Are you frustrated with your current lead generation activities? Are your current approaches not generating enough leads (or enough quality leads)? If you are, or they aren’t, then you’ll want to master these four keys to generating more leads.
At the end of the day, there are four keys to any lead generation process—four components that have to be in place in order for your marketing system to work. Which means that if you’re not getting the kinds of leads that you want, your problem is with one or more of these four elements. It never has to get more complicated than this.
1. Your Target Market
Do you have the right one? Is your target market too large? Or too small? Are you targeting the right people in those organizations? Are you targeting people who have money to spend? Do you know those people well enough? Do you know their fears and frustrations? Do you know their wants and desires? How about their problems and obstacles? And can you quickly list your answers to those last three questions.
Frequently, when I’m talking with clients, I find that they really don’t have a clearly defined target market (so their marketing is scattered and too broad). Worse, they usually don’t know the answers to the questions I just asked—which means they can’t create messages that resonate with their potential customers/clients.
What most of them know is what they do and what they offer. But clients/customers don’t buy because of what we do. They buy because they have a want or need that they’re desperately searching for a solution. In other words, it’s all about them, not us.
So if your marketing isn’t targeted to the right people—and you don’t know them inside out—then you’ve got to work on redefining your target market and then getting to know them so well that they sense, “This company gets me.”
2. Your Offer
Is your offer to your target market compelling? Does it connect with a need/want/desire of your target market? Does is cause them to say, “I want that!” Is it unique/different than other people in your market space? Is the wording on your offer right? Is it a low risk offer? Does it gain traction (i.e. are people taking you up on it)? And are the people taking you up on this offer turning into clients/customers?
Frequently, when I’m talking with clients, I’ll find that they’ve been making the same offer for months/years—even though it’s not working. Why? This makes no sense. The idea of lead gen is to generate leads. If the offer isn’t working … change it!!!!
Now, one of the biggest mistakes made is offering a lead gen option that has a high perceived risk proposition. What do I mean by that? Well, a free one hour consult is a high risk offer. In your mind (if you’re a service provider) you’re thinking, “I’m willing to give away an hour of my time—that’s real value.” But in your prospect’s mind, here’s what they’re thinking, “I’m not going to take that one free hour consult in order to give him/her an hour to try to sell me more expensive services.” Do you see the difference? In your mind, this is a low risk offer. But in theirs, it’s a high risk proposition because there’s a high chance they they’re going to be sold something more expensive (for “free”).
So, if your lead gen isn’t producing the kinds of leads you want, go back and check your offer. If you have a great offer, people will take you up on it. If they aren’t, the market is telling you something (i.e. “Rework your offer.”). Remember, you run a business. And in business, numbers tell the story. If people aren’t taking you up on your offer, then you need a better offer. It doesn’t matter what you think of your offer. The market is telling you something.
3. Your Company Message
Another problem with lead generation occurs when the company message isn’t compelling. In other words, someone might like your offer, but when they look at your company messaging, they might think, “I don’t like or trust or believe this company gets me.”
So, is your company messaging powerful? Compelling? Unique? Interesting? Do you have a couple of clear and compelling competitive advantages that cause people to believe that your company is the best solution provider for their problem/pain/need/want/desire?
Does your company messaging communicate the value your bring to the table? Does it establish your expertise? Does it cause someone to believe you can create a value exchange that works out to their advantage?
Again, the market is always telling us something. If you’re not getting the kinds of leads you want, then you may want to go back and evaluate your company messaging. And as I stated above, it doesn’t matter whether you like it or not—it only matters if the market gets it and responds to it positively!
4. Your Communications
Are the messages you’re sending out to potential leads getting traction? For example, if you’re sending out 2,500 or 25,000 email messages and less than one percent of them are being opened and no one is signing up for your offer, you should be thinking, “We have a communications problem!”
How often are you sending your communications out? In most of the cases I’ve observed, the answer is “Not often.” Typically it’s sporadic, it’s not strategic, and it’s usually one-off communications (i.e. they send one communication and when nothing happens, they end the communication).
But more importantly, are you creating campaigns? Are you being strategic about sending out a series of value-added content that helps your potential client/customer believe that you’re the company that can meet their needs, solve their problems, and fill their wants. One-off marketing doesn’t work (no one gets married on the first date). So, how frequently are you sending the right message to the right people through the right medium so that they realize, “I need to buy the solution I want from this company.”
Oh, and one last thing. Are you writing from their perspective? Ninety plus percent of the messaging I’ve seen is written from the perspective of the company that’s doing the marketing, not the perspective of the prospect.
So, there you have it. If your lead gen activities aren’t generating the results you want, start with these four keys. Don’t over-complicate lead gen. The problem is with one of these four. Make some changes. Test the changes. Make some more changes. Test those changes. And keep tweaking these four keys in order that you can continually optimize your lead generation activities (and then make more sales).
To your accelerated success!
P.S. If you’re the owner or CEO of your company, I hope you realize that you cannot delegate this activity to anyone else (especially an outsourced vendor). They can help, but you need to own this. Furthermore, if you’ve given your outsourcers (or employees) the right directions and they’re still not getting the results you want, let them go.