Effective lead generation for small business entrpreneurs
One of the important requirements of a successful business is that you are able to get in touch with as many customers ( people or organizations) as possible. Generation of lead is an art and science and requires thoughtful planning and execution.
If you are a small business or entrepreneur , due to lack of resources, it is not possible to launch huge campaigns that involves millions of dollars of expenditure. Your budget probably range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. And trust me , lead generation is an expensive process if not done correctly.
Let us have a look to some of the ways to generate and follow up on a lead .
Use Visiting cards anywhere you can:
Greeting cards are like "bird droppings". They have the seeds of germination for your business. Carry as many business cards as you can and drop them anywhere you sense and opportunity. Do not ever think "Ha, he is not related to my business, should I hand over a card to him".Business cards are very cheap and you need not be stingy with handing them out.
A visiting card should have clearly marked company name, with its address, website and phone numbers. A visiting card does not need to be a book where you put all of your products on it to read. It should act as a subtle hint to what you sell and how someone can get in touch with you.
Networking is all about meeting people and making new contacts. You have a product that you feel people are not excited about. However many times you will find that if your product solves some business problem however simple or complicated, it will evoke reactions from people. Good networking means that you will be able to find out from others their pain points and can tailor the product to suit them.
Treat every lead as opportunity to sell:
It might happen that customer does not ask you to show the product but only checks out the prices. It is a good idea to provide the information that customer requires. It is almost impossible to determine at what stage is customer at its buying cycle. If customer has already heard about your product, he/she might be enquiring about the price to complete the purchase process.
The point is : you never know so tell whatever customer is asking for.
Following up on the lead:
It is very important to keep the customer's interest alive in your product. If you slack off then you might lose the deal. So when you have a lead , it is important to just pick up the phone and talk to the customer. Since you are in the lead stage it does not matter if customer is really interested in your product. He may not even look at your product but getting a mindspace of customer is what you need to aim for.
Utilize the information gained:
During lead generation period, you will have less information on what customer is looking for. You can design standard questionnaires ( preferably with yes or no questions) to gauge mood of the customer. You may politely seek permission to ask her the questions that would get you some information on what they are looking for. A little information is better than no information at all. When customer comes back to you next time you are prepared with much better answers.
Thanking the customer :
An important part even if you lose the sale is to be in the mind of customer. One way of doing is that so send a thank you feeler or an email. The email contents may indicate that you were happy to receive an inquiry from the customer and you are available when they need you. This makes a genuine impression and you remain relavant in customer's eyes.