Most entrepreneurs are in business for one reason – to make money. And to make more money and increase the amount of business you do, what do you need? More leads of course!
ActionCOACH Ireland Managing Director, Paul Fagan recently spoke to Business & Finance Magazine about how you can generate more leads, and more customers for your Business. Read on to find out how…
Before heading off to spend more money on advertising to attract more leads for your business, it’s essential to stop and take stock of who you are trying to attract, what exactly you are trying to achieve, how are you going to do it?
Who is your bulls eye customer?
Who are you trying to attract?
Without knowing exactly who your target market or ideal customer is, how can you be expected to attract them to your business?
A brilliant product or service without the right marketing or lead generation approach can often result in failure. Too much advertising or promotion spend, and too much time is often spent on people who will never buy. We call this the ‘spray-gun’ marketing approach – sending one single broad message out to a wide audience, perhaps through a press ad, radio or direct mail campaign, and hoping that if you cast the net wide enough, a sufficient number of prospects will take the bait!
Your marketing efforts should actually help you to separate the suspects from the prospects. If your lead generation advertising does not weed these people out, it’s not working effectively. Rather, it’s putting a strain on your valuable resources whose job it is to process and follow up on the leads, and nurture them along your sales funnel to ultimately convert to a sale.
It’s important to remember therefore that the media you select, the offers you make, your creative strategy, and even your tone all play key roles in screening out suspects and in drawing in the high potential prospects.
What is your end goal?
How good are you at converting your leads at present?
How many leads do you therefore need to hit your target?
In the words of Stephen Covey, in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People you should always begin with the end in mind. Now that you have decided who you are trying to attract to become a customer it’s essential to know what exactly you are trying to achieve.
What is your sales target for the year / quarter / month / week?
How many leads do you currently have and how many more do you need in order to achieve your end goal?
The term leads, also known as ‘potentials’ or ‘prospects’ refers to the total number of potential buyers you contacted, or who contacted you. Most people confuse responses, or the number of potential buyers, with results.
You might be surprised, but a lot of businesses don’t actually know how many leads they get each week. And if you don’t know how many leads you currently have, how are you expected to know how many more you need to hit your target?
I cannot stress how important it is to know your numbers. Keep a record of the number of leads / phone calls / enquiries/ visits received and how they heard about you. The sound of ringing phone does not necessarily mean cash registers are ringing as well.
This is further highlighted by conversion rate – the percentage of people that actually buy versus those who could have bought. An example of this is 10 people walking into a ladies boutique because they heard a radio promotion advertising a flash sale. Out of those 10 prospects, three bought something. For the day, the boutique had a conversion rate of 3 out of 10, or 30%.
There are lots of strategies to increase conversion rates, but sticking with lead generation – it’s essential to know what your conversion rate is so you can forecast how many leads you need to generate to hit your sales targets.
It’s one thing talking about what you need to do. Now that you know who your ideal customer is, and how many you need to prospect to in order to reach your sales target, how do you do it?
How do you reach out to them and spark their interest in your offering?
The list is endless when it comes choosing between lead generation strategies to implement in order to increase sales and grow your business. So how do you determine which methods or media are the best for finding new customers for your particular product or service?
Firstly it’s important to really know and understand your target market – what their interests are, where they typically hang out, what media channel is most suited to reaching them, be it online, press, direct mail, and what really makes them tick, or what their hot buttons are.
For example, busy executives are much more often concerned about their time than about saving a few euro. Direct mail/email efforts that don’t demand a lot of time and that demonstrate how the product/service can save the recipient time can often work well with management segments. Remember though – your headline is key to grabbing their attention.
Secondly, and even more importantly, the best way to know what works best for your business is by testing several different lead generation strategies – and measuring the results. If you don’t test and measure your marketing campaigns to measure how many qualified leads they attract, how do you know whether the strategy is a good investment of time or money?
There are over sixty lead generation strategies we help clients to implement in order to increase sales, from online and social media marketing, to press and radio advertising, telemarketing, direct mail / email, networking etc. Here are three sometimes under utilised but tried and tested lead generation strategies to get you going:
Referrals are one of the most powerful lead generators. People spreading the word is a cheap and very effective means of lead generation. There is nothing more satisfying that getting a sales lead from a happy customer. Obviously, this is achieved by offering exceptional value and service, but it can be further promoted by using special referral programs with your loyal customers.
An existing customer also knows what you are offering and should have a good idea of the referred prospects needs, meaning that the lead should be well qualified by the time they reach you.
You will also have tremendous credibility with the prospect since you come highly-recommended from someone that they know and trust, so the probability of conversion to sale is much greater.
Often, smaller businesses believe this to be a strategy for the larger corporates, but that’s not the case – it works equally as well for both.
This is where you join forces with other complementary, non-competitive businesses to exchange leads and promote each others products and services.
