Small Business Lead Generation – Why Online Is In!

More and more people are avoiding yellow pages and directory inquiries and going directly on the internet to search for whatever they need. This presents a never-before opportunity for small business lead generation, with an exponentially high number of organizations understanding the need for taking their business to the next level by giving it the right kind of exposure online.

Essentially, there are two kinds of routes that businesses can take for small business lead generation to be successful. The first among these is via Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which is essentially a long term objective to ensure sustainable growth in traffic. Irrespective of the stature and reputation of an organization, if the SEO activity is not done properly, it can take years to be featured among the top searches on popular search engines. And even if it’s done properly and aggressively, it takes at least a couple of months for the efforts to bear fruit. Sure, there are certain tricks that one can use to get better results, but they can only go so far. Businesses also have a great opportunity in the form of submission directories, which also help quite significantly in search engine optimization at virtually no cost.

Another great alternative for sound small business lead generation is pay per click advertising, which is also known as PPC. This is more of an ‘instant result’ kind of proposition, which gives results on the spot! However, the costs incurred for this activity are also significantly high. Many advocates of its long term gains state that once a website is popular, traffic flows in automatically. However, there are many arguments regarding this theory.

In the end, it’s up to the business as to which route it wishes to take to achieve the desired objective. However, going online is definitely the only route to succeed in today’s times.

However, just because qualifying the call is a very important aspect of the process does not mean that one should jump directly into it. It’s essential to understand the stage at which one should attempt the same. Ideally, the first stage of a sales call is about introducing oneself and talking about the product. Once that has been taken care of, the salesperson needs to begin probing the prospect, with regards to checking how much interest has been generated. The introduction stage during small business lead generation is essentially all about telling the other person why the call was made, and it is very important that the prospect is made to feel that he/she was handpicked from a list simply because the product or service being offered caters to his/her needs.

Small Business Lead Generation: Think Big

There are many enterprises that constantly strive to maximize their revenues via small business lead generation, but most of the time it does not work, and one of the mail reasons for the same is that the tactics being used are very old school. It’s a new age, and one needs to be in tune with the times. For B2C customers, the best proposition is to give freebies like a coffee mug or duffel bag with each purchase. Special discount vouchers can also be given away via email upon filling a form or making a purchase.

Also, inbound calling is often not given much importance, but the fact is that despite the widespread extent of emails, people still prefer talking on the phone. So, the small business lead generation efforts of an enterprise can really get a big boost if there is an inbound calling line. It’s even better if the line is toll-free. This is because it gives the customer an impression that the company is in the big league. One can also gain a significant edge by creating a referral system for existing customers, i.e., every time a customer refers a lead which is converted (or not, depending on the business model), a special privilege is extended like discounts, gift coupons, etc.

Small business lead generation can also be done through the company’s website. A small pop-up every now and then, telling people about the new products and services of the company goes a long way in getting more business. An interesting way to position it is in the ‘did you know’ format, so as to create curiosity among the target audience. And lastly, one can get a great deal of exposure by participating in industry events, particularly when it’s about the B2B domain, since a lot of potential customers and service providers mingle at such dos.

Another reason why small business lead generation is considerably different than a regular B2C product promotion is because one has to overcome a barrage of contact persons in the organization. Convincing each of these is necessary to reach the next level. More often than one would like, the person one gets in touch with in the initial stages of the deal is not the decision maker, and it’s important that one constantly follows up and highlights the merits of the offering in the right manner to ensure that the enthusiasm is maintained on the part of the client as well.

Lead Generation for Small Business Made (REALLY) Easy

Lead generation for small business is the best business-generating tool, method or strategy I know of, bar none. Properly executed it can lead to an increase in sales-conversions of 1,134% – and that’s a real number from the trenches.

So here are 3 reasons…

Lead generation for Small Business

Is so powerful and here’s how YOU can easily put it to work for you in your business.

First, it completely differentiates you from your competitors. Almost without exception, your competitors are focused on sales. Their ads, their websites, their whole attitude is based on the idea they must make the sale. As a consequence their only marketing strategy is to try to sell “off the page”, and so they get (if they’re lucky) a 1% conversion rate and an appalling ROI on their marketing and advertising efforts.

Secondly, it changes the whole dynamic you have with your prospective customers and clients. See, they have the advantage in that they have money in their pockets you want in yours… and you have to get them to give it to you instead of to your competitors. By doing lead generation the right way, small businesses can get that valuable “foot in the door“.

And thirdly, it means you have several bites of the cherry, so to speak, and get the chance to form a relationship with your prospective buyer… meaning you’ll not only sell more but also, generally, be able to sell at a higher price.

So, how do you put it to work for you?

The first thing you need is a way of collecting names and contact details — and these days the easiest and most convenient details to collect are email addresses. The explosion of the Internet’s popularity has been a real windfall for small business marketing, even if most small business owners don’t realise this yet.

Why?

Because the low cost and simplicity of getting local people online to visit their website and exchange their contact details for some small but valuable item of information (e.g. a special report or guide to choosing, say, the best electrician, house painter and decorator, butcher, baker, and candlestick maker) represents a remarkable opportunity. Imagine… how many electricians in YOUR local area are giving away a free report about how to choose an electrician, or plumber or car mechanic without being ripped off?

None, I bet.

So the ones who do it will be perceived very differently from (and better than) their competitors.

The key to this can be summed up as “begin your relationship by giving“, which is the exact opposite of the traditional method of doing business. And once you have their details, you can market to them by email and other means at your leisure, taking the softly-softly approach to things rather than the hard-sell.

Fact is, though, almost no small business has the courage to do this – but those who do… well, they reap the benefits.

And they reap them to the tune of an increase in conversions of 1134% or more — that’s more than TEN TIMES as many sales just by switching from an immediate-sale model of marketing to a lead-generation model.

And that’s got to be worth it, hasn’t it?