I've been getting lots of email from my readers lately. And one thing that I hear often is that people need more sales leads.
In order to generate sales leads, you need three things:
- A written profile of your target prospect,
- A list of suspects containing potential prospects,
- A method of reaching your sales prospects.
In this article, I am going to discuss eight proven methods of reaching your sales prospects.
Complementary Partner Referrals
I put this sales lead generation method first because this one generates the highest quality sales leads. How you do this depends on the market you are in. There have been a lot of articles written about networking through chamber and association meetings, so I won't rehash that here.
If you are selling business to business, you want to strike up relationships with sales reps from companies who call on the same businesses as you do. An example is if you sell an information technology consulting service, then partner with a few computer systems hardware vendors. These reps call on the same customers as you and you complement each other by sharing leads and information about customers and prospects.
As much as nearly everyone dislikes this one, it is very effective for sales lead generation when executed properly. If you consistently prospect for leads by phone, you will consistently generate sales leads.
You can find more cold calling tips at my website listed at the end of this article.
Live seminars are a great sales lead generation technique because you are usually delivering your a pitch to a prospect very early in their buying process. The key to a successful seminar is offering a solution to a problem that your target market really wants to solve. You can give the pitch yourself, or get one of your company executives to do it (sometimes business "celebrity" can help pull more sales prospects in).
Live seminars can be done inexpensively. The costs for in-person seminars are comprised of room rental, refreshments, audio-visual equipment, and promotion. Teleseminars are the least expensive, with the only costs being conference phone line rental and promotion. Webinars are actually more expensive due to the hefty fees the online meeting services charge to use their services.
Trade shows are a good way generate sales leads if you can find events highly targeted to your prospect audience. Often such events yield low-quality sales leads because they are attended by the recommenders and influencers and rather than the true decision-makers.
I rate this method lower on the list, yet it is a valuable one if your company has the budget and there are industry events well-targeted to your audience.
Sales letters are one of the more underused sales lead generation methods. There is an entire industry of people dedicated to selling this way called direct marketing. But most field sales reps and business professionals don't know how to use this technique well.
Success with this method comes as a result of mailing a well-written letter to a good quality list of names (quality = targeted at your audience).
Two good primers on this are "The Ultimate Sales Letter" by Dan Kennedy and "Selling to VITO" by Anthony Parinello.
This method can be highly effective when done right. You must find publications that are able to deliver your target audience. You must run ads that stimulate people to take action. To generate sales leads, you must avoid big-company style image ads.
I am no expert on advertising, but I do know that if you can't do this one right don't do it at all because you can blow through your marketing budget fast.
This one is very appropriate for small businesses and some independent professionals. With a well-designed website, you can generate sales leads through "ads" that the search engines create from your webpages. If you know what keywords your prospects are likely to search for you with, then you can generate very targeted and qualified leads.
This method is not for everyone though, as your prospects must be searching for something related to your products, services or the problems that you solve.
What you are reading right now is an example of an email publication that keeps my name and business in front of 9000 people every month. I collect all of my names through my website, but that isn't the only way to do this.
A sales rep or business owner could create an email newsletter and mail it to sign-ups from an offer presented at a seminar, at a trade show, in a mass mailing, in an advertisement, or on a cold call.
If your a sales rep, why not create your own email newsletter? You could send out industry news and tips to suspects in your market. Eventually a few of them will become customers because you are on their mind more often than your competition.
? 1999-2004 Shamus Brown, All Rights Reserved.
Shamus Brown is a Professional Sales Coach and former high-tech sales pro who began his career selling for IBM. Shamus has written more than 50 articles on selling and is the creator of the popular Persuasive Selling Skills CD Audio Program. You can read more of Shamus Brown's sales tips at http://Sales-Tips.industrialEGO.com/ and you can learn more about his persuasive sales skills training at http://www.Persuasive-Sales-Skills.com/