The toolkithow to gain leads
If your business relies on working with more people, this toolkit will serve as the essential groundwork for building a lead-generating system. Need more clients? Customers? Prospects? Start here.
No fluff. No magic bullets. Just tried-and-true marketing.
The “Lead System” Ideology.
Connecting with people with the intention of getting them to become customers can seem like an ever-changing, impossible to solve puzzle. We are often given this impression because communication is always shifting. This, of course, means that sales-based service offerings are always shifting, as well.
A decade or so ago, at the height of the Google AdWords boom, everyone wanted to convince you that AdWords was the only way to get new customers. Before that, it was email. Before that, it was direct mail. And before that? The at-home cold call.
Each one of these methods was effective then and can still be used effectively today. It’s not the how, but rather the what that remains constant and consistently effective. These methods all created a “lead system.” Before we dive into what that means, let’s take a look at the three key points this toolkit will touch on.
The Three Key Lead Generation Questions (and Their Answers)
1. What is Lead Generation?
2. Who Can Benefit from Lead Generation?
3. How Can I Start Generating Leads?
What is Lead Generation?
What lead-gen is.
Lead generation is simply defined as “actions taken to attract potential customers and begin working relationships.”
Customers who reach out to you with the intention of getting to know more about your business and are qualified to become customers are considered “leads.” In short, leads are the people who come to you that you could potentially do business with.
Lead generation is the process of connecting with those potential new customers in a way that allows them to trust you, trust your business, and develop a rapport with your business. In turn, this allows you to begin a relationship with those potential customers with the intention of matching your services to their needs.
Lead generation is effective inbound marketing.
what lead-gen is not.
So now that we know what lead generation is, let’s draw some boundaries and establish what lead generation is not.
Lead generation is not spamming your market. No one wants you to blow up their inbox with sales emails, cold or warm. Lead gen isn’t cold calling, because those customers aren’t coming to you (you’re going to them). Most of all, lead generation isn’t a random, lucky thing you stumble onto that magically makes you the best business in your industry.
Lead generation is also, notably, NOT sales. Lead gen is part of an incredibly effective sales strategy, but it’s not the only piece. The leads that come to you still need (and want!) your guidance.
Lead generation is not spam or cold outreach. It’s a system that allows new customers to find you, build a relationship with you, and ultimately make the decision to buy from you.
Who Can Benefit from Lead Generation?
The Simple Answer: Everyone.
Lead generation isn’t some dirty little secret that only one industry has been using. It can work for anyone, in any industry, in any sized and shaped business. The principles of creating a lead generation system are essentially universal. When you connect with potential customers and nurture your relationship with them, you can increase your sales of virtually any product or service.
Lead generation systems have sent businesses on auto-piloted upward growth across many industries, including: legal practices, private medical practices, lawn care, website development agencies, accounting firms, real estate agencies (and private agents), wedding service providers (DJs, Photographers, and Venues), general contractors, design-build contractors, and so many more.
If you are in any of these industries, or your industry serves clients in a similar fashion, a lead generation system is likely to be the best solution for continued scaling and growth.
How Can I Start Generating Leads?
A Lead Generation System consists of three main components. Let’s break these components down and go a bit deeper into the how, the why, and the execution.
1. A Point of contact
At the start of this toolkit, we went back in time and looked at different forms of communication that business owners have used to connect with prospects. It doesn’t matter what contact you use, as long as that point of contact accomplishes one thing: you establish a relationship.
This relationship might take the form of collecting an email for followups, collecting a phone number to have a later conversation, or connecting on social media so you can continue to grow and build a rapport. The important thing as that your initial contact leads to a line of communication for later contact.
2. a nurtured relationship
Once you’ve made your initial contact and have a further line of communication, a prospecting touch can grow into a lead. By making valuable followup touches, your prospect becomes more comfortable with you and your business, making it much easier for them to become a customer in the future.
