Leads are the lifeblood of every business. Without people to purchase your products and services, your business can’t make money.
Lead generation strategies vary depending on budget, business model, and the types of leads you need.
3 Lead Generation Strategies for Most Business Types
Some business strategies are more hands-on than others; for example, an online electronics store might not see or talk to customers who make purchases, while a family doctor provides personal service to everyone who comes to her practice. No matter how much contact you have with your prospects, though, you still need to generate leads from somewhere.
These 3 methods for attracting more leads work for most business types, though you might need to tweak them a little if your business is truly unique.
Generate Leads Through Referrals
We’ve all heard marketers talk about how word-of-mouth is the best marketing you can possibly receive.
However, providing great service and passively waiting for your customers to talk about you with their friends isn’t exactly a strategy. It’s just a hope that someone else is going to make sales for you.
Take matters into your own hands by asking for referrals.
You can use social media for this – after someone makes a purchase, prompt them to share their experience with friends on their social channels.
Email is also a viable way to ask for referrals. Once a transaction is completed, email the customer and offer them a reward for referring friends, such as a $10 coupon for the customer and for the person they refer.
For businesses in which you have person-to-person contact with your customers, have a customer service agent ask directly for referrals. Your agent will be better able to judge how satisfied your customers are, and happy customers will often share your business with their friends and family.
You’ve already done the work to attract these customers – get more out of your marketing efforts by asking them to do some of it for you.
Generate Leads Through Partnerships
Sometimes, in order to succeed, a business has to change the way it thinks about its competition.
Companies that sell similar products to similar audiences often take an antagonistic view – they’re trying to beat each other and win sales from the same people.
There’s some truth in that, but the people that purchase your products and services also buy a lot of other things that you don’t sell.
Rather than the winner-take-all mentality that leads companies to be secretive and selfish, why not partner with some of those companies that are selling different things to the same people?
By working together with other businesses, you both have the opportunity to double your leads and make more money.
Generate Leads Through Community Outreach
Participating in your community is rewarding, both because it’s good for the place in which you live, and because it’s good for business and branding.
Helping your community through charitable giving, community events, sponsorships, and other outreach programs lets your prospects see the human side of your business and creates positive associations for your brand.
People who might not have heard of you through your regular marketing channels now see your brand name attached to things that are important to them, and some of those people will likely go to your website or storefront simply out of curiosity.
If your business has a physical location, consider hosting events in your store to attract new traffic.
Especially in the case of small businesses, neighborhoods are often eager to support entrepreneurs and business owners in their own town, and by participating in the local culture, you encourage them to participate in your business.
A Quick Reminder About Lead Generation
As you implement strategies to bring in more leads and attract new customers to your business, remember that no business truly markets to “everyone.” Not all leads are equally valuable.
Focus your lead generation efforts where you’re most likely to find qualified prospects.
When you share the right marketing with the right people at the right time, that’s a recipe for business success.