Generating leads is the heart of your business. Lots of people that are smarter than me, supposedly, have philosophical sayings that will contradict this. They will say things like “YOU are the heart and soul of your business,” or your people are, or processes is what drives your business, etc. They have valid points, but those are not honestly the heart of your business. It’s your leads. Think about it. Without leads your business would cease to exist; it would just wither away. The only way to grow is to have a good, solid, steady source of leads in order to grow your business. So, let’s talk about lead generation and why you need it, how it works, and then what to do with it.
First off, what is a lead? Well, if you don’t know then perhaps you need to rethink your business. However, a lead is an individual or organization that has an interest in what you may be selling. That sounds good, right? It’s always a good thing to gather people that have an interest in what you are selling, but how do you gather them so that they may buy your product or services? There is a well-known acronym about this that lists the stages of marketing. It is A.I.D.A. or Attention, Interest, Decision, and Action. You must get their attention. Then you must get them to be interested in your product or service. Get them to make a decision. Then they need to take action on that decision and hopefully a sale.
So, how do you get people’s attention on your product or services? There are several methods that you can use to get their attention:
- Cold Calling – Contacting people that you are unsure will be interested in your services. Very low conversion rate. Expect to get very few to even talk to you. However, those can be some great clients.
- Referral – Someone the potential client knows and trust put them in contact with you. Very high conversion rate. Typically a high quality lead and client. Sometimes the expectations can be too high.
- Paid Advertising – Paying a platform (Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc) to show an ad based on search results. Good quality leads with high interest. Good conversion rate. Down side is that you have to pay, so the cost per lead will be higher.
- Organic listings – Showing a listing about you naturally on a platform. Decent quality of leads with good conversion rate. Low cost per lead. You may get more junk leads due to spam or uneducated
- Social Media – Whether paid or organic, social media is a series of platforms that are great for generating leads as it’s where your clients are. Just need to use a different strategy other than paid or organic platforms. Great reach, but lower conversion rates.
- Branding – Your best quality leads as they are looking directly for you and your business. Very important to include branding as part of your strategy.
- Print Media – Printing of brochures, mailers, etc. Old school marketing. You need physical addresses or a location. Similar in scope to email marketing, but with higher initial costs and typically lower conversion rate and ROI.
- Email Marketing – Using a email list to blast out an email campaign to reach out to clients. Great way for remarketing. If doing cold emails then it will be similar to cold calling but without the personal contact. Pros and cons, but typically better ROI as cost is low.
- Networking – Similar to referrals only you don’t have someone vouching for you. You are the main contact in a setting where it promotes business. The personal connection means a much higher conversion rate than most solutions. There are several ways to accomplish this whether it is a work group gathering of like-minded businesses using social media groups, or any other group functions where you can make a personal connection.
Call to Action or CTA
However you decide to get their attention, you need to get their interest into your products or services. A strong call to action is what I like. Many people like to call it a CTA. Most businesses in the digital space would use a landing page as a method to provide a CTA A landing page allows you to customize content with a strong call to action based on the ‘hot point’ or reason you got them to come to you in the first place. For example, you are selling a product. You had one come to your website from the keywords ‘cheapest widget’ and another on the keywords ‘best and longest lasting widget’. Well, you can have two landing pages that will directly influence this potential customer based on their hot point either based on price point or by quality. This will help to lead them to the next step.
The next step is getting the potential client to come to a decision about whether or not to buy your product or services. Most people reading this article will most likely be selling their services, so I will base this description on that. So, your goal here is to get the potential client to decide in favor of filling out a form on your site. That’s your goal, and the content on your landing page will greatly assist you in accomplishing that goal. One key way to help you is to give them something in return for filling out the form. And I’m not talking about the “get a free watch for test driving a car today” group, although giving them something tangible is a valid way. In our industry is probably going to be something along the lines of a free audit, a comprehensive report, a small timeframe of free consulting, or perhaps a discount on a service. You want to entice them into wanting to contact you. You also want them to make the decision quickly. If you give them too much time they will likely find ways to not fill out the form. You want to hit them with a great call to action, give them something that they might be interested in, and get them to make that decision sooner rather than later while you still have their attention. Which is why you see things like “order now and you will not get just one but TWO widgets!” then the sales pitch goes one step further for exclusivity sake and says, “but hurry as we only have x many left then they are gone forever”. Why are super cars so expensive? They still get you from point A to point B. They have 4 wheels, a radio, seats, and hopefully A/C; but it’s the fact that not very many people have them. Yes, they are usually very fast and are high performance, but you can get that out of a vehicle for a tenth of the price. It’s the exclusivity of the product that mainpulates customers into buying those things. Once you get them to fill out the form, you now have them as a lead. Next comes the other half of this: cultivating the lead.
Now that the potential client have made a decision to do business with you, they have to take that action of filling out the form. Now you have to cultivate that lead. You need to use all the information that you have in order to get them from the, “I am interested in your services and want to know more” to 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. However, 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 then most people don’t use that information and just start all over from scratch. What a waste! Now the potential customer has to go through the whole process again as well. You know why 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 you know is on the landing page you sent them, and you will understand their reason for wanting to talk to you.
Now you know different way to generate leads. The most successful approach is to use a combination of most or all of these methods. Just be sure to track everything you do so that you will know what works and what doesn’t work. And of course, do something with the leads once you get them. The sooner you work the leads, the better.