Some prospects need more nurturing than others. Be valuable, be insightful, and be friendly. Think of it as building a friendship. Be there when they need you.
3. a “tipping point”
The most important part of any lead generating system is having a strategic “tipping point” in which a lead enters your sales cycle. Some lead generation systems start this process earlier than others. What’s important is that it makes sense for your business.
If your lead generation system brings only highly-qualified, red-hot leads, your sales cycle may start earlier. If your leads come in needing a bit more time to buy, you may opt to try selling them after more nurturing.
In any lead generation system, the end result is to land your leads successfully in your sales cycle.
A “Lead Generation System” Example
Lead Generation Systems go by many names. They’re most commonly called “funnels” as they take a wide group of people (the top of the funnel) and narrow them down, delivering you qualified, ready-to-buy leads (the bottom of the funnel). The Lead Gen System and “funnel” are essentially one and the same.
1. a point of contact: facebook
Consider in this example, our initial point of contact with our prospect is Facebook. This could come in the form of building a community around your brand on Facebook and driving traffic to your site (collecting an email through an email signup), running a traffic focused Facebook ad to your site, or running a “Lead Gen” ad and gathering your contact information right there in the Facebook feed. Regardless of how it is accomplished, this is the first point of contact and the top of our funnel.
No matter how tight of a community we build, or how well we target our ads, not everyone who engages here will be a qualified lead. You’ll gather a lot of contact information, but don’t expect everyone to become a customer (especially not right away).
2. A nurtured relationship
You’ve gathered a bunch of contact information… now what? It’s time to nurture your relationships with those with whom you’ve connected, qualifying them as viable leads over time.
One of the most common ways to do this is through “list retargeting.” On Facebook and Google, you can upload a list of your collected emails and drive targeted ads to that list. You can now hand-deliver content to all of the people that chose to engage with you and share their contact information with you.
Imagine a customer shares their contact info with you, and two days later sees a YouTube pre-roll ad showing the benefits of your product or service. You are continuing to bring value to them in the form of information, while building a rapport with them by staying at the front of their mind. This makes it much easier to enter them into your sales cycle and reach out to them with the intention of turning them into a customer. Some people will even qualify themselves and reach out to you if they’ve made the decision that they trust you, your company, and your product or service.
3. A tipping point: your sales cycle
After you’ve made your initial lead generation system contact and you’ve nurtured your relationship with your potential prospects, you can enter them into your sales cycle. As we previously noted, some people will enter themselves into your sales cycle. The important factor is that your leads trust you, trust your company, and trust your product or service. By nurturing your relationship, you’re setting yourself up to reach out to leads who already match these three trust points.
Whether a lead reaches out to you or you reach out to them, the end result should be the same. You should be prepared to match your product or service to your prospect’s needs. It is infinitely easier to do this with prospects with whom you’ve been strategically well acquainted through your lead generation system.
You Can Gain Leads.
Marketing your business can be a frustrating process. There’s no doubt about that.
There’s also no doubt about the fact that it does not have to be frustrating, unpredictable, or a waste of time.
When you implement a lead generation system, your marketing becomes simpler. In some businesses, it can even go on autopilot, freeing up your time as a business owner. When you start gaining leads through a strategic system, you focus less on where sales are coming from, and more on delivering a quality product or service to your customers.
Your clients deserve the best from you, and you deserve the best for yourself. I sincerely hope this toolkit helps put you in a position to operate on this level, for yourself and for your clients. Please, if you have any questions at all about this toolkit, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m always happy to answer what I can.
Best of luck in gaining leads for your business!
Do you need help growing your business?
We’re happy you read through this toolkit. We also understand that not every business has the same needs when it comes to growth and scaling. We offer done-for-you marketing solutions and consulting services to meet your needs as a growing business.
Whether you’re looking to have your lead generation system set up and managed by a dedicated team, or you’d like online marketing training and support for yourself or your staff, we are willing to help develop a solution.
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