A lot has been said about lead generation, all the tips and the tricks. One fundamental rule that is often overlooked though is to generate leads, not lists. The leads you find and use must be quality potential clients. Often small businesses try to avoid the hard work of finding new leads by purchasing sales lists. Or rather than following up on customers that would benefit from a product or service, they contact every name in their black book. This is a good way to waste money, time and energy.
Lead generation is more than just a sales tool. It’s an opportunity to build a better relationship with a client or potential client. It’s your chance as a small business to gain a quality customer rather than a one-time shopper. It all starts with the lead. Find leads from people that have once shown interest in your brand. Whether they have submitted questions through your website, called on a price check or filled out a comment card, if they have spent even a few seconds looking at your company, that’s still more than the average name that will show up on a sales list.
Two industries come to mind when comparing lead generation to lead lists: insurance and banking. Both are made up of dozens of options for customers with very similar products. It is very easy for an Insurance company to buy a list of phone numbers and begin selling car insurance. Virtually everyone over the age of 18 will need car insurance at some point in their life. In fact, a large majority of people on the lists likely already have a policy. So an Insurance company calls and offers lower rates. Seems like the list worked just fine instead of putting forth time to reach out to brand loyal patrons.
What about in banking? Same thing can be said about a credit card. Everyone has one, has had one or needs one. Personal bankers spend hours calling on leads just like the insurance agents. What if instead of a list, they generated leads? What if they called on customers that showed an interest in the credit card at the teller line? Or put in inquiries through their website? Calling on 100 people that have possibly never heard of your company will typically lead to less than 10 sales. Calling on 10 people that already know of your brand, use your brand for other products and services or were referred to your brand from a personal reference will potentially lead to 10 sales. Which odds sound better?
In the long run, its best to create your own lead generation system and sales funnel. Use this sales funnel to pre qualify you leads and find laser targeted clients. Make sure to always split test split test your marketing efforts to find the best converting lead generation system.
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