A good example is a local hotel and tourist attraction joining forces to cross promote each others services, and ultimately create a more attractive package for a prospective customer.
A useful tip is that whatever your industry there must be great synergy, both on a professional and personal level, and it must be a win/win situation for both parties.
It can be daunting but don’t under-estimate the power of hitting the phones! Telemarketing is a quick and relatively low-cost strategy that can generate massive results in your business if practiced regularly.
It’s a great way to set appointments and get new customers. Just two calls per hour, every business day, for example will yield hundreds of calls over a year. While the number of hang-ups sales reps get is enough to make some people quit, it does still work. If it didn’t, people simply wouldn’t be doing it.
Some key tips: The key to success with telemarketing is:
- Make sure you have a list of qualified leads that will be interested;
- Use experienced telemarketers or sales people that sound friendly and relaxed on the phone
- Ensure you have a great script that includes an enticing offer that hooks people in.
Now that you have selected the best lead generation strategies for your business, remember to be consistent.
All too often, businesses rely on one or two strategies and do them sporadically when revenues drop or they get around to it, which results in having to then chase for business.
Be consistent in your marketing and lead generation and remember – test and measure for results.
Now you are ready to go forth and multiply….
If you would like more tips on how to generate more leads for your business, or if you would like to speak to one of our expert Business Coaches about how you can develop and grow your business further please fill in your details below or give us a call on 01 891 6220.
Business&Finance – Ask The Expert May16 – Operation Generation
This week we are delighted to share the latest edition of Small Business Edge Magazine with you.
Inside Small Business Edge you will find some fantastic articles by global industry leaders on:
- How To Ensure Your Next Hire Is Your Best Hire
- Putting The ‘Wow Factor’ Into Customer Service
- The 6 Empirical Methods To Achieve Marketing Genius
- How Great Leaders Move Mountains
- And much more…
Just click here to read the digital magazine and comment below to let us know how it may help give you an edge in business…
If you would like one of our Business Coaches to give you a call to discuss how we can help you achieve greater success in your business just fill in your details below:
How To Make More Sales Without Finding New Customers
It’s much easier to sell something to one of your existing customers than it is to sell to a brand-new prospect. The key reason for this is trust. When you’ve already sold something to someone, you’ve built trust. They gave you money, and in return you gave them a solution to their problem and hopefully now have a track record of delivering on your promises.
Trust goes a long way but doesn’t mean they’ll automatically become repeat customers. Here are our three R’s to remember in order to create repeat customers from your past clients:
First things first – make sure you product or service always delivers the desired results for your customer. The one sure way to guarantee this is to ask! Did they like your first product? Did it meet or exceed their expectations? Has their problem been solved?
Check in with your customer after the first sale – don’t just leave them out in the cold once the sale has been made. This is the difference between demonstrating that you’ll deliver a product versus demonstrating that you care, and will deliver a real value-add service!
One of our clients in the electrical goods industry has customers travel to their store every day from all across the country, not because they have the lowest prices, but because they have built a reputation for excellent after-sales service – if anything goes wrong, you are guaranteed they will look after you!
If you can prove that you have a quality product or service, and you care about your customers well-being, you’re already on track towards making the second sale.
Clever businesses know that the key to future profitability lies in fostering a close and enriching relationship with your customers. If you go into a restaurant and the head waiter remembers your name, or your favourite tipple, your impressed right? They have just differentiated themselves a little from the competition and made a lasting impression on you.
Don’t be afraid to be a little bit personal with your customers – it helps them remember you. Maintaining and enhancing customer goodwill will also help to generate positive word-of-mouth – a key marketing strategy in this day and age of advertising clutter.
Another tip – don’t forget to ask your customers back! It might be hard to believe, but your customers aren’t devoting nearly as much time to thinking about your business as you are. Let them know from time to time that you’re still around. It doesn’t have to be ‘salesy’—after all, you’ve already sold them once. Include them on a mailing list with product/service updates and special offers, or simply call once in a while to touch base or let them know of a new product or service they might really like.
Consumers appreciate feeling valued and they also relish getting a good deal! If you do not already have a loyalty programme established, why not offer your good customers an extra incentive to come back and shop more often with you.
An excellent example of this is the Dunnes Stores Shop & Save offer where if you spend €50 on groceries you receive €10 off your next week’s shop and if you spend €100, you receive €20 off. Always a lover of a good deal, I will go out of my way to make sure I get to Dunnes Stores to do my weekly shopping to use my voucher! This incentive scheme not only helps increase average euro sale, it also ties the customer into shopping with them on a weekly basis rather than chopping and changing between stores.
What can you offer your customers to make feel valued and increase their loyalty towards you?
Don’t forget, if you are interested in Sales Training or yourself or your team, why not join us at our Sales Success Workshop this Friday 5th February. Click here for more information and to register your place or call us on 01 891 6220.