Ok so you recently started a business. Have you thought about where you are going to get leads?
This article should help. I am writing this article as #1 a business owner and #2 as someone who has been in lead generation and sales for over 10 years.
I got my start in door to door sales, selling satellite TV for Dish Network and Directv. From there I sold insurance in a business to business setting. Security systems to large businesses. Digital marketing services and a few random things here and there.
Here are a few of the things I found most effective when you are just getting started and building your pipeline of leads.
Go Meet People
People need your service or product. If you get yourself in front of people it makes sense that you will start to sell your product, right?
There are networking meetings everywhere for people who want to grow their businesses. With just a quick search of my area I found several BNI groups, a group called Master Networks, A few meetups on meetup.com and a newer one in the area called Vero.
The nice thing about these type of networking groups is that everybody there actually wants to help each other. If you talk about your business with others there you will more than likely find someone there that needs your product or someone who knows someone who does.
Let's take a second to talk about different groups.
BNI Groups. BNI is a worldwide organization, that is very structured. They create a group in geographical areas, and only one person per industry can join a group. There is an annual fee to join somewhere in the area of $500 per year. Here is a BNI hack though. You can visit each BNI group two times for free. So when you are just starting out be sure to visit ALL of the groups within reasonable driving distance twice (some can be lame so maybe not twice to all of them) . Introduce yourself to everyone, give them cards if you have them, and try to stay in touch with people you liked by email.
1 on 1's. Most networking groups encourage a 1 on 1 type of meeting with people in the group. It's a way to get to know each other without trying to sell the other person. While you're visiting these groups I would recommend asking a few of these people to do a 1 on 1 to expand your network.
Cold calling for me has been the single most effective way of generating new business. In the beginning when you are not actively working a pipeline, calls will absolutely generate business.
Don't be scared to cold call! It's actually very easy and people are nicer than you think.
First sit down and write up a simple script of the basic benefits of your service, memorize it so you can say it and sound natural, and just start calling. I am always super personable on the phone. I'll tell people exactly what I'm doing, if I'm new, that I really want clients in their vertical, etc. As soon as you break from sounding scripted people will talk with you and tell you what they think.
I actually really enjoy cold calling.
You can start with a phone book or buy business data. I'm going to be writing my review on the business data sites I have used and I'll add a link here as soon as I am done.
Cold email has generated more revenue for my company than anything else at this point.
It is surprisingly effective, especially when done properly.
If you are in the business to business sales space than this activity WILL generate revenue for you if you stay consistent, reach the right people and give your message in a way that makes the other person curious.
Be careful not to email people with email addresses that end in the common gmail, msn, hotmail or whatever. There are laws in place that make cold email legal for business to business but not when you are emailing a common consumer.
DIsclaimer - I am not a lawyer so check your local area before doing this.
Here are the basics to get started with cold email.
If you use the chrome browser (which I recommend for this activity). Go to the chrome web store and get the Chrome Extention for Hunter.
This will allow you to visit the websites of businesses you would like to work with, click the Icon on your browser and Hunter will scrape the web and find email addresses of people that work at the company.
Put their email address in a spread sheet, along with their name and phone number and start sending emails with a catchy message about what you're doing. Try to add something personal to each email so it doesn't look spammy, and you will definitely start getting leads in no time.
You can track and see who opened your emails using another chrome extension called Streak. When you get a reply, start a conversation to sell your service and try to land an appointment. If they open it but don't reply, maybe try calling of sending another email.
Stay consistent and follow up with people, most people actually respond and actually appreciate my persistence.
This should get you going strong with your new business. If you are new, pick 2 of the things listed in this article and spend 100% of your time on them until you have several clients or sales.
Did I miss anything? Let me know what you have found effective in the comments.
Also if you need help with your website or generating leads contact us and we can work on a custom plan for you.