Ask any small business owner what are the main problems they face, and they’ll almost always tell you one of the biggest headaches is generating more leads. After all, no leads, no sales. And no sales means no revenue and profits. The strange thing is that many business owners think generating leads is difficult, when actually it’s fairly easy, as long as you follow a simple process and put in a bit of effort. You also need to make sure that you actually are doing lead-generation and not just saying you are and then trying to make a sale immediately.
Small business lead generation and how to get it right
So the first thing you need to do is make sure you really do have a lead-generation system in place, and that means forgetting about trying to make a sale immediately. This process of concentrating on lead generation will set your business apart from others in the market, because most other companies will try to make a sale straight away, and the ones that don’t will have a big advantage. When you generate a lead, you should concentrate on simply getting the prospect’s contact details and then building a strong relationship over a period of months or even years.
Why does this work so well? Simply because when the average prospect enquires about a product or service, she isn’t ready to buy yet, and the last thing she wants is for some salesman to start persuading her to buy. She wants information, and when she gets that, she begins to see you as the expert in your field, and therefore more likely to buy something when she’s ready. On the other hand, if you try to make a sale she’ll most likely back off, and look at another supplier, which is exactly the opposite of what you want.
Give something to get something back
So what is the best way to generate leads for the long-term? The easiest way to do this is to give a free gift in order to gather the prospect’s contact details. The free gift should be related to what you want to sell eventually, and can even include information in the form of a free report or eBook. Then the process is simply one of making regular contact with your prospects so that when they’re really ready to buy, they’ll most likely think of you.
So the next time you think it’s difficult to get leads, first make sure you are actually trying to get leads, and not make an immediate sale. Then put a system in place which collects prospect contact details and then follows up regularly. It may take weeks or even months to make a sale, but most people aren’t really ready to buy when they first contact you anyway. And over the long term this strategy will lead to more sales and revenue, which is the reason you want those leads in the first place.