As a professional salesperson your time is best spent in front of someone who has the ability, need and desire to purchase your product or service. Unfortunately, there a few things which must happen in order for you to get there.
First, you have to have a lead in order to turn them into a prospect. If you will, consider a lead a “suspect” who has the chance to be a “prospect”.
Here are 4 Tips For Generating Leads:
Partner With Other Vendors: Talk to other vendors who do business with your customer. Where do they go when they leave your customer’s office? Many times you both share the same (or very similar) customer base and forming a strategic partnership could pay dividends for both of you.
Networking: We’ve all heard “birds of a feather flock together”. Well, it’s true for customers, too. When I talk about networking in this sense, I mean go where you customer’s are going. Where do THEY network? The odds are good they will be around people in similar businesses or industries.
Sponsorship: What type of industry event or cause do your customers follow? There are tremendous opportunities to sponsor these events or at least part of them. Perhaps you can sponsor a cocktail party at a convention without breaking your bank and blowing the entire marketing budget for the year. Do what you can and don’t let what you can’t do stop you from at least doing something. But, beware of just buying an “ad” in a program or flyer. That, in my opinion is a waste. Do something interactive where you can actually meet and introduce yourself to your potential prospects.
Provide Education: Whether it’s a free webinar, seminar or even an online blog like this one, give your leads something that solves a problem for them without asking for anything in return. Do this enough and they will begin to see you as the expert in the field and what would’ve been a cold call ends up being a warm call one day.
One of the keys to make any of these work is to not be too salesy about it. Be involved, be present and give but always have an opportunity to collect names, phone numbers, emails or whatever you want in order to follow up later.
Generating leads is an ongoing process—it’s not something you can do hit-and-miss. Keep yourself and your company in the light.