We all want our businesses to grow and prosper. Assuming that’s true for you, how were your lead-generating strategies this year? Did they measure up to your business plan and expectations? If not, what lead generation strategies will you be implementing in 2017 to improve on that?
It’s a question you need to ask as it’s closely linked to small business success – or failure – and that’s often because the processes that have been put in place aren’t what’s needed. With each and every customer incredibly valuable to your business, you need to be clear on the best methods to generate leads.
So who are the best people to generate new leads for you? Sometimes we can’t see the woods for the trees: it’s your existing customers! If you can turn your top customers into enthusiastic ambassadors of your business you have gone a long way to ensure the long-term viability of your company. Why? When one of your customers just loves your company, what are they likely to do? They will tell friends, who will tell their friends, who will tell their friends and so on.
How do you make sure your top customers are referring your business to their friends?
First, start with outstanding customer service. Train your team to know exactly what to say to customers and how to say it. In recent polls, customer service has been found to be the most important reason customers choose businesses, but also the most lacking category for businesses themselves. Too many businesses don’t concentrate on customer service, instead focusing on discounts.
Then, be sure to give your customers the ammunition they need to talk about you properly. Do they understand who you’re looking for? Do they know how to talk about your business? Do they have “the story to tell”???
Another area to consider when planning your lead generation strategies for 2017 is your targeting and your customer acquisition costs? It is vitally important for businesses to understand that you don’t just get customers, you buy them. When you have that mindset, you can begin to understand just what you need to spend on your marketing. And when you know what those costs are you can start measuring what works and what doesn’t from a return on investment perspective. If it costs your business $5 to obtain a client and your product is only worth $4 per unit, then that would not be a great way to go about it. If it costs you $5 to obtain a client and your product will make you $100 then that would probably be a better return on investment.
Furthermore, for small businesses, in today’s world, it is important to have an online presence for lead generation. Having this, and especially a presence on social media networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, is a great way to market to potential customers without the concerns of outrageous costs while creating the buzz every business needs to thrive.
One of the greatest resources for generating leads for your business is other businesses. Working in strategic alliances with other organisations that sell to the same group you target as customers, but sell a different product, can be incredibly beneficial to all parties, including the customer.
If sales and marketing is not your strength, check out this eBook to help you determine a few more lead generation strategies for 2017. Alternatively you can speak with one of our business coaches who have helped many businesses start the New Year off on the right foot with the right business plan.