So last time we talked about having a sales funnel and keeping it full. This time I want to go a little deeper into lead generation and cultivating. Lead generation can be the most expensive part of marketing because your ROI is typically low simply because of the statistics. This is where traditional advertising comes into play.
– Direct mail
– Radio & TV
– Print Media
– SEO and Web Marketing
All of these try to reach a large number of targets and hit relatively few. That is not to say they don’t work because they do. Where most people fail is in the repetition of these mediums. All of the avenues above increase in response over time because of repetition which creates reputation. Let’s focus on that for a second. What is your best way of getting new customers? I can say with some confidence that most of you will say “word of mouth” or referrals. Why is that? It’s reputation. Repetition creates reputation because you get a small increase in reputation every time they see your ad. It’s very small and that’s why traditional advertising can be expensive unless you boost your results by focusing on using the content of the ad to boost the reputation effectiveness of your ad.
I believe the key to highly successful lead generation is building your reputation. Find ways to more rapidly build your reputation and you will convert more leads to prospects and then more prospects into customers. So why does this work? Trust, people don’t trust advertising but they do trust other people. So how do we “inject” reputation boosters into traditional advertising?
– Testimonials and case studies, especially on video.
– Writing articles for print media and blogs
– Public speaking
These things have something in common. They educate instead of sell. Do not try and sell services at this point, educate them on why they need it and the results that others have had using you as their provider of those services. Use traditional advertising media to point to these three and move your leads into the prospect section of your funnel. Keep in mind a few things when designing your ads.
– Make the ad simple, you have very little time to convey your message
– Repeat the message at least once
– DO NOT laundry list your services
– DO include client testimonials
– Make the next step clear and non-intimidating: blog post, article, video
– Include some way for them to stay connected with you, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or follow your blog
– The ad should be interesting enough to make them take the next step NOT tell them the whole story
Remember you are not trying to close them, just trying to get them to be interested enough to become a prospect. At this point the only things that matter are WHY they need your services (education) and how well YOU do them (reputation) so that they will take the next step to find out more.