January is a hard month. It’s long, it’s cold and pay day seems like a distant memory. So does closing deals...
But the New Year slump doesn’t stop deadlines from fast approaching.
If you’re working towards a tight deadline, you’re probably pulling your hair out scraping every barrel for last minute leads.
But urgency doesn’t have to mean lack of quality.
That’s why we’ve put together 6 top tips that can pull quality, qualified leads out of their hiding place and over the finish line.
Amongst your existing customers
That’s right, we’re talking about referrals.
Often overlooked, word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful marketing tactics there is. Why? Because it’s all about trust.
When it comes to parting with your hard-earned cash, you wouldn’t want to hand it over to just anybody, would you? But if your friend, or friend of a friend, or auntie’s neighbour’s cat has done it, then it probably seems like a good idea.
That might seem dramatic, but 92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know compared to any other type of marketing. Given the current situation we’re all in, you can’t really blame them.
But in true British fashion, we aren’t the best at blowing our own trumpets. Asking customers for a favour can seem a little awkward, but the benefits are worth it.
Not only will it cost you less in customer acquisition, but conversion rates will be better due to the foundation of trust that’s already there.
If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
You’ll get a feel for who’ll be keen and who won’t be, but generally, the best time to ask the question is right after the purchase has completed.
You’ll want to make it easy for them too. After all, they are helping you out. Draft a quick template that all they need to do is copy and paste. Here’s some good examples to get you started.
Act as a trusted advisor
Technically not a hiding place, but a sure fire way to get those leads over the line.
At the end of the day, the only reason anyone ever makes a B2B sale is because they’re receiving a product/ service that they can’t complete on their own.
This is what makes B2B businesses so integral. The responsibility that comes with being so integral means you also need to be trusted.
The majority of small businesses have revealed that when working in conjunction with someone, they look for a trusted advisor in their specialism over being affordable or responsive.
Although it might be your product/ service they’re using, it’s your customers’ business on the line. So you’re better proving your worth to them as a trusted expert in your field.
This doesn’t always mean fancy certifications and badges. While of course that helps, you can start by simply understanding your prospects’ needs.
By giving informed responses to their questions, you automatically put your company in a place of authority, making people more likely to trust you and ultimately make a purchase.
At prospect hangouts
Get ahead of your leads by sharing your expertise in the places they’re already looking. This is a good idea to get your name out there as an industry expert.
Before your leads are even looking for your services specifically, they’ll be trawling the internet for advice. So why not get there first?
You’re already publishing content to your website and social media platforms, so start sharing it elsewhere.
This could include forums, LinkedIn groups, or even webinars and downloadable content (which also double up as a great lead magnet).
In doing so, your prospects will recognise you as the solver of their problems before they even realised they had one.
That’s why it’s important to create content that isn’t just sell, sell, sell. Being too pushy can actually work against you.
Think about your customer pain points, needs and circumstances. From there, you can create content that shows exactly how your company can help. This leaves you in the right place at the right time, all the time.
In online listings
Sites such as Google My BusinessIt are completely free and they’re designed to help you reach your local target audience.
So when people conduct a Google search, or have a nosey on maps for businesses like yours, your business profile will appear.
Google My Business is also great for SEO, giving you that extra visibility where you need it most.
But you don’t have to wait for the leads to come to you. If they can find your business, then you can find theirs.
If you’ve got customer segments you’re targeting whether it’s by industry or geography, utilise tools like Google My Business to scope them out for a little outreach.
Once you’ve found businesses that fit your profile, you can dig out their contact details and create an email campaign tailored specifically to them.
You’ll also have access to their business reviews too, which is a handy way of qualifying your leads. Bad reviews mean bad business.
Speaking of reviews, just like your word-of-mouth referral scheme, you should always ask customers to leave a review. You never know what leads it might catch.
At business events
Sadly, we can’t actually meet up in person right now. But one day (hopefully) we’ll be back to networking in outdated hotel conference rooms. Yay!
In the meantime, businesses are doing a really good job at hosting a range of business events and seminars online. What better place to find some new leads to target?
If you’re not sure which events you should be attending, take a look back at your ideal customer. Where would they be? What would they like to see?
To most, it sounds like some kind of cringey corporate hell. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Many sales influencers suggest that the most effective way to sell yourself at these gigs is to actually sell nothing at all.
Instead, you should focus on building real-life connections with people by being helpful and interesting. This goes back to the idea that in order to sell your business, you need to show your prospects how you can help them.
It’s just the same thing, but IRL. Or on Zoom.
It’s also a great way to show everyone how trustworthy you are. t’s authoritative. And people have to listen whether they like it or not!
Look in the bin
Okay, not the actual bin. But the churn bin.
Unless you’ve made some massive, unforgivable mistake, most customers churn because timing is no longer right, internal changes, price increases, etc.
So following up every now and then can be a good thing. Repeat after me - we must overcome the fear of following up with old clients.
Agreed, it’s probably the worst part of sales, but it can reap big rewards.
You’ve already got half a relationship there to start with, and you can upsell the latest new features/ updates you’ve had since they were last onboard with you.
It also shows you still care about them. And everyone likes that.
Don’t overdo it though. If you want your follow-ups to be successful, you should keep it short, show immediate value and avoid inducing guilt.
If you don’t have the time to be persistent, create automated email sequences that you can personalize.
Do your research into timing too. You don’t want to annoy them by being completely out of touch with their business needs.
It might take a little longer, but it’s better than black-listing your business for good!
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in sales, we all need a little help finding leads sometimes.
Whether you’re just having a quiet day or want to try something new, discovering new leads will always be an ongoing process.
If there’s one thing we’re sure of, is that there’ll always be change. Sales & marketing often comes at the forefront of this as the world’s affairs change how we’re all doing business.
Your leads are changing the way they do business too.
So, be prepared to constantly evolve if you want to stand out from the crowd. Be the company your clients need, and you’ll always have a constant flow of new leads.