Lead generation. Do you sometimes feel like you’re simply guessing at how to generate leads?
Many business owners aren’t sure how to attract quality leads, so they spend hours spreading their content on the internet, and hundreds or even thousands of dollars on ads that they hope will at least break even.
As you may have experienced, these efforts often don’t break even. If you’re putting in a concentrated effort to market your business, but you don’t know how to generate leads, you’re probably lost hundreds of hours and dollars, if not thousands of dollars, in the past year alone.
If you’re concerned that you’re wasting time and money on ineffective lead generation tactics, and you’re tired of flying in the dark, keep reading, because we’re about to tell you how to consistently generate qualified leads who want your products or services.
What does it take for consistent lead generation?
Some people fear that lead generation takes a huge budget, or a high degree of technical knowledge. The great news is, that isn’t true – you can get the right potential customers’ attention with relatively little money and technological know-how.
Here are three steps you can take this month to generate more good leads:
Step 1: Develop a strong online local presence.
Your customers are already looking for you, but is your business in the places where they’re looking?
If you were looking for a business like yours in your area, what would you type into Google?
“Restaurants in Brandon, Florida”?
“Auto repair shops in Grand Forks, North Dakota”?
Try typing one of those into Google now. If you did, you were probably presented with at least one directory that lists businesses in that category and geographical area.
Your online local presence is your presence on the websites in which people search when they’re looking for businesses like yours. These are some of the best leads you can get, because they’re already actively looking to buy your products!
If you don’t have a presence in these directories yet, I strongly recommend changing that right away. Visit each of the websites that came up in your search, and either create a profile for your business, or claim the profile if it already exists, and make sure that it’s attractive and up-to-date.
Step 2: Get reviews from your best customers.
According to GetAmbassador’s compilation of word-of-mouth marketing statistics, 84% of consumers completely or at least partly trust their friends’, family’s, and colleagues’ recommendations of products and services.
68% of the people in Nielsen’s study trust online opinions from other consumers – an increase of 7% from 2007. This makes online opinions the third most trusted source of product information!
And 88% of people trust other consumers’ online reviews as much as they trust recommendations from their personal contacts.
All in all, getting people who love your service to endorse you results in leads that are far more trusting and ready to buy than they would be without that social proof.
So how do you get more reviews?
Your first step is to ask your best customers if they’d be willing to help other people, and support you, by providing testimonials.
To get persuasive reviews, and to make it easy for busy people to recommend you, give them sample reviews they can tweak and send.
For example, your sample review could say, “Before I worked with Jane Doe, I struggled to meet women. I always felt shy and awkward around them, and even getting their number was a struggle, never mind getting dates or developing a relationship. I was lonely and frustrated, and I wondered if there was something wrong with me.”
“In one week of working with Jane, I got phone numbers from ten women. Within three weeks, I met the woman who later became my wife. Now, I feel confident and attractive, and every day I get to wake up beside the love of my life.”
Each review should include the following information:
- The problem the customer had before they worked with you.
- The effects that that problem had on them in their daily lives.
- The benefit or transformation you gave them.
- How that benefit changed their lives.
These problems and benefits should be specific, and easy for the reader to mentally see, hear, smell, taste or feel.
The review will be more convincing if it includes time frames, dollar amounts, or other such specifics. For example, instead of saying “she helped me get more dates”, the testimonial should say, “she helped me find an amazing girlfriend in just three weeks”.
Including specific time frames and dollar amounts makes the testimonial more convincing – for example, instead of saying “she helped me make a lot of money”, the testimonial should say “she helped me make ten thousand dollars in two months”.
Once your customers have agreed to give you these reviews, ask them to put them on the local directory sites where you created profiles.
Step 3: Get customers and businesses to refer people to you
Lead generation is good, referrals are great. As I mentioned above, word-of-mouth recommendations are highly valuable. But most customers don’t know how to notice opportunities to make referrals, or to make your offering look good. And many businesses won’t recommend you without help and incentive.
To encourage customers and fellow business owners to promote your business to their communities, give them:
An explanation of how recommending you will help other people
How will you improve the lives of their friends, families, subscribers or social followers?
How will offering your service make the referral partner look more valuable and helpful to their community?
Who are you best equipped to help, and in what situations might the referral partner mention your business to these ideal customers?
An explanation of how recommending you will help the referral partner
When asking businesses to recommend you, offer to pay them a percentage of each sale you make to the people they send to you. Make sure you have a way to track where your customers came from, and be willing to refer customers to them in return.
Your best business referral partners will be people whose businesses complement, but don’t compete with, your own. For example, a bakery that makes wedding cakes, a dress store, and a wedding planner could all refer customers to each other.
- Sample emails or social posts they can send out.
Don’t ask busy people to figure out how to promote your business. Instead, make it easy for them by giving them pre-written materials they can tweak and send.
Want to know more about lead generation?
If you want to attract more leads and customers to your business, and to create a large, sustainable income that supports the lifestyle you’ve been dreaming of, we want to help.
Your first step is to download our eBook, 7 Steps to Small Business Marketing Success. Just click the image below to get access!