Lead generation (commonly abbreviated as lead-gen) is a marketing term that refers to the creation or generation of prospective consumer interest or inquiry into a business' products or services. Leads can be generated for a variety of purposes - list building, e-newsletter list acquisition or for winning customers. Lead generation is generally generated through search engines.
A lead is a sign-up for an advertiser offer that includes contact information and in some cases, demographic information. There are many different kinds of leads such as debt, loan modification, tax, bankruptcy, education, and mortgage leads.
16 Easy Lead Generation Techniques That Works
One of the comments that I hear the most from clients, professionals or small business owners, is that they don’t get enough leads to grow their business on a regular basis.
But when I ask them what lead generation techniques they are using, most answer that they usually send e-mails, give a phone call, sometimes have a newsletter, go to networking (but don’t follow-up effectively) and stop there. And they are surprised that their business is not growing. Well, they use three or four lead generation techniques, but if you are using 10 or 15 lead generation techniques, you definitely will get more chances to turn your leads into clients.
So here are 16 easy lead generation techniques to turn more contacts into clients:
1. Exchange links with other entrepreneurs or websites that have the same target market as you, but are not your competitors.
This way, when people visit their websites, they see your link and come to check your website, which will bring you more traffic.
2. Have a mailing list box on each page of your website.
You never know when a visitor will decide to sign up for your newsletter. So it is very important that you put a mailing list box on each page.
3. Offer a free report or a free mini e-course.
Having a mailing list box on your website is one thing, but to make sure people will actually sign up, you need to offer them something that will interest them, something that will inform them and help them to solve one of their problems.
4. Send a newsletter.
Okay, people will sign up to get your free report. After that, it is your job to tell them more about your business, in order to build a relationship with them. Statistics show that people who don’t buy immediately will buy in the next 12 months. So, you need to make sure that you are always on the top of their mind, so when they are ready to buy, they will buy from you.
5. Use auto-responders to automate your website.
Set up a series of information messages about your products or services, and the benefit of using them. The messages will remind them about your services and, more importantly, remind them to come back and buy again from you. This series of follow-up messages will reinforce your relationship with your contacts.
6. Use software like “Act” or “Outlook” to automate your follow-up system, with people you met or who are already your clients.
Set up the different follow-up messages you want to send to people, then each time you have a new client, just enter his or her name, and the software will remind you what to do and when to do it.
7. Send “Thank You” notes to your clients after they buy your products or services, and send them a card few weeks later with a special offer on their next purchase.
Keep the relationship going. In this age of technology, sending a handwritten “Thank You” note makes you stand out from the crowd. You want to impress your clients or contacts, and want them to remember you.
8. Ask your clients for testimonials.
Testimonials from satisfied customers are typically the best way to promote your business, and it doesn’t cost you a thing. Stop selling and let your clients do it for you.
9. Write articles and post them on Articles Directories.
Writing articles is actually one of the best ways to get free exposure. Each article is a way to share your expertise with people, and again, to give a sample of what you do and how you can help them.
10. Publish a press release each time you have a new product.
As with the articles, it is a way to get free exposure and inform people, and the press, of what is new in your business.
11. Organize events, seminars, and teleclasses and promote them online.
This is another way to get free exposure, so even if people can’t come to your event, if they are interested in learning about it they will check your website, and sign up for the newsletter, to be informed for the next time. Plus each attendee is a new lead.
12. Do public speaking.
Schedule a public engagement every month or on a regular basis, so other organizations will promote your products and services to their newsletters and subscribers.
13. Offer a free consultation.
Again, people don’t buy from people they don’t know, so offering a free consultation breaks the fear. During the consultation, they will see how you can help them and the benefit of working with you.
14. Have an Affiliate Program so other people can sell your products and services.
Just because you are a solo entrepreneur or a solo professional, you don’t have to do everything on your own. So having an Affiliate Program is the easiest and fastest way to increase sales and greatly increase your profits. It is like having plenty of salespeople working for you, FOR FREE. The more affiliates you have, the more access you have to thousands of people, who will see your products or services on somebody else’s website or newsletter. You are not the only one to promote your products anymore, you have a sales force. Your affiliates promote your products or services for free and you don’t pay them until they generate a sale for you. When they make a sale, you will be more than happy to pay them a commission, since you would probably never have had this client otherwise.
Would you rather meet a thousand people, one at a time, or meet a few people who will each introduce you to a thousand? Most people see networking events as a place to get contacts one at a time or make one sale at a time. Use networking events to meet potential partners, so you can cross-promote each other on your respective websites and newsletters, organize seminars or teleclasses together, do mailing campaigns together, etc. The benefit of it is that you will have exposure to their contacts while they have exposure to your contacts. That is a win/win situation.
16. Have a follow-up system that works.
Statistics show that we need to hear or see a message at least 7 times in order to notice it. So if you are one of those people who follow up only 2 or 3 times, you are losing opportunities to turn prospects into clients. That is why it is important not only to have a follow-up system, but to have at least a 7-step follow-up system in place.
To learn how to set-up a follow-up system, check out “Power of Networking Secrets”.
Using systems in your business is the best way to grow easily and effortlessly, and most of the strategies that I just shared with you are free, so you have no more excuses.
All of these strategies work very well if you are starting your business, or if you need to refocus your business to get the result you are expecting after a few years. And when you are an established business, that is a way to keep growing.
So what is YOUR lead generation system?
Take some time to sit and think about it. Are you using 2 or 3 lead generation techniques, or do you have 10, 15 or more? Make a list, as I just did. Which of your lead generation techniques works the best for your business? What other techniques could you implement today? Schedule a new technique each month, set up a date to make sure you will respect your marketing calendar, track the result for each technique, see what works for your business, and watch your sales grow.
Still need help to establish your lead generation system? Want other ideas like this one to grow your business? Learn more about “Power of Networking Secrets”, a five-step program to turn more contacts into clients and more leads into sales.
You will learn: 1/How to create an outstanding business card, 2/ How to polish an elevator pitch which will hook your audience, so that people will remember you, 3/ How to create a seven-step follow-up system to turn more prospects into clients, 4/ How to use your newsletter to promote your products or services without hard selling, 5/How to create strategic alliances to grow your business faster.
Andrews India head of lead-gen team....