Lead Generation and Customer Acquisition Strategies
Here is a quick overview of some of the highly effective strategies you can use to generate many more qualified leads and clients for your business. They are all simple and cost effective to implement once you know what to do and how to do it.
By bridging the gaps in your knowledge we can show you how to get the most out of any of these approaches, no matter how large or small your business.
1. Direct Mail
An extremely flexible medium that gives you access to any number of otherwise inaccessible prospects for many different purposes; to sell your products; generate sales leads; follow up enquiries; get more business from current customers; keep in touch with former customers; close the sale in advance … and so much more. It allows you to present every benefit of your product or service over those of your competition in a manner that’s 100% consistent. This is not just in their offices and during the business day, but in their homes, in the evenings and at weekends. Reaching the right audience with the right offer and the right message is the key to success, because the only thing that counts is how many sales or inquiries your mailing generates.
2. Effective Advertising
Advertising should be nothing less than ”salesmanship in print,” i.e. it should do the same job that a top sales person would do face to face. If you approach advertising in a scientific manner, following proven principles and facts, it no longer has to be a gamble. There are many extremely effective ways of using advertising in a highly targeted manner, that can’t help but grow your business. This includes 1) advertising only in media that reaches a sufficiently large number of the kind of people you’re trying to reach 2) focusing the entire thrust of your communication on your prospect’s interests, not your own 3) giving your prospects enough information and education and 4) offering them something appealing that’ll get them to respond now.
3. Referral Systems
One third-party endorsement is more powerful than a hundred presentations. Getting your customers to recommend and encourage other people they associate with to seek out your products or services is the most coveted prize in selling, besides a sale. There are hundreds of referral systems you can use; to create an unlimited supply of hot prospects; to get prospects returning your calls; to contact hard-to-reach buyers; to create a reputation that opens closed doors; to enhance customer loyalty; and to increase sales and multiply profits. Referral systems make your life easier and more professional, and bring higher profits with increased customer loyalty.
4. Host Beneficiary Relationships
There are bound to be other non-competing businesses who have already spent years attracting and establishing relationships with the very people who are prime prospects for your own products or services. By establishing the right relationships with those ”hosts”, those customers can be yours for the asking, with the full co-operation and permission of the businesses that acquired them in the first place … and it will bring you more customers and more cash right away.
5. Word-of-Mouth Marketing
This is the most powerful, persuasive marketing weapon available to any business. It drives customers to try products or services more than any other marketing technique … more than advertising, salespeople, direct response, and public relations combined! And contrary to what you might expect word-of-mouth is not out of your control. There are dozens of techniques for launching your own highly successful word of mouth campaigns, based on an all-important Decision Matrix and a proven seven-step process.
Telemarketing can be used very effectively in conjunction with other types of marketing. It is flexible in scope, message, and the things it can accomplish. It works especially well with direct mail because it allows you to identify prospects and reach them directly through two media. It is also an enormously effective way to keep advancing and building your relationship and gently leading your prospects to a purchasing decision … which can increase your sales results by up to twenty times. You can use telemarketing techniques to implement extensive campaigns as well as to fill in spare time by generating more business. It also gives you immediate feedback from customers and prospects as no other medium can, allowing you to find out what prospective customers want, what they like, and what they don’t like, as well as helping you qualify them.
7. Qualified Lists
The quality of your prospect list is the single most important influencing factor in your marketing success because it can eliminate virtually all marketing waste. A list of well qualified prospects can be a priceless gem because if you exploit it properly it will produce tremendous amount of revenue for you from people who have a proven interest in your product or service. Thousands of properly qualified lists are readily available for virtually any marketing purpose and can give you many times more sales. These lists identify the specific businesses, key decision makers and demographic characteristics you desire, within the geographic areas you specify. You can focus only on prospects who are more likely than not your primary target audience for your product or service.
Most people you meet have hundreds of contacts, which means that virtually anyone you might want to contact or meet is only four to five people away from you. Effective networking is therefore vital to your success. Most people are poor networkers, but you can quickly learn how to get out; meet people; make new contacts; develop quality business relationships based on trust; polish your communication skills; educate the people you meet about what you do and the benefits offered by your product or service; create a lasting impression; quickly build your network, use your contacts database effectively, enjoy your new contacts …and maximise your chances of success.
9. Circle of Leverage
A highly effective step by step strategy that deals with the single most common and frustrating problem for anyone in business: the problem of gaining access to the correct audience. No other skill is as directly connected to your ability to achieve success as the skill of getting in to see the right people. This approach will help you cut through bureaucracy, identify the people you most need to see. You’ll find that you can get in front of your desired prospects–regardless of their position or level of experience–faster, more effectively, and with less expense. It represents a new way of thinking about gaining access and overcomes the problem of getting through to the right people.
