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Cultivating Leads

Lead generation is a core function of any business. You have to generate a steady influx of clients and customers. There are several means to do this and some work better than others depending upon your vertical, your budget, and most importantly YOU! Some people are better at cold calls than others, some people have more or better connections than others, and some people have more time to invest than others. So, you individually are a big factor to play into what strategy is going to be best for your lead generation. Once you have a plan and it starts working, you have to keep working at it. It’s like your baby. You just don’t have it and then let it grow on it’s own; you have care for it, nurture it, and guide it in the direction you see that would be best. The method I see most in the way of lead generation is a form to fill out in order to capture various bits of information. Inbound calls are probably second. But once you have this lead generation flowing, that is only the beginning. What do you do next?

The Form

Well, now that they have made a decision to learn more about you and they have taken that action of filling out the form, you now have to cultivate that lead. You need to use all the information that you have collected from them in order to get them from the, “I am interested in your services and want to know more,” to them becoming an actual customer or client. Sure, the form may only contain their name, email, phone number, and perhaps a little description of what they think they are there for but there is more. What about all the information that was used to get them to fill out the form itself? You created this great funnel that used great information to get them there. However, most people don’t use that information. They start all over from scratch. What a waste! Now the potential customer has to go through the whole process all over again. You know how they came to you in the first place? The keyword or words they used to find you! If you are not using that information you are missing out on maybe the biggest weapon you have. Combine that with what is on the landing page you sent them to, and now you understand their reason for wanting to talk to you.

Cheaper Isn’t Always Better

quality serviceTracking and measuring everything you do is extremely valuable to help gather as much data as possible. Data is everything. Not only is it pure fact,   it inarguably tells the complete story.. I hear lots of people say that they need to be competitive within the market. They say, “ I need to lower my price point to get them to do business with me. Even though it will be hard to pay my bills, I will just need to get more and more clients. Yet I can only handle so many as I have a family and spend too much time at work already.” Sound familiar? Use the data you have to help you. You are thinking price is the main point. However,  by looking at the data you may realize that yes, you will lose some clients because the other guy is cheaper, but those clients only focus on the cheapest cost and not what is really important. You will see that those are the ones that take up most of your time and are more demanding anyway. Most clients want value for what they are getting. They will pay more to get more,  better, or faster results.

It Takes Time

be patient Furthermore, the good clients will understand that it will not happen overnight. If your business model and you are generating leads based on your model being the cheapest, you are going to need lots of volume. In addition,  it will take up a lot of your time. Look at other companies that focus on being the cheapest. They do not last. There will always be someone out there that will undercut you to become the cheapest and take those kinds of clients, the ones that want to be cheap, away from you. It is a bad way to generate leads and base your business model around. You want to offer value, and that is what you need to focus on. So, what value point will you try to focus on in order to generate leads and the right customers that you want to work with? Once you figure that out, your process of cultivating those leads becomes easier as you have a clear direction and goal when it comes to what type of client you want.

Sometimes Say “No”

be able to say no Saying “No” to certain leads will empower you as well. Not everyone that fills out the form or wants more information about doing business with you is a potential client you want to do business with. This is the hard part about cultivating your leads, being selective. I prefer the term exclusive. People like exclusivity and even pay MORE for it! It can even be a selling tactic. Try telling a prospect that they may not be a good fit for you. You may be surprised at how they react. No one wants to feel that they are not good enough. As a result,  they may strive to do whatever they can to convince you that they are a good fit. Have you ever overbid on a project only to win it because they then thought you were going to deliver a better outcome? It’s the same concept. Exclusivity is typically reserved for the elite, and everyone has inspirations of being within that elite status. So, saying “No” to certain prospects is a good thing. It also helps to relieve stress about having to please everyone because that is an unrealistic expectation. You cannot please everyone, yet you try so hard to win every single one of your leads. Yes, look into them,  but you do not need to land everyone and nor do you want to. Some people you just do not want to work with. If you take the time to realize that, it will change your outlook on your current lead cultivation techniques.

So, generate those leads. Get them to fill out a form, call you, or just get their information in some way. The real work begins once you get that information, and it is time to act upon it. Lead cultivation is art form. You need to be able to look at the information and decide if the lead is even viable. There are a lot of spam bots out there. Once you decide to act and reach out to the prospect, you need to basically do an interview. You need to be able to see what type of client this is going to be and if this fits your profile of a good client that you want to work with. If it is not, then you need to empower yourself to say “No”. The amount of time chasing prospects that are not going to be a good fit is better spent on your current clients or getting new clients that ARE going to be a fit.


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