How do you do that? You need to create interest by offering a relevant mix of informative and entertaining content that builds a meaningful relationship with your audience. And you have to make sure that you are distributing your content through all the right channels – where your buyer spends time. This section goes into a bit more detail on some of the common tactics for inbound lead generation.
Many MLM companies recommend starting with a list of 100 people you know, called your warm market. Although it's not a bad place to start when looking for customers and business builders, the technique could also backfire and get to the point where you're annoying friends and family. You're better off spending your time finding people who are interested in what you've got rather than trying to convince your commuting buddy to sign up when he doesn't want to.
Email may not be a hugely important part of increasing website leads, but it is fantastic for growing them into customers. When someone signs up for your list, it means they’re interested in you – and that’s half the battle! From there, consider creating an email schedule or marketing automation program that will send targeted messages to users at important stages of the buying process.
Your blog is a fantastic place to create trust with your buyers. Readers can stumble upon your blog from all over the web, so you want to make sure it is search-engine optimized. Remember that someone reading the blog may not want to immediately sign up for a demo, so highlight the Calls-to-Action that ask your reader to subscribe to the blog or to follow you on social channels. A well laid out blog will keep your readers interested, coming back for more, and hopefully curious enough to start looking at the rest of your site. Keep your readership up and position your blog as a gateway to conversion.
But to make this tactic work now, you have to digitize these swaps to make the most of them. Use a great small business CRM to keep track of each individual lead and what kind of returns you’re getting from the companies that are providing you with leads. Taking a “big data” approach to beneficiary relationships will help you go far beyond having a big pile of telephone numbers to cold-call.
For Sale by Owners. “These are always a good lead source. You can source them yourself online and call them yourself or you can hire virtual assistants and I prefer both. If you’re just starting and have a limited budget, you can start by sourcing them yourself and calling them yourself. I started that way at a few hours a day three to four days a week. It will only take one deal to then have some funds to use for hiring your first virtual assistant. You can also get them via for sale by owner signs. I suggest you drive a different way to work or to where ever you’re going each time you’re out and just go through different, new neighborhoods and you’ll run into signs.”
Build an email list. There is a system for working with leads. The first step is getting them to be aware of and take an interest in what you have—by visiting your website, for example. The next best step is to ask your leads to sign up for your email list. You can get them to sign up by offering something for free, such as a report or something useful, from your website. For instance, if you're selling wellness products, then you might offer a guide to good-for-you ingredients or recipes. This will allow you to communicate with your prospects and provide valuable information related to your business and the general field that it's in, such as special sales, events, news, and research—and stay top-of-mind to your past, current, and possible future customers. Just be sure that you're following the laws and regulations regarding email marketing.
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MoFu: Leads in the middle of the funnel need nudging. They’re not completely clueless about what you do, but they’re not ready to buy either. They have many questions about your business, and they’re also starting to compare you with the competition. Be prepared to share content like case studies, testimonials and videos that continue to educate and yet make a strong case for your brand.
ToFu: Leads at the top of the funnel need awareness. They know nothing about what you offer and what domain you operate in, so you’ll need to create a conversation around both these focus points—without selling your product up front. If you sell CRMs, you attract ToFu leads by talking about how SDRs (sales development representatives) can do their job better using CRM software. Blogs, ebooks and guides are content types that work well at this stage.
There are bound to be other non-competing businesses who have already spent years attracting and establishing relationships with the very people who are prime prospects for your own products or services. By establishing the right relationships with those ”hosts”, those customers can be yours for the asking, with the full co-operation and permission of the businesses that acquired them in the first place … and it will bring you more customers and more cash right away.
Best of all, white papers also serve a dual purpose of acting as an informative, additive sales pitch that extends beyond industry jargon and advertising copy. Offering white paper downloads in exchange for contact information makes prospective leads comfortable exchanging their details in order to receive something of value. That makes the transaction more hospitable—and who knows, you might even see your white paper passed around the industry.
Using tools like Google+, Hangouts, and Skype to hold online discussions or webinars is the best way to personalize with your customers. These are better techniques to use when it comes to generating the best sales leads because the visitors are left with a personal, trustworthy experience. Conducting such webinars over the phone or using Hangouts to share screen engages the customers and creates interest in what you have to say. Having a question and answer session, in the end, can help clear all the doubts your customers might have and even help you identify the common issues which you can then work on.
SEO is hugely important to ensuring that your site shows up in the search results for the keywords and phrases most relevant to your business. Let's say you sell gourmet cupcakes. If someone searches for "gourmet cupcakes," your website should show up, right? What do you think might happen if the phrase "gourmet cupcakes" is nowhere to be found in your title tag, on-page content, or even in your product descriptions? As you might have guessed, the answer is "nothing."
While it may be difficult to identify suspects in robberies and violent crimes if the victim did not get a good look, remember that the suspects are likely to sell the stolen merchandise from the crime, leaving a trail. O’Neal has had success using the database to locate these suspects. With the timeline and the general location, investigators can get a list of people who have sold similar items to pawn shops in the area. Cross-referencing that list with jail records, looking for those who have committed similar crimes in the past, might yield a match. The same is true for identity theft, embezzlement and organized retail theft.