Oct

14

Why Should I Lead Generate in My Business?

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Because it’s really important and let me tell you a story that happened just last week.

My beautiful wife had just spent her day off baking scrumptious food for us. She literally spent the whole day cooking and preparing a whole lot of meals for us, as we are both busy professionals she thought she would take this opportunity to do some food preparation.

One of her signature dishes is a oven baked Gammon, it takes hours to prepare and the smell while she is preparing it makes your mouth water as your body knows that in a few hours you will be downing some tantalizing food.

She had slaved all day cooking and just as we sat down to get stuck in to this delicious meal, the phone rings…its Ahmed from a phone company telling us that we can save 30% on our phone bill by switching to their company.

This has happened to all of us and this is why I am writing this post as in business you don’t want to be an annoying pest like Ahmed. It’s important to remember that to grow your business you need to be a welcome guest in people’s lives not the annoying pest.

So this is why I want to talk about lead generation.

But before I get into it, I should make sure you understand what it is exactly.

What is a lead?

Well a lead is a person who has shown some kind of interest in your business. They have either identified themselves to you by taking some kind of action. A lead is not a person’s detail that has been purchased and it is definitely not a cold telephone call.

A real lead is a person that may have filled out a form on your website to download some valuable content, or a person that has signed up to get a coupon for a discount or saving. There are lots of ways to generate a lead but basically it’s a real person that has opted to get something from you.

For example you may be a business owner that wants to get more clients or customers and you find a company that has created a report on that exact topic. So you fill out a form and download your report. Then a few days later that company calls you to see if they can help you further. This is far less obtrusive than just calling cold to see if they can help you find more clients.

This is a two sided opportunity it has benefits for the person getting the information and it has benefits for the creator of the information. The person needing the help gets to see some of the information to see if the company can really help them and the business that created the information gets a qualified lead being a real person that needs the help the business is offering.

Plus it’s easier to follow up if the person has asked for the information, as it’s a more natural phone call because the person has requested the information from you. Not just a telemarketer cold calling fishing for business.

Why should you lead generate?

Well I like to think that lead generation builds a client or customer bank for businesses that invest time, energy and money into it. Usually when I begin working with businesses this is the first pillar of marketing we implement.

Lead generation is a way of developing a customer or client for the future, the idea is to engage them enough that your message resonates with them so that they want to investigate the company further.

We always create an indoctrination series of communications and events about our clients so this content warms up all the leads and further qualifies out the ones that don’t want to buy. SO at the end of the whole process you are left with a pool of qualified, motivated new prospects wanting to do business with you.

Then the phone call is expected, wanted and successful for both sides.

At Konnect Marketing we follow a sales cycle for business growth and that is

The Online Sales Cycle

In the image the lead generation happens at the Konnect phase where a visitor becomes a lead, because your attraction message has qualified them and they are prepared to identify themselves to you.

How do you qualify these leads?

OK now you know a lead is someone who has indicated that they are interested in your company. This is good for the company as it allows them to work with qualified leads and not cold lists of names and details they have purchased.

So now it’s time to look at the different ways you can gather the information for lead generation, and because my company specializes in online marketing we will focus on that but essentially it is done the same way online as it would be done offline.

We do this by using forms on a website that people can fill in, but you could use a form in an offline promotion also and this is how it used to be done along with a 1800 telephone number that people could call and leave their information to get whatever it was you were offering. But since the dawning of the internet using a web form is the easiest way.

So essentially lead generation is data collection in exchange for something that qualifies the person as a lead to your business. For example…

A bank could offer a calculator by the means of a form to gather information about how much a mortgage repayment would be for you if you wanted to buy a house. You want to know if you can afford those monthly repayments plus maybe see how much you could borrow from the bank. So you fill in the form and get your answers.

But the bank gets something as well and that is a qualified lead of a person thinking of buying a home which is valuable to the bank because they lend money to buy homes.

Or you could be a shopper that exchanges your personal details for a discount coupon to save some money from a shop or you could be wanting to receive some valuable information to help you solve a particular issue you are having and you are prepared to exchange your personal details for this information.

These are the most common and can be adapted to fit the majority of businesses out there.

  1. We have surveys, calculators or other online forms to help educate. For example some of the jobs we have done before is online quoting where people fill in a form of a job they have and the business gets back to them with quote, or an online booking form for a health practitioner where the business can get back to them.
  2. Coupons for a % discount or a direct $ saving usually exchanged for  a name and email address and although this is not a lot of information it’s a good place to start for a business in retail as it shows that a person has some interest in their type of business.
  3. Valuable content that really showcases how your business can help solve a problem that you know these people are having. This is my favorite as you can really have a good shot at indoctrinating these people in what you do. I always try and collect more information here especially if the information contains sensitive data such as pricing and products if it was a catalogue or price list. We would collect a phone number also so a sales rep from the company could call to access needs before sending the content.

So I think you can begin to see how lead generation acts as a lead qualifier at the same time, and based on how much data you collect will determine how interested someone is in your company or business. These give you a great starting point and all you have to do is work out what is right for your business.

Let’s take a look at Diversitech Manufacturing International they manufacture a whole array of products for the retail hardware markets around the world plus they work in specialised niche markets. But what we did was for the hardware markets.

So we collected 7 pieces of information for the company and we used email lists and social media to lead generate.

landing page numbered

Now because the information that Diversitech is supplying is sensitive to them and they did not want it falling into the hands of their competitors, so they wanted to gather enough information so they could follow up before sending out the content. This also acted as a further level of lead qualification as people have to fill in a few fields of information.

They are a very well known company in the markets that they operate in and many retailers have heard of them before and know they have quality products that sell very well.

The information that is gathered on the form will allow the company to perform research on the quality of the lead and make it very easy to communicate with the lead in future communications.

So now that you understand the main points of lead generation and how it relates to a sales cycle in a business let’s take a look at the process of lead generation.

The lead generation process!

So let’s see how this all fits together into a process and make it something that you can action in your business. Plus it’s good to understand the important elements so you can implement them properly.

The landing page, this is crucial and the reason is because most business activities for lead generation these days usually involve paying to get visitors to land on your page. Whether it is through the search engines or through social media or email broadcast. SO it’s important to make sure that the money you are spending to get people to your page is not wasted by having other distractions on it that could leak the visitor away such as other offers or clickable navigation to distract the visitors.

In the above example the landing page job is to capture the lead so they can be sold to later.

The Offer, we have discussed offers but its important to remember that your visitor must think the offer is valuable enough to exchange their details for it. In the above case chain stores are always looking for reliable ways to make money in their business and Diversitech offer very reliable products that make a great return for their customers selling them.

The Form, as you are probably already aware this is a must for capturing the leads and educating the business whether the lead is relevant or not. This information can be used in the above example to do research on the lead and score the quality of that lead so a fully effective campaign can be achieved.

Call To Action, tell your visitors what you want them to do and this can be done through the messaging such as titles of sections such as the form title that states “fill in the form to get you r copy” and even the button that says “get Access now” all these calls to action boost conversions and ultimately make up a successful campaign for you.

These are the individual elements of the lead generating formula but I want you to fully understand the process, so here it is…

The Lead Generation Process

So that’s the crash course in Lead Generation and hopefully you can see the importance of doing it in your business but not only that but also feel more equipped to implement it in your business and be successful at it.

 

Category: Marketing, Sales

About the Author ()

Tom Caraccio is an internet marketing consultant for small business and he is on a mission to help small business survive and thrive in the new economy of digital. If you would like further updates join our blog and get a free gift "The Small Business Internet Marketing Guide"

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