Let’s talk about lead generation and lead marketing today.

When I speak with female entrepreneurs about challenges associated with their sales strategy, 60% of the issues come from not having enough leads.

Think of having sales leads like having money in your wallet. When we do not have enough money in our wallet, we get nervous and stressed while spending. Then we start feeling insecurity and self-doubt.

Similarly, when we do not have enough number of leads for our business, we see zero emails when we open our inbox in the morning. Zero meetings are booked on our calendar. As a result, we start to get stressed about our business and hit random measures to increase sales. We start to doubt everything we do in business and worry about whether we have what it takes to succeed.

TRUST ME, I HAVE BEEN THERE. 

On the other hand, if we have enough tricks for lead generation marketing, things are completely different. We feel more confident speaking with prospective clients. We do not feel pressured or desperate to close the sales.
So, be honest with yourself. Look at the lead marketing list you have. How many qualified leads do you have on your list?

Remember: NEW BUSINESS leads are NOT your contacts. Just because you met one entrepreneur at a networking event six months ago, the person does not automatically become one of your prospects.

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Are you a small entrepreneur who would like to get the attention of big clients? Do you struggle writing emails that will get a response from your prospects?
Click here to download my best email templates that have helped me close big sales.

Lead Marketing Push: The 3 Fundamentals Questions to Think About To Stay Focused and Produce Faster Results. 

Wait, before discussing the lead generation strategies, this short video will ask you 3 fundamental questions about your business and help you determine the best lead generation strategies for your business. With this, you will be able to stay focused on your sales efforts and avoid wasting your time and efforts on sales activities that are not right for you.

Ask these 3 fundamental questions before you pick the best lead generation strategies for your business.

 

Lead Generation Strategies

Here I will list different lead generation strategies: from getting the warmest leads to coldest leads. The first few strategies are easier to implement, but you might get smaller results. If you have been in the industry for a long time or already have a very targeted following, you might not need to go too far away from your own sales technique to get enough leads. But if you do not already have a big list, you might need to go further down the list to generate more leads to business. Don’t be discouraged, as long as you are focused and work hard, your B2B lead generation efforts will get easier.

1. Personal Referrals:

There is nothing more powerful than getting referrals from your satisfied clients. So, if you have satisfied customers or friend and family with contacts, you can simply ask them to refer your business.

Sounds quite easy, does it? So, why aren’t more people using this strategy? The challenge is that people hate to ask others for favors. We hate sounding pushy and asking others for favors.

Want to hear a secret? If you find the right people who have genuinely benefited from your service, they would be happy to help you. They want to see you succeed and you are not being pushy at all.

Hack to Making Big Sales: 

Here are some simple tips that can help you ask for referrals easily, without sounding pushy. Find one strategy that you feel most comfortable with and pick 3 people to implement this strategy. Trust me… you would just be surprised by the response you get from these people.

– If you feel shy asking for referrals, here is a quick message template you could use:


“________, thank you so much for working with me. I’m glad to hear you are happy with us. I would love to help more customers just like you. Can you think of anything that might benefit from my service?”

– You could also add the follow message in your marketing materials or email signature:

“The greatest compliment you can give me is a referral to your family, friends, and colleagues”.

– Don’t forget to make it easy for your friends to promote you. Offer to give them some ideas on how to best promote your products or services, such as….

“____, thanks for agreeing to introduce my services to your friends and family. If you need any ideas on how to best promote it, attached are my testimonials and introductions from my other customers.”

2. Referrals from Affiliate Partners:

I love developing relationships with affiliate marketing partners. Affiliate partners are businesses who offer different services, but targets same clients. You can refer businesses to each other and also get together to discuss challenges and opportunities you face in the industry.

Think of the services your target clients use, connect with these service providers.

Remember: It is important to provide value first. Offer to help and get to know these service providers. Then you will be able to connect with them and create an affiliate relationship.

Hack to Making Big Sales: 

– Look at your prospective client’s LinkedIn page and find out who has given them recommendations. Most likely you will see the name of the service providers your prospective clients work with. Build relationships with these service providers by offering to help and engage with their community. This is one of the best affiliate programs – and is completely free!

Take a look at the following example from a LinkedIn page of a small business owner, Daniel. He has given recommendations to his service provider, Alex – business advisor, Hamzah – marketing professional, and Jessica, business analyst. If you were targeting Daniel, you now know that you could collaborate with the following people to getting in front of your prospects like Daniel.

