When you freelance or take on project-type work, the first step in creating a sale for your company is generating some type of lead. This can be accomplished through a referral, cold calling or even a request for more information. However you get them, one thing is for sure, leads signify potential sales and future customers. They are a good thing.
While leads are something every company wants, not every lead should be treated equally. If you haven’t established guidelines or objectives for your leads, you could get inundated with unqualified or non-targeted leads. This results in not only a waste of time, but a loss in morale within your company. Rejection hurts, and what’s worse is that you may not realize you are getting rejections not because you can’t close the deals, but because the leads are bad.
WHAT WOULD YOUR BUSINESS BE LIKE IF YOU ONLY HAD WARM AND HOT LEADS TO RESPOND TO?
If you’ve been around sales long enough, you’ll often find that in sales teams, leads can be referred to as cold, warm or hot. This typically refers to how likely a lead will turn into a sale. A cold lead would be considered the least likely to convert to a sale.
What would your business be like if you only had warm and hot leads to respond to? With a little foresight and planning at the lead generation step, you could improve the overall quality of all leads coming in. While you’ll never be able to eliminate cold leads altogether, you can definitely increase the odds of getting warm and hot ones.
Here are a few ways to do just that…
Understand what makes a good lead.
Who is your ideal prospect? It has to be more than just “they are ready to buy right now.” What makes them ready to buy? Why are they more likely to use your services over other potential leads? What makes them the easiest to convert?
Digging deeper into your potential customer’s mindset will help you find the triggers for great lead generation. Once you know this information, you can gear your calls to action and promotional text to attract those types of leads. Also, you should know what types of leads you should buy like these options Uplead that would fit your target leads.
Determine your overall lead goal.
For some companies, actually making a sale isn’t the end goal. Maybe they just want to capture information for a future event or sale. Maybe they just want greater insight into their audience demographic, or they just want to expand their reach. Knowing what a “happy” end result is for each lead will help you work your way backwards to make sure that the people you are targeting will result in a great “hot” lead.
Know your red flags.
Sometimes, in order to determine what you want, you have to look at what you don’t want. This will help you set up conditions or questions to eliminate bad prospects. For instance, if you are a graphic artist, you probably don’t want to target companies that have an in-house art department. Knowing this, you would set up some type of parameter that would help you eliminate leads from companies with an in-house art department. Take some time and examine what types of leads aren’t worth the time or effort.
Tailor your efforts for the results you want.
It makes sense that if you want to find leads for people looking to get a haircut, you might set up a lead generation system (such as a contest for a free haircut) at a nail salon. The customers in the nail salon would be in the fashion/beauty mindset and more likely to be a targeted prospect.
However, if you set up the same type of lead generation system at a chiropractor, you might get some leads, but they may not as equally suited. If you know what makes a great lead, you can start tailoring your lead generation efforts to find more of those types of leads.
Think Like Your Potential Customers
When you step into the mindset of your potential customer, you can glean all kinds of useful information. For instance, if YOU were looking for your services, how would you go about hiring someone? Would you want to talk with someone on the phone or mainly communicate through email? Would it be easier if you could just see the product or service offered and the purchase online? How much information or social proof would you need to make the purchase decision?
When you consider all of these factors, you can set up your lead generation method more effectively. There’s no point in offering a prominent contact form if your potential customer would be more likely to talk on the phone, or you may consider live chat services instead.
By: Jennifer Good
Jennifer Good writes on many topics related to content marketing, social media, leadership & productivity for leading publications. You can also find her at JenniferGood.com.