The most common question we get asked as Marketing Consultants is “What strategies should I use to generate sales and build my business?”
Traditionally we would have asked if the business serves other business clients (B2B) or the general consumer (B2C). These days we don’t believe it makes much difference.  At the end of the day you are doing business with people no matter if they are transacting for a business or for themselves or their family (new marketing buzz word alert: this is now referred to as “Human 2 Human or H2H”).
Lead Generation Strategies
With that in mind, our top 5 lead generation strategies may seem a little left of centre. I should also point out we are discussing strategy here not tactics.  Strategy is the high level plan comprised of tactics, which are the more action oriented tasks and actions to achieve the strategy. This definition explains it well…

Lead Gen Strategy 1:

Know your audience – yes, we know you’ve heard it before, in fact we mention in our article “How to get started online presence, without a website”.

We mention it again because it is critical to choosing and implementing any marketing strategies. Intimately understand your audience, talk to them, ask them questions, listen to them and understand what really makes them tick. Become their best friend… speak their language, solve their problems.  And most importantly – don’t hypothesise… do your research.  Check out this blog post for more details and a free target market profile tool.
Note: this should be an ongoing strategy.  Your audience will change over time.  You need to keep up with these changes and adjust your tactics to match them.

Lead Gen Strategy 2:

Solve high value problems cost effectively.  Your customers are looking for solutions to a problem or desire for which they are willing to pay. They have a need, and they want to discover the best solution.  Review strategy 1… when you understand your audience completely, you will understand their problems and desires. With this knowledge you can develop solutions that fit like a glove. The more comfortable and easy you make this for your audience, the more likely they will transact.
Note: take price out of the equation by not making it an obstacle.

Lead Gen Strategy 3:

Serve don’t sell.  People don’t like to be ‘sold’ or pressured into purchasing or making a decision.  If you got strategy 1 & 2 sorted, this one should come quite naturally.  Once you’ve got your suitable solution all you need to do is make sure your audience see it and have it on their radar.  Your job here is to offer it to them at the right time, when and where they are looking for their solution.
If you have to sell hard, then your solution probably isn’t a great fit – review Lead Gen Strategy 2.

Lead Gen Strategy 4:

Create an unbeatable experience. You’re dealing with people, and people respond to and remember experiences. The purpose of an experience it to create a positive recall or memory. Your customers experience of your brand starts from the moment they become aware of it. This could be on your website, through your marketing messages, other people talking about you… or it could be when you’re in front of them either digitally or physically. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. A truly memorable experience is one that a customer will rave about to others, and these experiences are typically those awesome customer service examples we’ve all experienced that happen during and after the transaction process.
Look for ways you can enhance, surprise and delight customers throughout your whole interaction with them, especially after the sale.

Lead Gen Strategy 5:

Look for the leverage.  What is the path of least resistance or the fastest path to growth?  Leverage comes in many forms. For every business there are two absolutely essential leverage points:
  1. Influencers – look for the people who know the people you want to know you… read that again carefully. It’s gold! Then go out and find those people and build strong mutually beneficial relationships with them.
  2. Follow up – find a way to make sure you follow up consistently and regularly with prospects and clients. Most people give up after one or two attempts, and most sales decisions are made on the 7-8th contact. Statistics show that over 80% of people stop doing business with companies because they felt they weren’t valued. Review lead gen strategy 4 again.
To sum this up in a nutshell, treat your audience like people you’d really like to be friends with. Respect them as people, understand their needs and desires, and serve them solutions that make them feel valued.  It’s simple human nature.
Here’s an extra resource you may find helpful if you’re looking for tactics: Our Lead Gen Tool Kit… Exposed!