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For businesses to expand, they typically need to gain more customers. To help with this objective, it’s important to regularly obtain sales leads, since they’re one of the keys to successful business operations.

Your business could get a customer by identifying a sales lead, someone or an organization who has the potential to buy your goods or services. Once you have established their need and compatibility as a customer, they become a prospect. There are several ways to pinpoint leads, such as advertising, cold calling, social media, referrals, outreach, networking, consultations, and product/service trials.

Your business can benefit from inbound marketing techniques to generate ongoing inbound sales leads. However, while inbound lead gen creates brand awareness in general, the strategies below are more localized putting you in front of the exact market that needs your services or products. 

Let’s look at some high-impact and affordable strategies for local businesses. 

1. Ask your existing customers if they can give you referrals.

It is essential that your current customers be a part of your plan to draw in potential sales leads. They have already purchased from you and are aware of the value of your products and services. Referrals that come from people who know your business can be more effective than emails or other methods.

Here are a few ways to turn your existing customers into a reliable source of sales leads:

  • Make sure that your account manager is doing all that they can to ensure customer satisfaction and support. Ask them to look for ways to make the situation better.
  • Set up a meeting with your customer, and thank them for their patronage. Let them know that you appreciate their business and ask if there are ways in which you can add value to their relationship.
  • Request the details of any contacts and other businesses that may be in need of your product or service, as well as the reasons why they would benefit from it.
  • Encourage your customer to reach out to the potential client on your behalf, with an email or phone call. Supply them with what they should say in the email to make sure the sales lead comprehends your value.
  • Show your appreciation to your customer for the referral with a personalized gift. Make sure it is something unrelated to your company’s products and services.

2. Utilize your associates to discover potential customers.

When it comes to generating leads, we often overlook our personal networks of family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. These people have already earned our trust, which is why they should be considered as a first option for finding sales leads. These contacts may include past or current business associates, neighbors, and service professionals such as plumbers, doctors, lawyers, and landscapers.

Despite all knowing you, most of your network may not have any contact with each other. This means that each person could be a great source of sales opportunities. If you’ve had conversations with any of them about life and business, don’t hesitate to ask them to introduce you to potential customers.

To start the process, let your contacts know that you’re searching for someone or a business. Explain the industry, size of the business, sales, revenue, geographical location, etc. If your contacts have a connection to an individual or company, request that they reach out to make the introduction. Or, you can provide them with an email to forward to the desired contact.

Keep in mind that you’re dealing with people you intend to maintain amicable relationships with and remain connected to. Because you’re intermingling your personal and professional life, you should show consideration for the time they are investing and their relationship in general.

3. Attend networking events and interact with sales prospects.

Incorporate attending in-person and virtual networking events as part of your lead-finding mission. Networking is a successful method of making contact with new people and furthering existing connections. Moreover, it provides the opportunity to interact with your leads in person.

It is essential to select the right events for networking, as it requires time. To maximize your use of time, go to events where your sales leads are likely to be successful. Here are some tips to get the most out of the networking opportunities:

  • To build meaningful relationships, don’t approach people from a sales perspective. Show an interest in their business and in them as individuals, and try to determine how you can support them and their endeavors.
  • At in-person networking events, exchange business cards and make sure to enter the contact information into your customer relationship management system. Also, send them a thank you email within the week.
  • Additionally, when meeting someone in person or virtually, ask if they’d like to connect on LinkedIn; staying in touch can be a lot easier that way, especially if they move to another company.
  • Above all else, be genuine and enjoy yourself!

4. Take a second look at the opportunities that were previously shut down and those that were missed.

On occasion, a “no” could actually mean “not right now.”

It is likely that you contacted multiple companies that did not purchase from you right away. It is important to reach out to them again. Those companies are already familiar with your business and what it offers. You might have displayed your goods or services and even held a discussion call. They didn’t commit to a purchase at the time, but that could change if you reach out and try again.

Look back on any deals that didn’t pan out. Re-establish contact with the customer every four to six months. Ask about any changes that have occurred in their business such as their priorities, problems, ambitions, and requirements.

Businesses that have not already purchased from you are already qualified leads. Allocate effort and resources into promoting to these potential customers. Keep contact with them by means of blog articles, individualized messages, and authorized promotional emails.

It’s very possible that you won’t be able to close a sale in the first few attempts. However, after making contact with them multiple times, you may eventually find success. Remember too, that your prospect’s circumstances may change over time. It could be that they are now able to buy your product or even have moved to a company where it’s necessary to implement your solution.

Keeping yourself at the forefront of the minds of prospects will ensure that you are the first business they approach when they are ready to purchase.

5. Look for potential clients on social networks associated with your industry.

It’s likely that you are on LinkedIn (if not, you should be), therefore, use it to acquire supreme sales leads. The individuals and businesses in your area of expertise are present on LinkedIn as they are looking to do business, expand their network, publicize their commodities and services, and search for solutions to their business problems.

These strategies can be utilized to use your social media presence for the purpose of creating new business opportunities:

  • Reach out to existing relationships, sales leads, and those in your industry. All connections can give you a greater chance of success, and you don’t have to be personally acquainted with your contacts.
  • Make your contacts aware of the kind of people you are targeting and the type of problems you can help them with. You can share the message on social media or post an update. For example: “We want to help dentists and orthodontists in Denver to spread the word during the back-to-school season.”
  • Request two or three of your present clients to leave reviews or recommendations to illustrate your value and customer service.

