Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Small Business Tip ..... Developing A Checklist For Lead Generation

For sake of discussion some things you might include on such a check list are:

1) Cold Calling
2) Email Campaign
3) Flyers
3) Direct Email
4) Networking (e.g. LinkedIn , Plaxo)
5) Connecting through blogs, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook (social media marketing)
6) SEO (optimizing your company website for search engine visibility)
7) Subscribing to Internet Directories (e.g Eguide, Hotfrog ..... Etc)

Unfortunately, developing or using a checklist for lead generation leads to the mistaken belief that if you simply perform the steps on the list, you will achieve the desired outcome. In my opinion, while each of the items listed may be reasonable in the right business setting, you may be trying to spread yourself too thin by gambling in a numbers game.

Instead .....

Ask yourself what you and your staff will do with these alleged leads. Who are these people? Who are you trying to reach?

Left off of the above example (on purpose to illustrate a point) .... are two of the most proven approaches to new business: referrals and repeat clients.

Is your business focused on meeting your existing clients' needs? Is your entire staff on board with this approach? If a new client does come to you because of an email newsletter or a Google search, how will they be treated? Is that truly the kind of customer you are seeking -- and are you developing a relationship or a quick sale?

I can't emphasize enough the importance of focusing on your core market. If you don't know your market well enough to trim your list down to just a few methods, you may want to spend more time on that research first. Then, focus on ways to present useful information to that select audience. Perhaps it really is email, but consider in-person presentations, articles, and other means that reflect how your ideal client will best receive it.

For a complete resource on Lead Generation and a multi-modal approach I recommend you read: "Lead Generation for the Complex Sale" by Brian Carroll, CEO InTouch, Inc ... McGraw Hill 2006.

Lead Generation Book