The Internet is now an essential element in business communication. When people want information, they surf the web to find what they need. You need a good website that maximizes your exposure … or you’ll look old-fashioned and behind-the-times. Your website needs to be attractive, informative, and easy to navigate so that you obtain a constant stream of new prospects. You also need to establish a system that deftly converts them into customers.
11. Become a Recognised Authority
You can take a number of simple steps to rapidly establish yourself as a recogised authority in your field. These include writing articles and books, creating newsletters and information products, speaking and delivering seminars. These can keep you very busy and in demand virtually all the time, giving you a tremendous edge over your competitors who struggle to get by. Customers will normally flock to you, while your competitors wonder why and have to settle for picking up the leftovers.
12. Public Relations and Publicity
Most of what you read, see, and hear in the media got there with the help of PR. The media are insatiably hungry for factual, interesting, and newsworthy or entertaining information they can share with their customers, members, employees, listeners, viewers or readers. PR, approached correctly, will give you free coverage on radio, television, in magazines, newspapers, trade journals, newsletters, e-zines, and via Web sites who serve the marketplace you’re trying to reach.
13. Special Events and Promotions
One of the best methods of making your business more successful is to make doing business with you a special, memorable experience. The more exciting, enjoyable, fascinating, informative, valuable or educational you can make the experience, the more business you will do, and the stronger and more meaningful the bond you will form with your customers. Events are a very powerful way of offering people who have an excellent probability of turning into customers a chance to be educated about the benefits and results of your product or service. They can also be used to recognise your existing customers as being very special.
14. Advertorials and News Stories
Writing articles and news stories for publication in the media that your prospects and customers would find interesting and would like to know about is the quickest, easiest way, and usually the first step, in building your reputation. You need to know how to come up with article ideas, research and write successful articles, get them published, use the reprints in self-promotion, and get people to respond to you and buy your products or services.
15. Brochures and Corporate Literature
No matter what your business, your brochures should help bring in profitable business … yet most brochures fail miserably. You therefore need to know how to create professional brochures and fliers that sell for you by educating your prospects and customers about the benefits you offer and also addresses their questions and their needs for your product or service.
16. Making profits on the ”Back End”
If you depend more on repeat business than initial sales, or if most of your sales and profits occur when customers repeat purchase from you again and again, you should be doing everything possible to motivate as many customers as you can to make their initial buying decision as quickly and easily as possible. Making it easy and irresistible for the customer to start doing business with you by adding extra incentives or by making your initial sale at breakeven or a small loss, means that you will benefit sooner rather than later from all the repeat business, the add-ons and the ancillary products and services that represent the bulk of your profits.
A powerful technique for building your reputation with a defined audience over a period of time is to regularly send them a newsletter, which can either be free or paid subscription. Newsletters can be used to position you as an authority in your marketplace, to build closer relationships with clients. You can use them to educate your target market so they can make more informed and more frequent buying decisions or educate them to the full extent of your services and how you can add value through those services.
18. Leaflet Drops or Inserts
Gives you a direct approach into both homes and businesses in an exact geographical area … giving you the flexibility to drop any number at any time, and lends itself to a low cost combination of letter and brochure advertising.
19. Use Your Competitors Resources
Harnessing the relationships that your competitors do not properly or fully develop or appreciate … and making arrangements to obtain details from them of all their unconverted leads, unsold prospects and unconverted enquiries is like them handing you the keys to their own customer list.
20. Exhibitions and Trade Shows
Some wildly successful businesses employ only one major method of marketing: they display and sell their wares at trade shows, exhibitions, and fairs. They realise that many serious prospects will attend these gatherings. But there is an art to successful exhibiting which, if mastered, generates immense rewards. There are few other sales forums where prospects and clients come to you and where you can meet so many of them in a single day. You can also conduct valuable research, get first hand opinions on your products and services and even collect valuable testimonials. Besides attracting new business, exhibitions can be used to introduce existing customers to additional products and services they were previously unaware of.
21. Card Deck Offers
A card deck offer is a product description or promotion on an individual card about the size of a postcard typically placed within a pack along with 50-100 other cards. It’s a quick and enjoyable way for many busy people to “shop” through a variety of product offers, and you can normally target and send your offer to a large number of carefully selected prospective customers for less money than nearly all other direct marketing methods.
Other lead generation strategies include: