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Easy ways to generate leads for your business
All businesses need to be spending some time and money on generating leads, because new leads mean more sales and greater profits. The key to lead generation is using a variety of strategies at the one time. Just advertising your business in a local newspaper probably won’t generate a large number of leads for you to turn into customers – you need to be utilising a wide variety of marketing tools simultaneously to really reach your target market and draw them to your business.
This does not apply just to big businesses with large marketing budgets, because there are numerous cost-effective strategies that small businesses can use to generate leads. For example, a small local clothing shop could be combining their local newspaper advertising with a website, a newsletter, listings in various directories, building and car signage and a stall at the local markets. All of these strategies are very cost-effective and would expose a large number of potential customers to their business and products. Lead generation is not difficult, you just need to be creative and take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself.
Here are some lead generation strategies that you may not have thought of using for your business:
- Networking groups
many business people go to networking functions for trade associations, chambers of commerce and other organizations on a regular basis. Most of them view these events as a boring hassle and do everything to avoid them. However, networking events are an excellent lead generation strategy for businesses, because the other business people that attend them are consumers too and need products and services just like the rest of us.
So, instead of standing in the corner and counting down the minutes until you can leave, walk around and start up conversations. You can even ask the people you meet for permission to add them to your database of contacts. It is also a good idea to follow up with the people you have met after the event with a quick phone call or email to build the relationship.
Building alliances with other businesses that target a market similar to yours is a great way to generate new leads for your business. Choose a reputable business that treats its customers well, engages in proactive marketing strategies and is open to trying new things. Once you have built a relationship with this business and have come to an agreement, you can start targeting their clients with your own marketing.
A great strategy is to write articles on topics you are knowledgeable about and have them placed in the newsletter of your alliance. You could also write an eBook on your area of expertise and give it your alliance to give away as a gift to their clients. Another great strategy to implement with your alliances is a joint event. You can share the organizational time and cost, and then invite clients from both businesses so you both have the chance to generate new leads.
Brochures are an effective lead generation tool for businesses because they give prospects initial information on the product or business and encourage them to take the next step in the sales process. An eye-catching brochure that is designed well, conveys the benefits of what you offer, has a powerful call-to-action and is distributed in appropriate locations will attract many potential customers to your business.
Brochures are a great strategy for businesses because they are relatively inexpensive to produce and can be distributed in several ways. They can be sent directly to prospects in a direct mail campaign, handed out at trade shows and events and displayed at your business and with your alliances.
- Trade shows
Trade shows are an excellent way to promote your business and generate leads. If you choose the right trade shows, many of the people there will be prospects that you can engage with and turn into customers. Some types of trade shows that are a great place to find leads include:
- Local business expos
- Chamber of commerce shows
- School business expos
- Industry trade shows to generate leads at trade shows you will need to be really prepared and have thought a lot about your techniques.
You will need to have experts on your stand that know your products and have excellent communication skills. You also need to have a way of qualifying leads so you don’t waste time and money chasing leads that only visited your booth for your freebies
Referrals, or word of mouth, is the number one most successful lead generation strategy. And best of all, it's completely free. If your business has great products and services and a great team, your clients are bound to rave about you to people they know. It's a well-known business fact that if a person hears about a business from someone they know and trust, they are more likely to become customers than if they just saw an advertisement for the business.
So, you need to be proactively seeking referrals from your clients. Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals – if you are a good business and you ask politely, the majority of your customers won’t hesitate to give you referrals. Remember to reward clients that give you referrals with a small gift, a thank you note or a discount.
These 5 strategies are all simple, cost-effective ways to generate leads and I recommend that all businesses engage in at least some of them. Using these less-common strategies combined with your other marketing activities such as newspaper advertising and directory listings will ensure that you always have a constant stream of new leads to convert into customers