Your business needs more sales.
While many owners want to focus their attention on sales, to start there is an exercise in futility.
You might like to think that the answer to “more sales” is simply a matter of better sales training, more seasoned sales people, or a more aggressive ad campaign, but there are many conditions to be uncovered before any of these initiatives will have an impact on sales.
Think about it.
What good is an advertising effort that draws massive amounts of attention if it doesn’t reach the right people?
You may experience a temporary bump in sales with a “shotgun” approach to advertising, but it will not be sustained if your initial engagement doesn't generate loyal, trusting customers who are touched by your message.
The result of great advertising
Your Lead Generation (or advertising) System is a collection of sub-systems that works only when these two results are achieved:
- It must broadcast your promise to those market segments who are your most likely potential customers.
- It must compel them to take action.
That's it. The sole purpose of your Lead Generation engine is to deliver qualified leads to your door.
The practical components of your lead generation activity include selecting the most appropriate channels and matching them to specifically-tailored messages, and then managing the technical execution of the campaign, and measuring the results.
Benchmarks for creating a lead generation strategy
- Review target market information
- Determine the choices of channels that are most appropriate for your target markets
- Develop message content that is in concert with your selected channels
- Develop creative elements of the message
- Pre-test the message
- Track and quantify the results of each message/channel combination in terms of inquiries and sales
Why you need the right channels
Effective Lead Generation is equal parts art and science.
Your first step in resolving “not enough sales” is to find the sources of information on which your best customers regularly rely on.
It does you no good to invest in channels that potential customers won’t see or trust.
To generate leads –qualified leads – you need to capture and attract the attention of those who are most likely to have the interest, desire, and ability to take advantage of what you have to offer.
How to find the right channels
The “science” of effective lead generation is understanding your target market enough to know what channels of communications are relevant and credible parts of their lives.
Do they live for coupons or do they consider them crass and find them embarrassing? Do they get their news from TV? Yahoo? The Wall Street Journal? Are they faithful to local AM radio or dedicated to regional public broadcasting?
You need to know.
A number of years ago, a new, small car was introduced. Given its design and cost, the target market was young adults.
The well-funded car company’s marketing department, working under a company wide strategic directive to “use cutting edge technology,” chose text messaging as an appropriate lead generation channel.
At the time, texting was the cool means of communication among teens and young adults.
I polled my clients as to whether they’d heard of the new car.
The results of my informal study were fairly conclusive. A few had noticed it on the road, but the only ones who actually knew anything about it either regularly texted or were close to a young adult who did.
This avenue was deliberate and achieved a specific result.
Why you need the right message
Once you’ve identified the most reliable channels, your next task is to pair them with irresistible messages.
Your messages must speak to your probable customers’ needs and desires in ways that will touch them.
Sending irresistible messages through channels that are outside your customers’ sphere is a recipe for failure.
So is finding the perfect channel and flooding it with uninspiring messages.
An effective message not only broadcasts the promise of what your business will deliver, but does so in a way that compels your potential customers in your target market to take action.
It’s important to note that the lead generation channels you use shape your message.
Some of the constraints are obvious.
Radio does not accommodate visual images, and print channels don’t accommodate sound. Your beautiful tri-fold brochure with large amounts of text may be perfect to convey your message to the leisure reader at her kitchen table, but might frustrate her need for instant gratification if it’s reflected on your website. The impact of an image on a billboard is not going to be the same when viewed on an iPhone.
How to create an effective message
Words, images and sensory elements are the basic ingredients of your message. Assembling them to form an integrated, compelling and magnetic message is the art that makes the creation of effective messaging more than a science.
Online resources, like copyblogger.com’s internet marketing and copywriting courses, can help you improve your skills in this area. They, and any other marketing professionals, will tell you that your message should be crafted to get specific results.
An effective lead generation message must do a number of things:
- Attract attention
- Create the right impression
- Provide a convenient way for the customer to respond (a “call to action”)
- As much as possible, pre-qualify your leads
This process takes time to perfect, so start with a few of your best attempts when reaching out to a group of prospects. Then, test which efforts work best, use them, and continue to learn more about creating the most effective message.