The 5 (Easy) Ways To Generate New Sales Leads
In a fiercely competitive market, it can sometimes feel that you’re just following other salespeople around in the same old tired circle. Sometimes you’ll pick up a competitor’s client, and sometimes you’ll lose one, but it feels harder and harder to find altogether fresh leads. There’s nothing more deflating than hearing a prospect tell you that they’ve already had three sales calls this week trying to get their business and that they just want to be left alone. ‘Please remove me from your list’ are not happy words to hear.
Success comes down to finding fresh leads. And you simply cannot do that without being proactive. You have to get to them first.
According to research by Forester Research, an astonishing 74% of people will buy off the first person to reach out to them and pitch their product or service. That’s 7.4 out of 10 people, leaving only 2.6 people out of 10 who will listen to your pitch then hang up, research the market, discuss with your competitors and decide based on wider evidence. People overwhelmingly buy off the first person to present, so it’s up to you to get in first.
Easier said than done, right?
Well yes, of course it’s easier just to keep ringing the same people as everyone else, but it’s never going to be terribly effective. You need to cover fresh ground and uncover new prospects that your competitors aren’t yet targeting. Which takes some clever thinking on your part!
1. Identify where opportunities lie. Think about the last really happy customer you had, the one that felt you went above and beyond. Why were they so happy? Chances are it was because you found a way to tailor your product to their market in a way that nobody else had yet. Have you contacted their competitors? They would probably benefit from the same approach, or perhaps you will need to tailor your offering specifically to them too. Continue thinking laterally to break into new markets.
2. Keep referrals coming thick and fast to build your leads. Keep branching out to the client’s suppliers, customers, and wider network. Ask your clients if there’s anyone in their network that they think might benefit from your product. Don’t be shy, ask for referrals. People like helping those that have helped them, so if your clients feel you’ve done a great job they’ll have no qualms in recommending you.
3. Do your research. You shouldn’t just rely on referrals from clients; you also need to do some independent research on your client’s business network. Whether digging around on Google or LinkedIn, the constant trails of referrals and suppliers on websites these days means that you can create a ever-growing web of complementary sources to use as fresh leads. Reach out to these and pitch your product, and if they decline to buy in, then it’s time to research their complementary sources. By doing this ever-outwards, your web keeps expanding and you end up light-years from where you started and on completely fresh ground.
4. Keep abreast of the current market. You need to know when to jump when things change, rather than waiting in ignorance for things to happen and then helplessly following the crowd. Whether that’s the Brexit vote impacting on recruitment, a slowdown in the construction industry, or a tech company on the rise, you need to stay informed in order to know where the next opportunities (and risks) lie. Stay alert, keep networking, and make contingency plans.
5. Know who’s on the move. Those new to roles are most likely to take on new staff/products/services, so try and strike when the iron’s hot and before new managers get too comfortable with the status quo. Keep track of everyone who matters and act quickly to capitalise on changes.
None of these steps are particularly difficult, but they do require a fresh look at your existing networks to see how they can be expanded endlessly outwards in the search for fresh leads. You just need to do your research.