I Just Told You Not To Do That! Lead Generation Lessons!
So the other day I was at a networking lunch where everyone gets to introduce themselves and then we discuss a topic of the week or answer any burning questions. One of the attendees asked me about Lead Generation – specifically about how to do it properly.
Now I’ve taught an entire 3 Day Course on Lead Generation called Lead Gen Weekend based off of my book called Lead Gen Kaizen (which you can find on Amazon.com in hardback or in ebook format on Amazon Kindle). So to boil lead generation down into 5 minutes, well, that was fun!
Just wait though, it gets even better…
So I proceed to tell this gentleman, let’s call him Joe for the purpose of this story (even though that’s not his real name and this is a real story) that most people do lead generation wrong.
In fact, I asked Joe what he’s currently doing for his company and he said that he’s currently working on 2 things. First, getting online reviews and secondly, doing cold calls.
So let’s address both of these items one at a time. First, online reviews. Online reviews for his company (as long as they are good reviews) are great! I asked him though, if that’s been working and how does he know? I asked him if he was able to track the results of getting more reviews and if so, which review sites were most effective. He basically answered that they helped get more exposure for their company online. To that I agreed and has more exposure resulted in more customers? He had no answer.
Now logically, more good reviews on a variety of different websites would lead to more business and well, how do you know? How do you track that? How do you know all your efforts to get more reviews is working out?
These are all things you need to track if you’re spending time and resources working this strategy. You need to figure out which sites are most effective and how do you get more clients to post more positive reviews on those sites for you instead of some random off the wall site that no one will ever see. Without tracking results, you will never know what’s working and what’s not working.
So lesson 1 of lead generation: Track your campaigns and results.
Let’s move on to the second thing Joe’s doing. He’s making cold calls.
So I asked him, so you pick up the phone and you call someone. Then what?
He said, first of all, they do somewhat of a targeted cold call. They look for property owners or business owners that use a similar product or service and talk to them.
Great! The more targeted you can get, the better. I completely agree with that.
Lesson 2 of lead generation: The more targeted you can get in your marketing efforts, the better the results you’re going to get.
“Then what?” I asked.
I got a blank stare as a response. Joe looked like a deer in headlights.
I said, “So you call these people up and then what? What are you looking to accomplish by calling them?”
He said, “I’m just introducing our company and asking them if I can send them some information about it.”
“Great plan,” I said.
No. That’s not really what I said. Just seeing if you were paying attention.
See, most people do the exact same thing that Joe does… call and see if they can send them some information. Information which when the business owner gets in the mail, they’ll probably put it directly into the trash. So not only did you just waste your time, you wasted your money sending them something they’re not going to read.
I told this to Joe and he’s said, “Yeah, I do the same thing. Throw away information I get in the mail from different companies.”
So think about that.
He gets stuff in the mail and throws it away and yet for some reason, he’s doing the exact same thing to other people fully expecting them to throw away the information he’s going to send them. Why waste your time and money?
Because it MIGHT work?!? Right…
So Lead Generation lesson number 3: You must have a hook.
Listen, if you’re going to send someone something, what’s the hook that’s going to make them actually read what you send them? It’s got to be an irresistible offer for them to read what you send them.
Find what that irresistible offer is for you and y our company. If you have challenges, then pick up Mark Joyner’s book, The Irresistible Offer: How to Sell Your Product Or Service In 3 Seconds Or Less. He’s got some great tips and exercises you can use to help formula your irresistible offer.
So I pried even deeper asking Joe, “So what do you expect to accomplish by calling these people? What’s your end result.”
He responded, “Typically we look to get them on a service contract.”
I asked him how many times does that actually happen.
As you can probably predict, he said, “not often.”
Right. And why not?
Because of Lead Generation Lesson number 4: Most people don’t do business with people they don’t know. People do business with people they know, like, and trust.
And so how do you get people to know like and trust you?
Simple, you think sales funnel.
You may have heard the study done by IBM years and years ago that said that people will only buy something after they’ve seen it at least 7 times. Meaning you’ve got to show something to them at least 7 times before they say yes and buy something from you. So a simple cold call very, rarely ever works.
If you’re going to cold call them, what’s that next step in that sales funnel? Send them something in the mail (which they’ll only look at if you have some kind of irresistible offer or hook) and then what? How about sending them to a website. Then getting them to opt-in to a newsletter. Then sending several emails with valuable, engaging content. Then sending them a special offer with a call to action to pick up the phone and call the office.
So from beginning (cold call) to end (special offer), there were at least 7 different customer touches.
If you’re just going to call someone up without a plan or without having it being a part of a sales funnel that’s tracked, you’re just wasting your time and energy.
So Lead Generation Lesson number 5: Every lead generation effort should be a part of a multi-step sales funnel designed to engage and inform a lead and convert them into a customer and eventually, raving fan.
As I told Joe all of this, I could see his eyes open wider and his head nodding up and down in agreement. In fact, the other attendees nodded their heads in agreement too. One of the other attendees, let’s call her Sue, even spoke up and said, “yes, I never get a new client or referral after the first meeting (unless it was an actual referral from someone else). They always have to get to know me before they do business with me. “
I then proceeded to give everyone another example of a sales funnel to reiterate the point. And after a bit more discussion, Joe had to leave. So he thanked me for the discussion and took off. After he left, Sue said, “that was great!”
She then proceeded to say, “you know, if you send me referrals, I can pay you a referral fee. In fact, we can send each other referrals going forward because my company is the best company out there and it would really help your clients.”
Now mind you, I had just met Joe and Sue at this meeting and did not have any kind of relationship with them whatsoever. And Sue… well, she just agreed that people don’t do business with people they don’t know – and guess what, I didn’t know her.
And now she’s telling me to send her referrals and selling me on her company and products.
Didn’t I just tell her not to do that?!?
And what’s more, didn’t she just agree that you shouldn’t do that? And yet here she was doing that exact thing!!!
Oh my. How soon we forget!
So I’m going to lead you with a final lead generation lesson.
Lead Generation Lesson Number 6: Go back and read Lead Generation Lessons Number 1 – 5 and do what they say!
Seriously, follow the rules and you’ll do much better. Think things through, create sales funnels, and build relationships. Don’t just expect sales and go for the jugular. You’re going to get frustrated when that doesn’t work and more so, your business will suffer.
Now obviously there are more than 5 lead generation lessons and if you want to read a bunch of them, then pick up my book from Amazon.com. It’s packed with some great information you can use to grow your business!
Here’s the direct Amazon.com link: http://www.amazon.com/Lead-Gen-Kaizen-Implementing-Fundamentals/dp/1480053856
Good luck with your lead generation and remember…