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3. Networking Events or Trade Shows:

There are two ways to network these days: offline and online. Luckily, in today’s age, we get to choose which way best suits our business and industries.

But, let’s face it, you only have 24 hours each day. It is impossible to participate in all lead marketing and networking events. Instead of going to any old networking event, do your research to make sure that your idea clients would be there.

Hack to Making Big Sales: Finding the networking events your prospects will attend.

  • LinkedIn: Check out your prospects’ LinkedIn page and look at what organizations do they belong to.
  • Google search hack.
    Do you want to look for more potential clients? Here is a cool trick to help you find some hidden list on the web.
    Command: “position name” + “location” + “attendee list” filetype:xls

For example, Google the term: “VP of marketing” + “London” + “attendee list” filetype:xls

Here is the result. You will be able to find the attendee list of certain events with VP of marketing attending the event. This would give you ideas of events to incorporate as part of your lead generation strategies. The second result also gave me a list of 920 executives that attended their event, with their direct contact phone number!

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Here are the sales leads from my simple google search!

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Hack to Making Big Sales:

After the event, you can then send personal messages to these people and connect with them. They will remember you as the person who actually listened to them.

Write the names down: Do you have your own CRM (Client Relationship Management) system? It doesn’t have to be fancy, but you should always write down your prospective clients’ details. Writing them down ensures that you always have the records of the conversation ready. Plus, you can also be honest with yourself about whether you have enough prospects in your sales funnel.

4. Inbound Marketing and Sales Funnel:

In today’s digital age, more and more people are using sales funnel as part of their lead generation strategy.

The mistakes I often see people make when it comes to inbound marketing center around where, what and how.

Where do your ideal clients hang out?

What would your ideal clients want?

How do you convert your ideal clients to actual clients?

Check out my interview with marketing guru, Michelle L. Evans on creating sales funnel to help you generate business leads.

Want more ideas on how to get in front of your ideal clients? Download my 10 secret strategies to getting in front of the decision makers. Click here to download.

5. Social Selling and Lead Generation:

Social selling is the buzzword for lead generation these days. Here, I am referring using social media platforms to build relationships with prospective clients and eventually sell to them.

Social selling can be an effective way to find prospects. But it can also be time-consuming. It is very important to have a clear goal and plan when you try social selling. Browsing your Facebook posts or Twitter feeds does not necessarily mean you are generating leads.

Hack to Making Big Sales: Focusing on your super-connectors

Many people think that social selling means selling directly to their prospective clients. This strategy works if your prospective clients hang out on LinkedIn. However, this is usually not the case if you are selling to founders or senior executives of large companies. These people simply do not have time hanging out on social media. So what happens after this? You might end up wasting a lot of time connecting with people who are not your prospective clients or who are actually your competitors!

Instead, focus your lead marketing efforts on your super-connectors. Super-connectors are people who are open to connecting with you and potentially refer you to your prospective clients. These super-connectors are more likely to hang out on social media and connect with you.

Want to know who these super-connectors are? Check out my 10 secret strategies to getting in front of hard-to-reach decision makers where I highlight 3 kinds of super-connectors and how to find them, connect with them and get a business introduction to your prospective clients.

6. Cold Calling/Email:

Now, if you still have trouble finding leads with the last 5 lead generation strategies, you can always pick up the phone or write a cold email to potential prospects who are not aware of you yet.

The advantage of cold calling is that it is extremely direct. You call your prospects with your value proposition and ask for instant feedback.

This can be a very effective strategy is you have a very compelling value proposition. For example, are your products or services price competitive? Are you producing any instant results?

Hack to Making Big Sales: 

– Take a look at my blog: ‘8 simple hacks to help you start cold calling your prospects with confidence’ here and give at least one of the hacks a try.

Are you ready to get more leads for your business?

Just like everything in life, quality always outweighs quantity. So focus on getting quality leads, the leads that have the NEEDS AND RESOURCES to buy your products IN THE NEAR FUTURE.

Which lead generation strategy would you use?

How do you best manage your precious time as an entrepreneur to maximize your lead generation activities?

I love hearing from ambitious female entrepreneurs. Let me know how your sales prospecting is going. (melinda@womenmakingbigsales.com)

 

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