Imagine walking into your office on a Monday morning and finding ten hot leads flowing into your inbox. What a way to start business on a Monday morning, huh? Lead Generation is not a new form of gaining new business, but it now has a new approach.
Rather than sitting at a trade show table for hours on end, or sitting up a display in hopes that targeted consumers will complete a form, you can have leads generated and sent to you using the technology of the internet, your website.
In marketing, lead generation is the generation of consumer interest or inquiry into products or services of a business.
Lead generation could work for just about any business, but most industries using this type of marketing include insurance agencies, education institutions, office suppliers, and furniture stores.
Trends show that lead generation will become even more popular in the future, especially for service oriented businesses.
Often do I get this questions “how does lead generation work?”
It is simple, you develop a landing page with a business goal to collect information then you drive traffic to the landing page and keep optimizing your site for conversion then watch the leads comes in. Wow, that sounds so easy.
Well, lead generation is a win-win for both the buyer and seller. A buyer is able to request information from several businesses that offer the product or service that they are looking for and the seller is given the opportunity to pitch their product or service to someone who has given them permission.
Conversion rates on leads that you receive often have a higher conversion success rate than cold contacts because the prospect is pre-qualified, before you ever receive the lead.
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Lead generation has become popular with businesses because it enables a business to:
- Determine pricing on a per lead basis
- Choose the product or service they wish to offer to prospects
- Select the geographical area that the business is interested in
- Control the number of leads a business wishes to receive per month (this assists with budgeting)
- Pay only for the leads that are received
After explaining all this, people still ask me “Is leads generation for me?”
If your calendar is empty and you need business fast, then, lead generation is a way that you can grow your business rather quickly. It’s an easy way to increase your ROI and get more business on your books.
Approach it just like you would any other advertising endeavor, set aside a reasonable budget to test it and see if it works for your business.
The key to being successful in lead generation is to brush up on your sales and marketing skills so that the leads you receive convert at a high sales rate. Do not try to approach this method of marketing without the ability to follow through and close the sale.
Here are some tips as you plan to approach lead generation:
Identify Your Target Audience
The first step of lead generation is identifying your target audience. You can’t successfully reach and sell to your ideal customer if you don’t know exactly who that is, so it’s important to research your audience and come up with a clear picture of who they are, where they live, what they like to do, how much money they make, what their lifestyle and personality is like, etc. If you don’t already have one, you should also create a comprehensive marketing plan as part of this step.
Pick Your Promotional Methods
In order to generate leads, you need a promotional plan that will get your landing page in front of members of your target audience.
There are a number of ways you can promote your business, and again, you will want to use your marketing plan to identify the most effective methods for your business.
Create a Funnel
Once you know who you are targeting and have determined how best to reach them, you need to have a plan for collecting contact information.
The first part of the process involves funneling all prospects to a standard form on your landing page that encourages them to share their contact information, generally in return for a free gift, a coupon, a sample or some other value-added incentive.
At this point, it is vital to have a customer relationship management (CRM) database that will help you keep track of potential customers through the process.
Use an Email Newsletter to Build Relationships
Now that you’re in contact with prospects, it’s time to cultivate those relationships so you can take them from the lead stage through a sale (and eventually a repeat sale!). One of the best ways to create consistent communication with your prospects is through an email newsletter.
Use Social Media to Connect and Engage
Social media provides a number of opportunities for small businesses to create conversations with prospective customers and generate new leads.
Plus, once you have leads in the system, you can use social media to talk to them and find out more about what they need and want. The more positive touch points a customer has with your business over time, the more likely he or she will be to trust your brand and eventually purchase from you.
Finally, Lead generation should be thought of as a long-term and continuous process. If you get an efficient system in place using the tips above, you can streamline the lead generation process and increase your opportunities for business growth.
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