Let’s say you decide you want to be president. You don’t want until November 2nd, go down to your local polling station and start stumping for votes. A successful campaign takes lots of preparation, heading on the campaign trail, carefully crafting your message, and determining who your audience is.
Now, let’s say you want to undertake a lead generation program. Do you pick up the phone and start dialing seven digit numbers at random? Of course not. But if you aren’t making the proper preparations before you pick up the phone, you might as well be. Let’s start with three basic concepts:
1. BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND: How Will You Engage the Decision Maker?
As with any task, before you start out, it’s a good idea to know where you want to go. And in lead generation, the final destination is always a meeting with the decision maker.
How you choose to interact with your decision maker depends on many factors: the kind of items you’ll be selling, the size/range of your market, the cost of your product or service, etc. In some instances, a phone call might be adequate. In others, you’ll need a face to face. When time, and distance are an issue, a web conference might be the best solution.
This will determine, in part, the sorts of questions you ask to qualify your leads, as well as the steps that will be required between compiling your list and making your pitch.
2. BUILD A PATH TO GET YOU THERE: Why a Good Script is a Necessity.
Once you know where you’re going, it’s time to plan how you’ll get there. And in lead generation, that means developing your script. Everything in the script should be geared toward getting closer and closer to setting up your decision-maker meeting (or phone call, or whatever). In order to do that, you have to prove it will be worth his while. Which means you’ll need to uncover the pain that motivates him. Which means you’ll need to gain his trust. Which means you need to make everything in your script revolve around his needs.
3. FIGURE OUT WHO YOU’RE INVITING ON YOUR JOURNEY: Putting Your List Together.
Now that you know where you want to end up (in a meeting with the decision maker) and the path of least resistance for getting them there, it’s time to start building your list. Who goes on your lead generation list? The short answer is: anyone who might possibly need your product or service. This is not the point to get conservative with your efforts.
Sure, you want to include all the people who are likely good prospects. However, if that’s all you go after, you’re likely to be leaving a lot on the table. Branch out from the usual suspects and see if you can uncover business leads from untapped market segments or even whole new industries. Read the local, regional and even national business pages and be on the lookout for ANY events or changes that could create a need that you can fill. As you can see, lead generation is a different animal from the rest of your sales. When selling, you are consistently narrowing your focus in order to find those qualified leads who are more likely to become customers. But in lead generation, you are doing the opposite: you are stating with your product or service, and looking in ever widening circles in order to find a larger and larger pool to qualify. In lead generation, your process is a net. In sales, it becomes a filter.
Remember, this is a numbers game. And the more leads you start with, the more final sales you are likely to make.