Give Your Business a Boost with Fresh Leads

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Introduction

Why is lead generation so important? Because it is the mechanism by which we can expand our business. Or as it says in the title, give the business a boost. But for many, lead generation remains elusive and when they do find leads, they are often stale or unrelated. It's all a matter of where to look and that is what we are going to tackle here.

Lead Sources

Where people make mistakes when trying to find leads is to extract thousands of leads and then hope that a few will be interested. But this is a waste of time and often money. If you can instead find targeted leads, you may get less overall leads, but they will be much more willing to go for what you are offering.

So if you are a plumber in New York City, you will want to focus your efforts with likely candidates that are talking about plumbing problems, say on forums or blogs related to plumbers located in New York City.

Lead Generation Challenges

Should You Pay For Leads?

Only pay for leads if what you get costs less than what you make. And you have to look at the total number of leads that are being generated for you. If you pay for a service that sends you 100 leads, for example, and you are only able to convert 5 of them into buyers of your product, it is likely that lead generation campaign is not going to be very worthwhile for you (unless you are charging thousands for you products and services).

Leads can cost anywhere from $30 per lead on up to several hundreds per lead so you really want to focus on those leads being very targeted to your market.

How About PPC Advertising?

If you are not experienced with PPC advertising, those are the ads that you see on the top and sides of search engines like Google and Bing, then you are likely going to overspend on your campaigns. This will in turn, bring in leads that are not targeted and hence, will not be buyers of what you have to offer.

It takes a good amount of practice and there are techniques that you can learn that can help you set up your campaigns in such a way as to keep the ad spend low. But it is a bit involved for this article (perhaps a follow up?)

As I have stated, you probably want to stay away from this form of getting leads until you know how to do it.

PPC Advertising

Leads via Word of Mouth

People often overlook the fact that you can get leads simply by asking people you already know. And if they aren't in the market for your offerings ask if they know of anyone who is. Make sure you hand out plenty of business cards that specify your services.

The great part about this is that people that know you already trust you, so you won't have to establish that with them.

LinkedIn as a Resource

If you are not a member of LinkedIn and you own any kind of business, get an account right now. Don't wait on this one. The key here is not to simply say on LinkedIn, "I am such and such a company and do you need what I offer?". You need to establish relationships with people and one great way to do that, is write helpful tips about your business on the website.

They have also introduced an advertising model of their own. But being that it's similar to PPC advertising, you should heed the same advice and make sure you know what you're doing.

Facebook

Facebook

Facebook is an interesting creature. It has the potential to bring lots of targeted traffic. But that traffic isn't always people you necessarily want to sell to. If you don't know what I am talking about try selling stuff to your friends and see how quickly they unfriend you.

But there is the option of using Facebook ads where your friends will have no idea you are the one putting up those ads. But it too, falls under the category of PPC-like type of advertising. So the same warning stands.

Leads from Other Social Media Outlets

LinkedIn and Facebook tend to be the two biggest for lead generation. That's why each one was covered in a separate paragraph. Lead generation using other social media sites is certainly possible and should be encouraged. But you will spend a lot more time trying to gain traction on those sites than you will on the big 2.

Craigslist and Other Classified Websites

It used to be that you can flood Craigslist with a bunch of ads and you would get dozens of leads per day. The next day when the leads dried up, you just reposted that ad and you were good to go. Do this today and you'll get your email and IP Address banned by Craigslist. They simply do not allow this practice anymore. You can only post one ad in a 48 hour period.

There are other classified websites and some of them may produce decent results but you will now be in the business of ad management as you will need to know what you posted and on which website, along with when you did it. If you have that kind of time, then by all means give it a go. If you don't you will probably want to seek out other ways to get your leads.

Lead Generation

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Choosing a Lead Generation Company

Lead generation takes time and money. If you are not in the lead generation business, you are probably going to come to the conclusion that you will need to hire a company that specializes in this arena rather then spend day after day trying to get a tiny morsel of business.

But there are a lot of snake oil sales people in this field and you have to make sure you know what to look for.

The big four when seeking out a lead generation company are:

  • Don't pay until leads are delivered
  • Get a guarantee for leads
  • Ask if they will be willing to scrub a certain percentage of leads
  • What types of leads are they offering?

A lot of companies are going to make you pay up front and then hopefully they'll be able to deliver you leads. What happens if they don't? Will they refund your money?

If you are required to give money upfront, make sure you get a guarantee. If the company balks at this, it could be an indication that they don't produce quality results and are just trying to extract fees without being able to deliver. Note, the point is moot if they only charge you for leads after you get them.

Even good companies cannot produce great leads 100% of the time. There are simply going to be a small percentage of the leads that either are telemarketers or the person misread what the product or service was about. A scrub rate can reduce the amount and is simply an amount that the lead generation company skims off of the invoice amount. If you got 100 leads from a company and had a scrub rate of 10% then you would only owe for 90 leads.

Live call leads are by far, the best converting leads you will ever get for a business. Leads that are email based can be hit or miss and you will need to spend your time writing emails and hoping for the best. Even email lists that have been verified have no guarantee that people will actually respond to what you send them. But live calls, they are the ones initiating the call so converting that kind of lead is much easier.

Closing The Lead

What To Do After Receiving the Lead

This is a crucial aspect of the lead generation process, i.e., your business' ability to close that sale. If you aren't able to do that, even the best leads in the world won't matter. Here are some tips to get better conversions:

  1. Make sure you take the call when you get it
  2. If you can't take the call, make sure you get back to them as close to the time that they called as possible
  3. Try to give them an incentive to accept your offer right when they are on the phone (10% discount, etc.) If they have to "get back to you" you have just reduced your chances of closing that lead by approximately 60% (maybe more).
  4. If you get resistance, see if you can get them to your website to sign up to your newsletter (you do have one of those don't you). If you are able to do this, you may be able to get them to buy from you at a later date.

© 2014 techhound

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