1. Get out there. To start with, you need to make yourself known. Get out there and start networking every which way you can. Communicate in an ever-widening sphere. Give your potential prospects the opportunity to learn about you and find you. This is discussed at length in our recent blog post on the subject: “Communicate Far and Wide”
You won’t obtain leads unless people know you’re there, and know what you do.
2. Get people to believe. Once you’ve begun reaching out to people, you’ve got to get them to believe in you. Now that they know you’re there, how do they know they can trust you? How can they know if you’re knowledgeable and competent in your field?
To start with, the more that people can see, feel and experience your product or service, the better. Provide plentiful examples. Video can be used—create a video that shows off your product or service.
Make sure there are testimonials on your web site. These can be written or (even better) on video.
Display any awards you’ve won or certifications you’ve received.
Leads come about because people can see you’re competent and knowledgeable in your field.
3. Help people. Often leads will come from people or companies to whom you have provided goodwill.
Years back when I was working for a software company, I was spending a lot of time up at Microsoft. Microsoft would sometimes ask for programming help from our software engineers. We couldn’t always tell if such a move was going to be lucrative for us. My CEO and I would go back and forth on it, but in the end, he’d say, “You know what? If they want help, help them!”
Obviously we weren’t going to go on for years giving away our engineering help—but if they wanted help on a particular project for a couple of weeks, we’d help them. And guess what? It always came back to us in a positive way.
I’ve worked in that manner ever since. If I’m with a client or a potential client, I’ll help them if they need it. I end up gaining their trust and loyalty…and their leads. They say things like, “You know what, we don’t need you right now. But since you are so amazing, here are some people that you might be able to help.”
If you want leads, help people!
4. Assist influential people or decision-makers with pet projects.
One thing I like to do is get on people’s pet projects. As an example, one of my clients has a huge company, and he hires me to help him with that. But he also had a little hobby project—a resort in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It was a nightmare project, but it was his baby. He couldn’t pay me my normal rate because it was just a hobby, and a mess. I spent a week there helping him with it. It wasn’t actually a bad gig—I had a room on the 4th floor looking right out on the ocean. And in exchange, I got three more projects from my client in that area.
Leads can definitely come from assisting people with pet projects.
5. Service existing clients well. If you do, they will always recommend you and provide you referrals.
Also, you should remember that servicing existing clients will make it possible to sell them more of your products or services. It’s far easier to make a sale to an existing client than to a new one.
6. Ask happy clients for testimonials. When you service them well, they’ll always provide testimonials for you to use on your web site and in your promotional materials. You can even offer to write a testimonial for them (based on comments they’ve given you) and have them approve it.
Even if you obtained a testimonial from one client multiple times a year, you’d have many different testimonials.
7. Ask happy clients for referrals. At the close of a sale, or when a client is very happy with the delivery of your product or service, ask, “Who else do you know that should be using my products?”
I’ll even say to a happy client, “I give you really good rates. So if you want me to continue to have the kind of time I have for you and be able to dedicate resources to you, you should provide me some good referrals.” Now they’ve got some skin in the game.
It’s also a great idea to ask the person providing a referral for an introduction.
Referrals are the hottest leads you can get.
8. Follow up referral prospects. Service them well. It not only reflects on your company but also back on the person who referred you.
9. Offer leads a free service. You should have some kind of free service, such as a free analysis, that you offer prospects. Make sure you offer it to the leads send your way.
10. Close them, perhaps with an introductory price “that they can’t refuse.” Remember that once you have that client, signing them up for further service is a lot easier.
I hope these tips help you to generate great leads! Want to learn more? Sign up at SELLability.com.
Yours In Sales,