How to Turn your Company into a 24/7 Lead Generation Machine
Install a Simple Lead Generation System and Get More Qualified Leads Than You Ever Imagined Possible
I see all kinds of lead generation systems. Many sales reps solely rely on leads from their principals or from their marketing department. Others have lead generations systems in place that are made up of sending a catalog to prospects and customers once in awhile. And still others have sophisticated systems in place that produce a steady stream of quality leads. And still more are finding the market tougher everyday and wonder where all the suspects and prospects have gone.
I am most surprised when I come across companies that have a total lack of any organized lead generation system. This is very common and puts the sales company in a precarious position. Business is changing and low hanging fruit has already fallen off the tree. Your business can do an about face and can start your own lead generation system on a shoe string. This shoe string will be tied with sweat equity and I am not saying this is easy. It is not easy and it can be done. Over time your lead system will become a magnificent sales deal generating machine.
If your lead generation is working and sales leads are coming in fast and furious and they are qualified that is wonderful. If you are getting very few leads and they are not very good this paper is for you.
Most larger companies have a marketing budget and staff. Usually leads come in slowly and are not of good quality. By making a shift to response accountable direct marking and simply measuring and improving everything they do and following proven formulas they can experience a 100 to 1000% increase in the results they get, without spending any more money.
Distributors, reps, resellers have a different challenge. The fact is you sell ten product lines and you do not have the time to develop full marketing systems for each one of those lines. This is arguably your principals’ job and some do this very well some not so well.
What this How to Guide is about is how you, a reseller, rep or distributor can quickly and easily develop a “bare bones” lead generation system that is not so much built around your product lines as it is built around your company and your value added expertise, knowledge and specialty.
Turn Your Firm into a Thought Leader in Your Industry by taking One Easy Step
A sales person can generate tons of leads by writing articles for trade magazines. This is appropriate for reps and distributors that only sell to a local market for several reasons. Number one you can establish your company and you as a thought leader in your industry. You position yourself as an expert in your chosen field and lose the mantle of “just a salesman.”
First you need to investigate publications that go to your target prospects. There are local chapters of organizations that are always looking for interesting information to publish. Often a courteous approach to the editor or chapter head can get you in the door.
Second, reprints of any articles you have published make terrific leave behinds for prospects and customers. You can re-package your article as a information piece to be used a dozen different ways and you can even frame an article and put it in your lobby.
Press releases about interesting things are picked up by local newspapers. And it is not unusual for a paper to do an article on the “local company” for the Sunday edition. What would the average reader of a periodical find interesting about your business; figure this out and you have the material for an information piece.
It is important to know that if you get an article published in a trade magazine or in newspapers this will not generate a ton of leads on its own. The real skill is to ALWAYS offer something in the article that gets the reader to go a step further. This is something you should always do.
Always offer a free report or white paper or How to Guide describing it like this: XYZ Sales Company has just released a free report called “10 Tips To Reduce Maintenance Costs for Power Supply Systems”and it is available FREE for the asking. Just call (555) 123-1234 or email [email protected]  to receive a copy.
How to Build Your Information Library with Quality Info Your Prospects will Want
Now how do you write the guide? It is easy. You simply brainstorm with your team on what your customers and prospects are really saying. What conversations are going on in your prospects heads and you figure out how to address these with your knowledge and value added specialty.
Here is a killer way to figure this out: If your two top prospects are having a beer and talking about business, what are they saying? What is in their heads? What pain are they whining about? And then you simply outline a How to Guide, ten tips or seven and then write a couple of sentences addressing each point.
A good way to get ideas is to take out your sales guys and pre sales guys for a pizza and a few beers. Get the conversation flowing around what pains your company is addressing and get someone to take notes. You should come up with good ideas for a reports. Avoid platitudes like the plague. Let your competitors do this. “We have been in business for a million years blah, blah.” I promise the prospect could care less. He is interested in him and how you can assist with his troubles. Deliver value or fail. This is not as hard as you think. Actually, this should be super easy.
