Effective Lead Generation for a Small Business to Make More Sales

Ask any small business owner what are the main problems they face, and they’ll almost always tell you one of the biggest headaches is generating more leads. After all, no leads, no sales. And no sales means no revenue and profits. The strange thing is that many business owners think generating leads is difficult, when actually it’s fairly easy, as long as you follow a simple process and put in a bit of effort. You also need to make sure that you actually are doing lead-generation and not just saying you are and then trying to make a sale immediately.

Small business lead generation and how to get it right

So the first thing you need to do is make sure you really do have a lead-generation system in place, and that means forgetting about trying to make a sale immediately. This process of concentrating on lead generation will set your business apart from others in the market, because most other companies will try to make a sale straight away, and the ones that don’t will have a big advantage. When you generate a lead, you should concentrate on simply getting the prospect’s contact details and then building a strong relationship over a period of months or even years.

Why does this work so well? Simply because when the average prospect enquires about a product or service, she isn’t ready to buy yet, and the last thing she wants is for some salesman to start persuading her to buy. She wants information, and when she gets that, she begins to see you as the expert in your field, and therefore more likely to buy something when she’s ready. On the other hand, if you try to make a sale she’ll most likely back off, and look at another supplier, which is exactly the opposite of what you want.

Give something to get something back

So what is the best way to generate leads for the long-term? The easiest way to do this is to give a free gift in order to gather the prospect’s contact details. The free gift should be related to what you want to sell eventually, and can even include information in the form of a free report or eBook. Then the process is simply one of making regular contact with your prospects so that when they’re really ready to buy, they’ll most likely think of you.

So the next time you think it’s difficult to get leads, first make sure you are actually trying to get leads, and not make an immediate sale. Then put a system in place which collects prospect contact details and then follows up regularly. It may take weeks or even months to make a sale, but most people aren’t really ready to buy when they first contact you anyway. And over the long term this strategy will lead to more sales and revenue, which is the reason you want those leads in the first place.

Lead Generation for Small Business: A Simple and Effective Strategy to Follow

Lead generation for small business is one of the simplest and quickest ways to increase the number of customers and generate more revenue. That may sound like a bold claim, but in fact it’s borne out by facts from the real world – numbers of sales.

Here is why

Lead generation for Small Business

is such an effective strategy, and why you should certainly use it in your business.

Market differentiation. It sounds like a complex and difficult concept, but all this means is that generating leads makes you stand out in the market and appear different from your competitors, and that can only be a good thing. Most businesses – and that includes your competitors – will focus on making sales (for the most part a completely ineffective strategy) and will appear the same to your prospects.

It looks at the long term. Your prospects want to buy stuff, but they might not want to buy it just yet. If you concentrate on lead generation instead of making sales there and then, you accept this fact, and concentrate on getting your prospects to get to know you first.

More chances to sell. Funnily enough, by not concentrating on sales, lead generation gives you more chances to sell. In effect, you concentrate on building a relationship with your prospects, and selling over time.

Once you understand the importance of these three points, you can start to put a system together to get your lead generation moving. The first thing you need is a way to collect contact details, and as many as possible. This can include emails, postal addresses, phone and even old-fashioned fax (yes, some people still use them). But of all these, email is the best, simply because it’s cheap and convenient, and the strange thing is that most businesses are not taking advantage of it at all.

One of the best ways to collect email addresses is to advertise a page on your website that gives something away for free, especially some free information. A great method is to write a small report about how to choose a provider of your service. Titles can be things like: “Seven Things You Need to Know Before You Choose A…” then insert your business-type (electrician, plumber, house decorator etc.)

The great thing is that this makes you appear the expert, and probably nobody else in your market is doing this. In short, you’re starting a relationship by giving something for free, and also increasing the perception of your business as the best one to go to.

Once you have your prospects’ details, you can email them regularly, giving even more valuable information, and sell to them over time. This almost always leads to an increase in business, and great conversion rates to any offers or promotions you run. Even better, most other small businesses won’t have the courage to do this, or simply won’t be bothered to try, and that puts anyone who does do it at a great advantage.

All you have to do is simply put it into practice, and reap the rewards.

So what are you waiting for?

