Lead generation accomplishes two indispensable results for your business it attracts the attention of potential customers and it creates factual and emotional impressions. If you do these things right for your target market, you'll get the response you want. What's that response? It's a person making contact with your business through your door, by telephone, by mail, or on-line with the motivation and the ability to buy from you, already having made the conscious or unconscious emotional decision to make the purchase. It's this type of response a qualified lead that you most want to attract. So, lead generation is all about creating qualified leads for your business. Then you have to do allow them to move through the lead conversion process as effortlessly as possible.
To get their attention, your lead generation must first reach your potential customers by way of the "channels" that are a part of their lives. Upon arrival its "messages" must then appeal to the interests of your potential customers. The way to do that is to connect with their unique needs.
Once you have their attention, you want to generate factual and emotional impressions with messages that appeal to both their conscious and unconscious minds. If your messages make the right impressions, and, of course, if there is a true motivation (need, desire, sense of obligation, etc.), you'll be able to get the response you want.
And there you have the primary elements of the lead generation process channels and message. These two tools are the keys to "broadcasting the promise" effectively. The message you develop will convey the promise of emotional gratification that your target customers are seeking, and the channels you select will be the vehicles for broadcasting your message to them.
Message: The essential tool of lead generation
Your message should include the words, images, and sensory elements that will attract, inform, and persuade your potential customers to respond to your lead generation.
What do you say to generate the response you want? How do you say it? What does your message look like? What is its tone? What images and unconscious associations does it evoke? How does it set your business and your products apart from the millions yes, literally millions of competing messages that assault the perceptions of your potential customers and clutter their lives? How do you break through all the confusion?
It's not easy, and very few do it well. Even large, million-dollar budget companies struggle to make any kind of impact at all, much less the kind of positive impact needed to draw customers to them (try watching TV for an evening for proof). You compete by knowing your customers more intimately, and by reaching them through the mix of channels that is more relevant to their lives, and presenting a message that uniquely relates to their need and positions your firm as the preferred solution provider. You compete by being in the best place with the best message at the best time, not by being everywhere all the time. You can be more effective than the big players by being more focused on that market's unique needs. This also leads us to the phobia of lead generation that blocks so many business owners before they even get started. It is the fear of not being "creative", or not being a great writer or designer. When you focus more on the needs of your market than the flash of the message and channel you are working to your strengths and cutting through the clutter with simple clarity.
Channels: The other essential tool
Before your potential customers can receive your message, your lead generation has to reach them. You have to figure out what channels will get your message to your target market in a way that fits well to their life patterns. It might be through word of mouth or print advertising in newspapers and magazines, it could be through direct mail or handouts and billboards, or it might be through broadcast advertising on radio or Internet.
You select channels based on efficiency and relevance. Likely it will be a mix of relevant channels, carrying a consistent message that has the best opportunity to create a positive impression in the minds of your target market.
Channels are important for another reason. If you reach your potential customers in an intrusive way, you'll set up a negative impression of your business and your products. This happens when your telemarketing calls reach your target market at dinner time? Or when your direct mail piece looks and feels like all the other "junk" mail your customers receive. As the pace of advertising messages steadily increases consumers have responded with a wide range of tools that aim to filter everything that is irrelevant or annoying. You can think of this as an advantage to the marketer that took the time to select the channels and build the messages that are most relevant to thier markets needs. All the 1/2 way attempts were blocked at the gate and sent back in defeat. But when your messages and channels are relevant to your market's lifestyle (business or consumer) you have earned the right to be heard.