up) and give you and your business a rating and a written review.
- Social Media reviews and posts- there are different platforms that allow you to receive social media reviews so having your business pages set up is important.
Once you have these testimonials and reviews, share them on your website, social media posts, email signatures, newsletters and any other communication you send out.
Ask for Referrals
Apart from asking your clients to give you a testimonial or do a review, ask your existing clients to tell other people about your business and if appropriate pass on referrals to you.
Remember, to receive referrals from others, you too should be always looking for opportunities to give referrals to your clients as well. A good relationship with other businesses involves both give and take and it is always a good idea to lead by example.
Speak to your “competition”
In all reality many people you think are your competition, often are not.
You may find that they may offer different but complimentary products or services or have a different price point. What this means is that when one client doesn’t suit their business model, they may be able to pass it on to you and vice versa. This may be the least effective lead generating source, but one to consider depending on your line of business.
The thought of cold calling is very daunting to many and it is hard. However, it is another way to get more leads and get your business making more profit, so it may be worth it.
The goal from your ‘cold’ call should be to only arrange either another scheduled phone meeting or a face to face meeting with the right people. It is not about ‘selling’ your product or service in that initial phone call. In the follow up call or meeting is the time to work out how you can create a win/win situation so that both business benefit from the business relationship.
Finding new leads is just a numbers game and cold calling is one way to work through the numbers to find those new clients you require.
So, set a goal, create a script, a list, a spreadsheet to record your wins and the calls that did not work out and just start calling.
The Dos and Don’ts When Attempting to Generate Leads:
Don’t appear to be desperate
- Work out who your A, B, C and D clients are and look to only quote and/or accept work from those who you will be happy to work with!
- If you appear or sound desperate, without even knowing it, you will ‘warn off’ potential clients. They will either consciously or sub consciously feel that you are not at ease and they may go elsewhere for the product or service.
Create a strategic plan and start using many of the ways listed above to generate new leads. Your lead generating activities should be a part of your marketing strategy and done consistently all year round.
- Business people often get caught in the cycle. They do lots of networking and other lead generating activities that produce lots of new work, causing them to get very busy. As a result, they stop the important lead generating activities and after several months they again are desperate for work. The key is to consistently participate in networking or other lead generating activities.
- Some business people go to many networking groups or meetings but rarely return to the same group. Doing this often gives that person the reputation of trying to make as many connections as possible without supporting that particular business community.
Consistently attending groups is also a way of supporting the leader who has gone to the trouble of putting on the event.
Be prepared to help others first
Being the person who is consistently helping others, supporting and sharing knowledge is very important to be of service to others and to gain the respect of many. People will identify you as the ‘Expert’ in your field which could in turn, generate more leads and referrals for you.
Be open for opportunities
Other people in your business communities are always willing to help with support and new ideas. However, if you are ‘closed’ to new ideas and opportunities, and continually say things like- ‘Oh I tried something like that, and it did not work…’ then you may miss massive opportunities and run the risk of people ceasing to support you. Be open to think differently and consider all opportunities. Of course, you will do the due diligence needed to assess if the ideas are appropriate but at least stop and really consider if there is a genuine opportunity you can run with.