By: Nancy Sutton, Executive Relations Rep at Launch Leads
Whether you’re an entrepreneur with a start-up or a seasoned business owner—it’s important to keep filling your new business pipeline—so your future can be even brighter than today. Here are three top elements to include in your lead generating mix.
#1 Current Clients: your “bird in the hand”
When thinking of lead generation, your first thought is probably about identifying new prospects. Sometimes it’s hard to recognize opportunities when you already have them on speed dial. Current clients offer, at minimum, two wonderful opportunities: additional business with them, and word of mouth referrals to other business owners.
Assuming your clients are relatively satisfied with your service, they are more likely to respond positively to your lead generating campaigns than non-customer companies. They know you, they’ve worked with you, and you’re already an approved vendor. It’s a much easier “yes” than bringing in an unknown entity. And, you have additional advantages of an existing relationship: they’ll probably answer when you call, open your emails and reply, and even let you take them to lunch. And, unless you’re their business’s “secret weapon,” they’re likely to be agreeable to recommending you to their business associates, and/or giving you an online recommendation. Go ahead. Ask.
And, just to give you some added incentive: remember your competition? Your competition would love to have clients like yours. In fact, they’d love to have YOUR clients. It’s smart to assume your competition is always vying to take your place. If your message and value is not in front of your existing clients, it’s a good bet your competition’s marketing materials are in front of them right now.
#2 Cold Calling: it works
My neighbor is a successful 30-year sales veteran. He hates cold calling. He tells me he’d rather have a dentist do a root canal than cold call. He has gone out of his way to create leads in any other medium than cold calling. However, he admits, to fill a pipeline rapidly, there’s nothing more effective than cold calling with a viable lead list.
Those who tell you cold calling doesn’t work, or is a thing of the past, are either telling you what you’re hoping to hear or they don’t know how to successfully cold call. Although even the name sounds uncomfortable (brrrr), cold calling, when implemented correctly, can be a highly successful tactic for lead generation with excellent returns.
#3 Website: lead nurturing
The next time you go to a business meeting, ask the group “How many of you have checked out a company’s website before doing business with them?” I’ll put myself out there and guarantee you’ll get 100% positive response.
Today our on-line world is more “real” than “virtual.” Think of your website as Y-O-U. Your website is often your best chance to make a good first (or solid second) impression. It’s a chance for would-be clients to find out more about you in a non-threatening way. It’s a way for people you cold call to validate your legitimacy, and get enthused about what you have to offer. Do not underestimate the power of an effective website in attracting new business to you.
If you want to have excellent lead generation, you’re moving in the right direction when you maximize your existing clients, throw fear to the wind and cold call with abandon, and support an effective website. At least one of these elements is within your reach right now. Go forth and conquer!