Focusing on LinkedIn is a good strategy, but you can reach many more potential customers by expanding to other social media networks that fit your business. You should be selective when choosing what platforms to use, considering which ones are likely to generate the most sales leads. Examples of other networks you could explore include Instagram, Facebook for Business, Twitter, and Tiktok.

6. Modify your social media accounts to draw in potential customers who fit your ideal sales leads.

It is essential to maintain your social media accounts, such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram, if you have them. Doing so will expand your customer base as it will capture the attention of potential buyers, thus making it simpler to connect.

LinkedIn

Crafting a strong headline and profile description can be an effective way to appeal to your desired buyers. Describe what you do and who you assist in your headline and summary. When constructing your headline, use phrases and keywords that your target market would use when searching. For instance, instead of referring to yourself as a “Sales Maven,” try something along the lines of “Sales Manager | Providing Solutions to Automotive Industry Human Resources Professionals.”

Twitter

Your profile should feature a title, a link to your company’s page, a professional profile image, a link to your LinkedIn, and relevant hashtags. Staying active is important, so follow accounts in your business sector, and those of prospective sales leads. Participate in conversations by retweeting and making comments.

Instagram

This visual-oriented social media outlet requires a professional profile picture, in addition to interesting and applicable images. Utilizing hashtags that could be of interest to potential customers is also recommended. Maintain a professional attitude, but have some fun with it.

7. Compose a series of emails.

A sequence of emails that are automatically delivered to a mailing list can be used to increase sales. Leverage email marketing to generate interest in your business services and products. There are two types of email series:

  • Trigger-based sequences: Emails can be sent out due to an individual’s activity, like browsing a website, buying an item, signing up for an email list, or failing to finish a purchase.
  • Time-based sequences: Alternatively, messages can be sent at designated times, like two weeks after a purchase is made, straight after signing up for a newsletter, or on an anniversary. 

For the best results in luring sales leads, when writing a series of emails, it is important to have a specific objective. Each email should build up the previous one in order to increase the reader’s engagement. An example of this could be an email sequence where each one ends with a specific call to action, such as asking the reader to call for more info or click on a link to buy the product.

  • Email one: Introduce yourself and bring up an issue that may be familiar to your reader.
  • Email two: Describe how advantageous your product or service is.
  • Email three: Explain how a client was able to alleviate their issue through using your product or service.
  • Email four: Explain what services you offer to customers.
  • Email five: Give a rundown of advantages that come from using your product or service. 
  • Email six: Send another communication with a unique offer.

8. Create educational and informative articles and blogs.

Creating a blog post or article can demonstrate one’s expertise in their field. Sharing what you know and how it could help others is essential. There are countless potential topics to cover, such as methods to become more efficient, decrease costs, boost sales, heighten productivity, and grow your venture, among others.

Putting your thoughts on paper will prove you to be an authority in your niche. People can read your words and discern that you are well-versed in your field. By educating readers, you will make yourself known. When they are in need of more information or wish to purchase something based on your teachings, you will be the one they seek out.

Including blogging as part of your content marketing campaign can be an effective way to increase website visitors and improve your lead generation process. Employing content marketing as part of your lead generation tactic can lead to more web traffic and guide potential customers to the desired web page.

On that page, a call to action can be implemented. Have one designed to prompt website visitors to take a desired action like getting more information, making a purchase, subscribing, or engaging in something else you want prospects to act on.

You can publish articles and blog posts in various places:

  • Your business’s website or blog.
  • Your social networks like LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook.
  • Other companies’ websites and even individual blogs as a guest writer.
  • Sites that post business and industry-related blog posts and articles.
  • Your clients’ websites.

You can also create a mailing list for delivering blog posts and articles. This approach has the advantage of fostering relations with your target market. People have to sign up for the newsletter, showing their interest in your content. With their consent, you can use this as a tool for marketing, as long as it is done in a way that educates, informs, or entertains them.

9. Hold a webinar or a virtual workshop.

Sharing knowledge and educating people through writing articles and blog posts is beneficial. Yet, it is considered a one-way conversation, where you write and someone else reads. Webinars and online workshops allow you to interact with people as you teach, creating more impactful sales leads.

Webinars and online workshops are great for providing prospects with an in-depth look at your knowledge. For instance, you could demonstrate a number of steps for creating a marketing campaign, using videos and images to help guide the way. Those who sign up for the webinar or workshop are potential sales leads, and it also helps to build your reputation as a leader in your industry and increases your capacity to draw leads. 

Organizing webinars and online workshops that you can run live and answer questions in real-time is a great way to generate sales leads. Additionally, you can record the webinars and workshops for people to access at any time of the day, even when you’re not available. They could be hosted on your company website or any other webinar platform.

10. Reach out to people who are engaged in live chat.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning have taken chat technology to the next level. It is now possible to create a chatbot that reflects the look and feel of a company’s brand. When someone visits the website, they will be greeted by the chatbot with a personalized message.

Chatbots can be so much more than just “hello!” They can be an important part of your sales and marketing team. Some of the things that a chatbot can do include:

  • Respond to inquiries from sales leads in a manner that meets their needs.
  • Determine whether a sales lead is worth pursuing.
  • Schedule appointments and gatherings.
  • Provide answers to frequently asked questions.
  • Connect website visitors to the appropriate contact.

You can get further insight into prospective customers by examining the dialogue between the chatbot and the lead. This can help you to determine what you can contribute and how you can interact with the lead to improve the chatbot’s reactions. 

Your local business can be as successful as a SaaS in a skyscraper in Silicon Valley using these strategies. 

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