You already know that a lead is an individual that may be interested in goods or services your business offers. You also already know that it is (most often) the job of a company’s sales representative to make contact with sales leads and form a connection.
The question is, how do you go about generating leads in the first place?
When it comes to growing your business, generating leads is key. And while the art of sales has been around for some time, today’s most useful selling methods have not.
Rather, they change with the times.
Today we’re giving you an overview of popular (and current) ways you can generate new leads for your business. In doing so, we hope you gain a firmer grasp on how you can draw in new customers even in today’s competitive market.
Types of leads you can generate
Sales leads can be divided into three general categories.
These leads haven’t shown interest in your company, your goods or your services. They have made zero effort to contact you directly prior to your reaching out to them.
These leads have displayed some interest in your company and/or your goods or services. This interest may be as simple as signing up for your newsletter. You don’t know if these leads are the right fit for your product or service yet, but you should invest the time and resources to find out.
These leads are ready to buy (or have previously purchased from you). They know what they want, they have the resources and authority to purchase goods or services, and they stand ready to do so.
Forming connections with leads
1. Online display advertising
We live in a tech-driven world. And, in many households, people can simply skip advertisements on their televisions that they don’t wish to see. As you might guess, this has meant a shift into more advertising in the online space. You’ve likely been the target of several online ads—perhaps ones that have even resulted in a purchase!
That’s because it’s easy to reach your ideal customers as they browse their favorite websites—and not as simple for them to skip over it. Using an online display ad, you can easily create pitches around your product or service and put them in front of a targeted list of potential customers and ultimately generate new leads.
2. Social media
There are over 4.5 billion social media users worldwide. Even a small percentage of that pie could equal millions in revenue for your company. So, using social media for generating leads is just smart business practice. And there are a few ways to make it happen for yourself.
Generating leads on social media can be as simple as joining groups and commenting on a user’s pain points. For instance, if you sell skin care products, you could join troublesome skin groups on Facebook. Watch for opportunities to offer guidance (without directly trying to sell anything) and build yourself up as an expert within the group that users seek advice from. Eventually, when you generate enough buzz, people in the group that you help will start selling your products for you. This is known as social selling.
You can also post ads on social media. Similar to online display advertising, social media ads should closely relate to someone’s interests, hobbies, or particular needs.
The most important thing to remember about generating leads through social media is consistency. Choose a single social media network to start making connections on and stick with it until you’re confident in your approach. At that point, you can add another social media network to your lead generating attempts.
3. Email marketing with personalization
A study found that 90% of consumers within the U.S. like the idea of personalized content. And there is no easier place to add those little personalization touches than through your email marketing.
Start by adding the recipient’s name either to the subject line or email body.
Another way to personalize your email content is by segmenting your audience. Segmenting refers to organizing your audience into categories so that you can more easily target their unique traits, needs, and even pain points with the content you send to them. This, in turn, makes your audience feel like you truly know them—which can inspire more purchases.
4. Value-focused content creation
Content is the perfect way to build trust and relationships with your leads without making them feel pushed to purchase. A blog that delves deeper into a particular subject, video tutorials, case studies regarding your product or services, infographics, online workshops, podcasts, and even your website are considered content that a user may find valuable.
If a lead is liking what they see, hear, or read without feeling pressured to buy, it can inspire additional actions like which may lead to a purchase.
Chances are you have one (or several) people that have used your product or service. Whether they purchased from you or you gave it to them in exchange for an honest review, their feedback can be used in the form of a testimonial.
Post testimonials everywhere—from your social media channels to your website to a sign inside your brick-and-mortar store. When leads see that others have used and loved your product or service (or at the very least, found it useful) it can generate more interest in your offerings. This is a much stronger buzz than you could generate by boasting about your products or services yourself.
6. Ask for referrals
Similar to testimonials, a referral utilizes your happy, existing customers to do the work of selling your products or services for you. And in fact, 92% of people trust referrals from someone they personally know. Add to that, that 65% of new business opportunities come from referrals and recommendations and utilizing this method to generate new leads is simple common sense.
Instead of individuals, you can also consider forming a referral partnership with another business. For instance, a local bookstore could form a partnership with the next-door coffee shop. Each could offer a special deal through the other to entice new leads to stop through, opening the door to new relationships.
7. Buy a list
Generating a new list of leads can be a time-consuming business. Thankfully, there are big data companies that can provide you with a targeted list of leads. Generate new business when you connect with leads that meet a whole host of criteria such as those people living within a specific ZIP Code or individuals who happen to be outdoor enthusiasts.
It isn’t always easy to go about generating leads, but successful businesses know it’s worth the effort to keep trying. Above is by no means an exhaustive list of opportunities to generate new leads. In everything you do to generate new leads, strive to be a trusted resource because that is what will ultimately attract the most customers. And if you need help with your lead generation efforts, reach out to a partner at Data Axle Genie. We offer a variety of turnkey marketing solutions designed to help you find, acquire, and retain customers again and again.