Lead Generation For Small Businesses In Slow Times

Lead generation is a key activity for virtually every business, no matter the size. And in times such as these, when the economy is on a downturn, it is even more important that companies apply time and attention to new business lead generation.

Here are some tips which small businesses could find useful in driving those revenues up:

1. Get creative and effective in generating more from your existing customer base. I know this has nothing to do with new business lead generation, but it is far easier to accomplish and quicker to earn payback. Current customers will be far more inclined to buy from you than brand new, un-developed contacts. You could ring up customers who’ve stopped doing business with you.

Based on their past buying profile, you could create a special offer package for them. You could invite them in for a special event. You don’t have one planned? Plan one. Reward them with a bundle of specially priced items, perhaps available only to selected customers to celebrate your xyz anniversary. (Replace the xyz with something appropriate like, years in business, since opening of new store, birth of first child, launch of major product etc.)

Think about how you can approach those old friends, and you could earn instant additional income for your business.

2. Make it a habit to ask your latest customer if they know of anyone else who would benefit from the product or service that you offer. Most business or geographic markets are small worlds’ unto themselves. Now some of your customers won’t want to give you any names, particularly if your product or service has provided them with a competitive advantage. But you will be surprised how many customers will be happy to furnish you with names of their contacts who could be in the market for what you offer. While we’re talking about this technique, don’t forget to apply it to point 1 too.

3. Review you. What do I mean by that? Well, you could start by refining your positioning. Take a close look at your company, your product, your competition and your customers. Identify and define your ideal potential customer. What problems are they experiencing which you have the means to help them solve? Why should they go for your solution instead of your competitors’. Now, communicate this competitive value message to your prospects.

4. Manufacture yourself some media coverage. How do you do this? It’s all in the story. Create a Press Release and have a story with human interest at the centre. At least some of the media will be interested in covering it, giving you free publicity along the way leading, we hope, to new business. So where’s the human interest if you sell product x, or service y?

Well, do you have anyone in your business who is well known and successful in another field, like sport or the arts? Has anyone in your business won any awards? Has your business, product or service won any awards? Have you received some great testimonials from existing customers following the special event you organised for them during point 1. If they haven’t given you their testimonial, it’s probably because you forgot to ask for them. Right?

Survival could soon be the name of the game for many small businesses. Lead generation is essential, and can be tackled in many ways. In today’s economic climate, it’s down to you to be as creative as you can.

Small Business Lead Generation

Small business lead generation doesn’t have to be a daunting task. You have an excellent product, your service is unlike any that many people will find in your type of business, and many people have an interest in what you do, but they just aren’t making the buy. This is where small business lead generation can help you out in gaining the interest of the prospects and turning them into customers.

Sometimes small business lead generation involves giving a little in order to receive a lot. A good example of this is doing something like offering a free guide to a particular service your business specializes in order to get the attention of potential customers. Anytime the word ‘free’ is thrown out there, you get the attention of all sorts of people. In turn, you are gaining leads and from those leads you gain customers.

Your small business lead generation strategy may also be something like offering a free download on your website (games, software) if visitors register their name and contact information on your site. If you can’t do downloads, you can give free gifts and do a “while supplies last” type of promotion to deter freebie hunters who have no interest in your business at all and just want the free gift. That is something you must be careful of when using this as a small business lead generation strategy. It works, but don’t be surprised if some of your freebies are gobbled up by those who have made it a career to post your site on the net as being a ‘freebie’ site. It is true that you may generate leads since freebie hunters need certain products and services too, but be aware that this does occur and use your best judgment since giving away free stuff is a very good small business lead generation tactic.

Another great tool in small business lead generation is once you have the leads, create a print newsletter in your store or an e-mail newsletter for those who have registered on your site. Keeping your current and potential customers up-to-date on your products and services is a great way to keep the same customers coming back over and over and that means they will tell their friends. The best small business lead generation strategy is when your current or potential customers see something in your newsletter that prompts them to call their friends and say “You know that such and such you were looking for? Well, XYZ Company has it and they have a great price on it.”

Through small business lead generation you are building relationships, retaining relationships, and opening yourself up to a whole new world of marketing strategies. And don’t forget, you want to do these things so that people will tell their friends and keep the word of mouth domino effect going strong. That is going to be the best small business lead generation you will ever find, but you have to give the dominoes a little push in the right direction first.