We’ve recently looked at what to do if your existing customers aren’t purchasing your products, and how important Customer Experience is but how do you gain those customers in the first place?
In order for any business to succeed, you need to gain positive attention from the public and consumer market. This goes without saying, however the majority of business owners tend to channel all of their efforts in one direction: straightforward advertising.
Every year buckets of money are poured into television ads, posters, billboards, and other traditional forms of advertising. Sure, this might expose whatever it is that you’re selling to a wide audience, but many people will forget what they have seen in a matter of moments. Who can blame them? We’re exposed to one ad after another day in and day out, whether we’re at home, in the car, or in public spaces.
So, how do you go about fostering a real connection with potential customers? How do you whittle out those who are interested in your goods and wares from those who couldn’t care less? The answer? Generating sales leads. Read on to find out more!
What Is A Sales Lead?
Within business, a “lead” is an individual who is interested in engaging with the products or services that you have to offer. A lead will generally engage in conversation with your company or a salesperson about a given product or service or hand over contact information in order to learn more about what’s on offer. This, of course, could prove extremely valuable to any business. After all, once the doors of communication are opened, you will have a much easier time of actively promoting or selling your products to this individual. This should, hopefully, result in increased sales and consequently increased profit.
As you may be able to tell, there’s no point in having a lead if the individual isn’t sincerely interested in what you have to offer. This is perhaps why methods such as swapping free goods for contact details isn’t the best idea: people will simply take your promotional products or materials and never be back in touch again. So how do you go about generating genuine leads? Here are a few different ways to go about it.
Many business owners won’t have heard of CPA networks before, as the concept is a little more under the radar. However, it’s one of the most effective ways of getting your company out there to the most appropriate audiences possible. Sure, mass marketing will see more clicks on your links through pay per click sites, but what’s the use of being exposed to hundreds of thousands of people if only a handful are going to engage with your brand? Surely it’s better to be put directly in spaces where people who are interested in what you have to offer are likely to be directing their attention?
This is where a cpa network comes into play. CPA stands for cost per action. Essentially, your products are advertised, but you only pay once a certain action has been carried out by a customer.
For example, if you are advertising an app, you only pay the advertiser each time they direct someone your way, and they actually download the app from the ad. This is effective and means you only pay out when your goal has been achieved.
Promotional staff are specially trained to open up conversations with potential customers in situations where people would generally avoid talking to salespeople so it’s always a good idea to use their skills to your benefit.
Contact a reputable promotional agency and provide a brief so that they can choose the best members of staff from their books to meet your needs. To make a success of your promotional campaign, you need thorough planning. You should place the staff in an area that has high footfall, and that isn’t too far from places that sell your products or the offices where your services are provided. This means that you can gain the attention of a local audience.
You should also ensure that the staff are equipped with a means of getting a conversation started. Sure, they might be able to spark up a conversation out of the blue. But members of the public are busy and extremely unlikely to stop and talk if they’re on their way somewhere, no matter how charming or enthusiastic the promotional worker may be. Good conversation openers include flyers which can be handed out or free samples.
People love things that are free. Promotional t-shirts, keyrings and mouse mats used to be all the rage at tradeshows and although they get your name in front of your target audience they also cost money to produce.
Giving away free downloads from your website (sometimes called “Lead Magnets”) is another great way to capture customer’s details and provide them with valuable content at the same time. You can look at producing industry reports, workbooks or a cut-down version of your main product that will give your potential customers a flavour of what you offer, build your credibility and keep your marketing costs low.
With whatever method you choose to capture prospective customer details it’s important to ensure that you comply with relevant laws. In the US, the CAN-SPAM Act covers email marketing activity and in Europe the biggest shake-up of data protection laws is about to be invoked. Known as the EU GDPR this law will affect anyone who is collecting data from an EU citizen for marketing purposes irrespective of what country the company collecting the data is in. There are also separate telephone and postal marketing laws that may affect how you contact customers too.
Whatever laws are present in your country, or countries you are dealing with, it’s important to remember only to contact those leads that you have permission to – you’re trying to build trust in your brand and miscommunication can severely harm your reputation.
Remember, exposure isn’t always key when it comes to making a success of your business. You need people to engage with your brand once they’ve been exposed to it! So, try out some of these simple methods to generate the best and most profitable leads possible.