1. Establish measurable lead-generation goals

Your lead-generation goals must be measurable. Business owners who aren’t working with business coaches often set vague targets such as ‘more opportunities’ or ‘more sales activity’, which are impossible to measure and ultimately unattainable. So work with business coaches to set specific goals, such as ‘three meetings per week’ or ‘five leads from our landing page’ – these are easy to grasp, measure, and support. Track your progress weekly and discuss it with your business coaches.

2. Offer content that delivers value to buyers

Business owners are often surprised when their business coaches explain that people love buying but hate to be sold. They are suspicious of anything that seems like a sales pitch. What they’re looking for is credible sources that will help them to make an informed decision. They want to learn and most sales pitches don’t achieve this. So rather than telling prospects about how great your product or service is and offering them brochures and data sheets, you can help buyers get educated by enlisting the help of more credible third-party sources, such as industry experts and analysts.

3. Your most convincing ‘salespeople’ are your customers

The most obvious and credible source you can use to convince prospects about the value of your service or product is your existing customers. Customer success stories are always effective, but some are more powerful than others. Make sure their story describes the problem that the customer is solving with your solution. Give lots of detail. Make the customer the focus of the story rather than your product or service.

4. Share your customers’ success stories

Once you have written a customer success story, send it to publications within your industry or market. Trade magazines and industry newsletters are usually in need of quality content. An independent publication will carry more credibility in the eyes of your prospects. Business coaches can often recommend publications to approach.

5. Deliver an outstanding service or product so that customers want to recommend you to others

When customers recommend your product to other people, thank them for the recommendation – people like acknowledgement. It doesn’t have to be an extravagant gesture: a simple phone call or a personal note to acknowledge what they have done will have an enormous impact. If you have the budget for bigger rewards then offer something more.

6. Follow-up leads within the first 24 hours

Many good lead-generation efforts go to waste due to poor follow-up (which business coaches despair of!). Some studies show that response rates to a follow-up call can diminish by 50% if you wait just 48 hours, and as much as 90% if you wait a whole week.

7. Move prospects to take action

Business coaches insist that every piece of lead-generating material should contain a call to action. For example: ‘Call this freephone number NOW to receive a free copy of our buyer’s guide and latest price list.’ Or ‘For your copy of our brochure, fill out the enclosed reply card and send it FREEPOST.’ Tell prospects what to do, how to contact you (providing a phone number, e-mail address, website address and fax number), and explain what will happen when they do make contact. The ‘what happens next’ can be a brochure or any materials you’ll send as a gift or any service they will receive.

8. Increase the quantity of your leads

Offer your catalogue, brochure, or other literature for free. Don’t make prospects answer lots of information about themselves – people are wary about disclosing too much information, and they’re worried they’re going to be bombarded by calls from salespeople. Make it as easy and cost-effective as possible for prospects to respond—for instance, by mailing them a stamped reply card or providing a freephone number.

9. Motivate prospects to respond

If you want a large volume of leads, you must provide prospects with a compelling reason to take action. The offer of a sales presentation is not very enticing – actually, it’s more likely to repel prospects (just ask any number of business coaches). Prospects want information, solutions, help, advice, samples, ideas, designs, savings, quality, service, support, assurances, or guarantees. When you make your offer enticing, more prospects will take action.

10. Remove the sales pressure

If you will not follow up the lead, say, ‘No salesperson will call.’ If you will follow up the lead by phone but not in person, say, ‘No salesperson will visit.’

Is there an area of marketing you’d like to know more about? Feel free to contact me!

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