In countless instances business lies to itself when it thinks that it doesn't need to promote itself in order to get more business by generating leads. In nearly all circumstances, owners and managers who take this approach usually find their businesses stagnating, if not failing altogether. Below are 10 proven strategies for getting more leads and referrals.
1. Focus. In most cases, getting leads for new business is an afterthought, something that nearly always takes a backseat to getting the sale. Fortunately, generating leads is normally as easy as asking for them when you think to do it. It's all a matter of focus.
2. Use a Lead Generation Agency. A professional lead generation agency is an excellent source of qualified leads. After all, that's their business, and nobody does it better.
3. Understand your database. One lead is not necessarily like any other. When you segment your database and are able to track behavior, the leads you already have will become much more valuable.
4. Think campaign. In many cases, marketing programs are planned that carry out one pitch, and that's all. One pitch is never enough. The CMO should make sure that a sales campaign includes several pitches and several follow ups to the initial sales pitch.
5. Watch for the Hand Raised. More often than not, potential customers will indicate themselves. The trouble is that we don't recognize it often enough. When someone responds to your marketing efforts, whatever that is, make sure that your sales crew follows up and stays on that client.
6. Develop Referral Strategies. Actively encourage others, including employees, to bring you leads, and reward them for their effort.
7. Create News. Put together special reports and other "news" items, either for publication yourself or by your local newspapers or magazines.
8. Offer Free Consultations. Consultations are great to bring people to you. It also gives you a "hook" to keep them coming back...as a paying customer.
9. Do Pro Bono Work for Local Charities. Local charities often have many influential people as supporters, people who you could use as a client after you meet them.
10. Follow a Lead Through Its Whole Life. If you receive a lead and a salesperson follows it up, what happens after that, and what assurance does the CMO have that the lead was exhausted?
The CMO should always make sure that every lead has been followed up on, not once, but until it is exhausted. Using any--or all--of these strategies will lead to more business both now and in the future.
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