Bringing qualified leads into your business will save you and your sales team time, and result in higher revenues.
Qualified leads are simply the potential customers who are the most likely to buy your your product or service. They're not just in your store taking at look at the latest features in refrigerators, they're in the market to purchase a refrigerator. They're not wandering in to see what a $500 handbag looks like, they are the kind of person who can actually spend $500 on a handbag.
Some of the people who will call you or visit your business will never buy from you no matter how good your sales scripts are or how much time you spend overcoming their objectives. There are a variety of reasons for this - and you'll never eliminate all of these people - but you will need to focus on bringing in more of the people who are ready to buy.
The good news is you have spent so much time and energy cultivating a comprehensive knowledge of your target market, that you're in a great position to increase the number of qualified leads you bring into your business.
How do You Get Qualified Leads?
The crux of qualified lead generation is making decisions based on the market research you completed on your target market. You basically need to know where to reach your market, and how to speak to them.
When you are designing, executing and making choices about your lead generation strategies, always consider these questions.
I'm going to show you how some little changes will generate big results for your company in short order.
Once you're set up with a testing and measuring system (your lead tracking and management systems) to evaluate the success of your lead generation strategies, you need to start by looking for opportunities to juice up the strategies you're currently working with.
Use your new marketing message.
Make sure that you have put your new marketing message on all of your marketing materials, where new and existing customers can see it. Revise your standard advertisements to feature the strengthened copy.
Strengthen your offer.
Create an offer that's too good to refuse - not for your entire target market, but for your ideal customer. How can you cater to their unique needs and wants? What will be irresistible for them?
Refocus your direct mail campaign.
If you're sending your direct mail to entire postal code areas, stop and refocus. If your distribution area is that broad, chances are the copy on your postcard or letter is too broad as well. Brainstorm ways to narrow your distribution and only hit your target audience. Purchase consumer lists based on demographics, not just location, or limit distribution to specific housing types. Of course, make sure you rework the direct mail piece to feature your marketing message.
Let your target market's behaviors dictate your distribution plans.
As I discussed above, the more you can tailor your strategy to the needs and habits of your target market, the strong your results will be. Look for opportunities in your existing direct mail, advertising, flyer drop and other strategies to get specific. Narrow the demographics of your list, or place an ad in a niche publication. Brainstorm new ways to target your market's emotional reactions.
Tap into low-cost advertising.
Advertising in places like social media, e-mail newsletters and Google Adwords can be a great place to test your marketing message for minimal investment.
Look for some referral business.
Referral business is desirable because it usually brings qualified leads into your business. Someone has referred them to you based on a current need or desire.
Provide your customers with an incentive to bring business to you. Reward successful referrals with discounts or gifts.
Create a referral chain by giving each new customer three free coupons for products or services that they can give to their friends. When their friends come into your business, do the same.
Create complementary alliances with non-competitor businesses with the same target market. Cross-promotion or cross-referral strategies will benefit both businesses.
Add a feature on your website that encourages visitors to sign-up for newsletters or other communications. You can also set up your website so that potential customers need to fill out a simple form before they have access to "free" information.
Stop using strategies that don't work
Now that you have a comprehensive lead tracking system in place, you'll be able to track the leads that each strategy is responsible for generating.
When you complete your first few campaigns with the lead tracking system and analyze the numbers, compare the results to the initial predictions you made. Were you correct in your assumptions, or were you surprised by how things shook out.
The purpose of testing and measuring using a lead tracking system is to figure out which strategies work, and which don't, as well as which strategies work best, and which generate mediocre results. This not only will save you money but is incredibly useful information to have when developing marketing budgets and, of course, trying to drive sales.
Once established, your lead tracking and lead management system should require minimal time investment...if you keep it up to date.One last reminder before I sign-off - keep your systems up to date. The biggest pain (and drain on time) is having to go back and enter heaps of data into your database or management system because someone has let it pile up.
It's also a huge missed opportunity! If you fall behind on your lead tracking system, because you won't be able to effectively evaluate your campaign or strategy. Or, you may have missed a lead because you didn't follow-up soon enough.