Isn’t that the response you’d like to hear when you tell people what you do and how you solve their biggest problems? If you’re like most business owners (including myself), that response from a prospect sets the tone for a great relationship that delivers value to both supplier and client.
This is why I always say that it is important to look at both lead generation and conversion. Lead generation that brings people in the ‘door’, and sees a high percentage of them trickle out again without buying is not effective lead generation and if that is happening to you, then you need to look at your sales presentation and choreography or your product.
I used to think that most businesses did not have a problem with lead generation, just conversion but I’ve changed my mind about that because I’m working with an increasing number of clients who are converting close to 100% of their leads, and whose retention is incredibly high because of the quality of service or product they deliver. (On a side note: I love working with amazing clients whose solutions really do work and make people’s lives better – especially when it’s my life that improves as a result.)
The Bad News About Lead Generation
Effective lead generation that converts takes imagination, effort, and an investment of time and/or money. People don’t just line up to buy your stuff because it’s there. “Build it and they will come,” is an appealing idea, but unfortunately business doesn’t work that way.
If you don’t make an effort to bring new business in, you will suffer from a shortage of sales. If you take the lazy line of lead generation you will be constantly complaining about the quality and number of your clients. But, it also means that if you commit to investing resources in a ‘Wow!’ lead generation campaign that is laser targeted at your ideal clients you can end up exactly where you want to be … and for most service businesses that looks something like a waiting list.
Dan Kennedy (who has transformed more businesses from average to astonishing through his teaching as well as his personal consulting than he can name) always says that most business owners who complain about their lack of leads are lazy – they want an ‘Easy Button’, and if they don’t get it they leave.
The Good News About Lead Generation
The truth is that many of your competitors are not doing a great job at lead generation either. That means that you have a tremendous opportunity if you are willing to put some time, effort and imagination into doing it better. At the risk of sounding as though all I do is quote Dan Kennedy, I’d like to share another gem,
“Study what your competitors are doing and do the opposite!”
I was talking with a client recently who had a lead generation problem and she (let’s call her Sue) wanted to create a flyer because “My competitors are letter-dropping flyers and they tell me it’s working.”
OK, let’s break this down…
The location and demographics meant that letter-drop deliverability was an issue, and there was an added variable that the recipients weren’t necessarily the decision-makers even if they did receive the flyers. Everything about this initiative made me wonder just how well the competitors were really doing with it. As we dug deeper into alternatives and opportunities I could tell that the decision to pick this initiative was driven by it’s apparent simplicity, (ie. the drive to do ‘something’) not by it’s expected results.
What Does It Take to Catch a Prospect’s Eye and
Get the “Wow” Response?
We’ll dig deeper into this in future posts, but for now, let’s just summarise what you need to do if you want people to engage with you.
- It’s essential to reach decision-makers who are actually part of your target market. It doesn’t matter if you are selling a product to a CEO, a marketing manager, or an individual your marketing needs to end up on their desk, presented in a way that appeals to their senses and offering something that they value. If you are selling Landlord Insurance it doesn’t matter how many tenants see your flyer, you are unlikely to get many sales.
- You must catch their attention immediately. It doesn’t matter whether you are prospecting online or offline, your campaigns need to be relevant to your ideal client, eye-catching, and memorable. If you look just like all the other gutter-cleaners, plumbers, personal trainers, or chiropractors then your investment was just wasted because very few will even take a second look.
- You need to hold their attention while you convey your message. Catching their eye is just the first step in the chain. Now you need to lead them from sentence to sentence and keep them reading to the very end. I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed this, but even people who ‘don’t read’ will read / listen to / watch a great deal on a topic they really care about.
- You need to address all the stake-holders’ and decision-makers’ individual concerns. This is particularly important in B2B lead generation. In many cases you are dealing with more than one set of criteria so your lead generation needs to address those differing concerns like cost, impact on staff, training requirements, security, to name just a few.
One extremely effective way of dealing with all these issues is to use a well-designed shock and awe Package, what I like to designate as “Wow Factor Lead Generation!” As I mentioned at the start, it takes some time, imagination, and investment to design and produce your first “Wow! Box” but the value it brings into your business far outweighs that in a very short space of time and the cost of each package is far less than the quality and responsiveness of client it attracts. You can even solve the problem of addressing widely differing concerns of decisions-makers in a B2B context by including materials targeted at each sector.
If you really want to have all the clients you can manage, and a waiting list lined up at your door, then putting some ‘Wow!’ into your lead generation is the answer and we’ll look more closely at how to do this in the next post.