The Secret to Generating More Leads for Your Business

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The Secret to Generating Leads For Your Business:

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Step 1 – Understanding What It Takes to Generate a Lead

Do you ever feel that you are wasting your money advertising? The fact is that you may very well be doing just that if one of the following three things is missing in your marketing program.

First of all, understanding the market place and people’s buying habits is the first step. This will give you the proper estimation of the amount of effort it will take to generate a lead.

People today are over advertised to. They wake up each morning on their Serta “Perfect Sleeper” mattress to the buzzing sound of their GE “We Bring Good Things to Life” alarm clock, eat a bowl of the “Breakfast of Champions” and jump into their “Today’s Chevrolet”. Driving to work they pass countless billboards and signs while listening to a radio station that plays 22 minutes of commercials an hour. Most television stations run 30 minutes an hour of commercials. The newspaper is 65 -70 percent ads. Then the Internet is in your face constantly with come-ons and ads. Email in-boxes are full. Direct mail arrives in your home mailbox, filling it. People simply cannot absorb all the marketing and advertising they are exposed to. So they selectively choose who and what they notice. This has to do with step 2 in this article.

As a business owner or manager trying to generate leads and sales for your company what does this mean to you? It means that to generate a lead it is going to take a lot more effort than you thought. You can make this work to your advantage. How? Read on.

Look at your marketplace as a large bulls-eye. The center of the bulls-eye represents the “ready to buy today” prospects. These people have shopped around and are ready to buy today. The amount of people who are ready to buy varies week-to-week, month-to-month and from product category to product category, but it represents roughly 5 to 10 percent of the total potential buy public. The important thing to remember about the center “buying now zone” is these people have shopped mentally and, to a large degree, have decided whom and where they are going to shop. You reach these people with the offer element or buy now part in your ad. But even for this to work to any degree you have to have laid down the ground work properly.

The other rings of the bulls-eye represent what is called the awareness zones. The important thing to remember about the awareness zones is that market share is won or lost in the awareness zones not in the bulls-eye.

The closer a prospect gets to the center the more actively they are shopping and thinking about a particular product. Think about the last time you bought a car. Did you run out one day and just buy a new car? Maybe, but most likely not. You more than likely, for several months in advance, were thinking about it. You started noticing different makes and models and maybe watched a commercial for a model that got your interest. Your thinking went from “I’m going to need a new car soon” to “you know I like the new Camaros” to “I would look good behind the wheel of a Camaro” to “I wonder how much they sell for” to “Joe has a Camaro, I wonder what he thinks of it” to “can I afford one?” to “who sells them” to “wow Parkway Chevrolet has them on sale.” This cycle could take six months or a year for larger ticket items to several days for smaller ticket items.

By advertising consistently and regularly you are reaching people in the awareness zones. You are buying what is called Top of Mind Awareness. When people are ready to buy, you want them to think of you and not your competition, or at least put you on the list of the two or three places they will shop before they buy.

It doesn’t matter what type of business you are in the bulls-eye principle applies to you. The amount of effort it takes to generate a lead today is five to ten times what the average business owner thinks. In today’s economy it is more important than ever that you are consistent in your advertising and promotion. Reaching prospects consistently and regularly will pay dividends to you.

Step 2 – Using the Correct Bait

The second part of the equation in generating leads is about the correct message. What do your customers want? How do they want it? This is accomplished by doing surveys. By knowing what is needed and wanted by your customers you can develop a message that attracts attention and generates response. Our consultants can help you develop an effective message. Marketing is a lot like fishing. Once you know what bait to use it really becomes quite easy to catch fish. If you use the wrong bait you will spend a lot of time on the water and catch no fish. In marketing we call bait a button. It is called a button because when you hit it you generate a response. Our designers are very good at taking your button (bait) and crafting a message in the form of a direct mail piece that will generate leads.

Step 3 – Your People

The third part of the equation is sales. How effective are your sales people? A lot of money can be wasted in generating leads, if when a prospect calls they are handled poorly and unprofessionally and a sale is lost. You lost all the time and money it took to generate that lead. Training and drilling can make all the difference. There are several good sales training courses available. It would be wise to make some sort of sales training a regular part of your repertoire.

The order of sequence is:

1. Decide you are going to be consistent in your promotion.

2. Survey your present customers and find out what they need and want, why they bought from you and what they like about your service.

2a. Who is your target prospect? Find out by looking at your best customers. Look for common demographics and characteristics such as age, income, where they live, etc. This will help you in buying a mailing list or selecting a media to use.

3. Create a message using the buttons you found from your survey.

4. Commit to a consistent advertising program that lasts at least six months.

5. Train and drill your frontline people, anyone who has contact with customers and prospects, on how to handle the customer. This would include receptionists, customer service people, front counter people, even service technicians and your sales people. You want anyone who has contact with your customers to be able to effectively and professionally handle customers and prospects.

*NOTE: Training is not a one-time action, but is on going.

The moral of this article is that marketing wars are fought and won on the battlefield of consistency. Your artillery is a targeted message you deliver with regularity to a targeted public. Your foot soldiers are your frontline employees such as your sales people or front counter people. If these people are trained and drilled they will win the skirmishes and battles that win the war for your company.

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Mark Hale

CEO

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