As successful as your business might be, truth is you need to constantly look out for new leads, in order to keep it thriving on the long run. Thus, when managing a business, sooner or later you’ll stand face to face with the struggle to find new leads, attract them towards you and convince them to purchase your product or service.
Because there’s no silver bullet when it comes to a main way of lead collection, a multilateral approach might work out better. Let’s be honest, you can’t just sit and wait for your leads to fall out of the sky. Buying them isn’t the best solution either, because you risk ending up with a lot of money spent and people whom you cold-call.
Thus, trying to get your own quality leads is definitely on the regular to-do-list. And because this is sometimes harder than it sounds, it’s always useful to find and share new ways of lead gathering. Moreover, with the web being such a powerful source for marketing, and thus lead collection, offline initiatives are slowed down or completely neglected by some businesses.
The tweak in this is that ignoring the offline medium, you might miss out some important leads. Speaking to people in person as offline leads can bring the advantage of a direct interaction which is not mediated by the Internet.
Here are 8 tips to keep your lead count rolling, both for the offline and online medium:
#1. Map your offline network for new leads
Everybody has a personal and a business network around them. . Talk to people and let them know what your business is doing. Ask around to find new industry trends, to see what others in your network are doing, and you might find new ways to fill your lead database.
Generally speaking, sociable and connected persons are better perceived by the ones around them. If you show yourself interested in others, it’s likely others will be more open to you. And this way new connections can be born.
#2. Writing guest posts can be a good way of lead gathering
When speaking of guest posts, we refer to great quality content that adds value for the reader, and that is targeted correctly towards the sites with the right audience. How come that it can provide you with leads? Well, if you find the right audience and cover one of their specific needs through your writing, then it’s likely they’ll be curious to find out more about you. Maybe you are the solution to one of their business problems. Or maybe you provide something they didn’t even know could benefit them. Or maybe you could be a better alternative to something they’re already using.
#3. In order to get new leads you first have to… get found.
Sounds perfectly logical, doesn’t it? Thus, it is perfectly acceptable that you have to be reachable online for your (potential) customers, both through a website, maybe a blog, as well as on social channels. Besides having an online presence, being reachable online also implies having an easy way for visitors to contact you. Chances are they’ll see your website, like their first impression of you, but feel the urge to ask you for more information in order to be convinced to acquire your service or product.
An easy tool for customer inquiries is the popular contact form that can help you in handling customer communication, because it allows them to quickly submit an inquiry, and at the same time it gives you a good overview of your submissions.
#4. Have an extraordinary Call to Action.
A website with no call to action at all doesn’t intend to obtain anything from the visitors, no matter what it states. A website with a poor CTA is a waste of time and money, since it most probably has very low conversion rates. So why not craft the perfect impulse for convincing your visitor to act as you wish him to?
Good CTAs include, among others, defining your goal accurately (what do you want your customer to do?), state a clear action your customer can perform (for example, “buy now”, “start free trial”, “get special offer”), find the best spot to place it on your website so that it can be easily seen and it can convince visitors to click on it, and others.
#5. Ask people to refer others to you.
There’s a big advantage in word of mouth recommendations, because they enjoy pretty high trust rates. If you had to choose a cleaning service and a friend of yours would warmly recommend a particular company, would you choose an unknown company over the recommended one?
Thus, encourage people in your network to refer their acquaintances to you. Everybody might know at least someone who would be interested in your offer. In order to motivate people for recommending, you could set up some incentives such as discounts, special offers, additional services included in their package, and others. This way, even if they’re not by default willingly to be your brand advocates, incentives can help them consider doing so.
#6. Offer something for free to your visitors.
Reciprocity, meaning the human tendency to greet a positive action with another positive action, will lead to your visitor leaving their contact details (of course, if you ask for them) in exchange of your offering of an ebook, a free trial or something similar. They will see that you want to do something nice for them, as in giving them a small gift, thus they’ll feel it’s acceptable to provide their information instead. You can use a web form building tool to create a lead capturing form that redirects the user to a download page once they fill out the required information.
#7. Partner with other relevant businesses and do cross-promotion.
As dedicated as you might be towards your marketing efforts, sometimes a strategic partner can make the extra mile for you. Especially if that other business has a better known brand than yours, the affiliation with it can also bring a credibility transfer. This way, your brand can benefit of the cross-promotion strategy not only through having access to more leads, but also through increasing its impact.
How can a cross-promotion look like? Let’s say you sell light bulbs in different shapes and sizes. Imagine what partnering with a lamp vendor could do for you if the latter displays special offers of your light bulbs when people buy a lamp. Likewise, you can refer customers who buy light bulbs to your partner, in case they want a new lamp, all by offering some incentive like a discount coupon. Even if this example is very simple, the way cross-promotion works is the same for more complex businesses.
#8. Attend events from your niche.
Conferences, informal meetings, exhibitions, presentations – all of them represent networking opportunities. Moreover, they are the perfect context to strengthen existing business relationships, as well as to develop new ones which can bring you new leads. Before you know it, you may have found a great customer whom you’ll develop a flourishing relation with, or maybe even a business partner to help you with that cross-promotion mentioned above.
What can you do to promote yourself at an event? Possibilities are quite broad, depending on the event of course. They range from sponsoring the event and displaying or brand publicly, to having small talk with other speakers or attendees, handing out business cards or coupons and others you can think of.
Which of these ones have worked out for you? Feel free to share and maybe we can find new ways of developing businesses through getting more quality leads.
Images: ”Creative sign with the text – Lead Generation, Next Exit / Shutterstock.com“
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