Just think how much experience you have in your head and in your company. The project manager down at the Big OEM needs help and will jump to get an assist from you IF the information is relevant. Now there is one problem, maybe. If you sell commodity products and do not have any technical expertise then you are a drone that just uses a price book and will be ground to dust by competitors, off shoring and what ever else.
This is most likely not true and it should be easy to put together a report using Word and run it off on the copier. There is no need for colored paper or a fancy brochure. If you do this you will come up with two or three reports with worthwhile information. Your sales people will come up with all kinds of information that’s inside their heads and no one has asked for before. Technical sales people usually have a really good ten thousand foot level view of the industry and technology.
Salespeople know what the smart customers are doing and how they are benefiting using your company and they also know what the dumb ones are doing and can tell your prospects how to avoid it! What we are doing here is taking your valuable knowledge, info you have spent years to gain, and turning it into money.
How to Turn your Information into Dollars
You can print these reports for 25 cents and it is like printing money because you can easily generate leads ten different ways with that one report.
You can send out postcards to a list of companies in a certain Industry Group – “Free Report Gives you Ways to Cut Costs, Implement Faster and Get to Market Quicker with Your Widget Manufacturing…”
• You can send out a fax blast.
• You can email to your customer and prospect list. You can have a second, third and fourth report about other topics.
• You can advertise it in your newsletter.
• You can promote the report in your ezine.
• You can do a press release.
• Your report can be the basis for a magazine article.
• For that matter you can use your report as a script and do an infomercial.
Most remarkably if you did a report on one of your products and sent out to 500 prospects your results will most likely be lousy.
If you send out a “Get Our Free Guide on How to Solve a Problem,” you will get 10 times the response.
This is why most say direct mail does not work. Direct mail is full of product info, platitudes about how great the product is and does not look through the prospects eyes. The vision of solving a problem for you target audience is the secret. Solve problems, be a thought leader and prospects will flock to you.
Please pay close attention!
When you do lead generation with “how to” information, rather than specific product information, you will get 10 times the response in the case of 500 postcards where a product might get 5 responses or 1%, a report might draw a 10% or 50 replies.
It helps if you really put some sizzle to it. Write like this:
Trouble Shooting Guide Solves Product Problems
To help manufacturers install and maintain power supply systems XYZ Sales Company is offering a Free Guide, “The Fast Trouble Shooting Guide to Solving Widget Production Problems”
Armed with this guide most people can identify and solve Widget mysteries in a few minutes. The Guides topics include:
• One of the most elusive widget problems, _______, can be solved using a little known trick discussed on page three of the Free How to Guide.
• Basic installation problems that guarantee problems will be traceable and ….
• How to determine if devices have faulty ….
The guide will also indicate which tools should be used to solve any particular problem and which ones do not apply. These include common tools such as ABC Company’s ____, and DEF Company’s ____.
The guide is sent free of charge to anyone who calls or sends an email with their address to XYZ Sales company, Main Street, Dallas, TX 76000.
You then take exactly what you see here and send it out as a press release, a fax blast, or use it in a postcard or email promotion. (you can use our really cool internet marketing techniques, but that is Part 2!)
This is just the first step in building profitable relationship with prospects and your customers. You have to earn your stripes at each step of the way. You may be saying, “Ok, now I got a bunch of leads and now I can go to town.” Careful here, this approach is the old school and will damage the new relationships you are building before they can bear fruit.
Don’t miss part 2. “How to use really cool, really fabulous internet tools to get your new lead generation system screaming.” (Don’t register for part 2 until you get a few informational “widgets” or how-to’s that you can offer in your head!!!)
Now go get your lead system started. This is really fun!!!!!
Next: Learn how to use Powerful Internet Marketing techniques to get a constant stream of qualified leads flowing right into your sales teams hands.