Depending on your business, the best quality sales leads often cannot be bought, you must generate them yourself.
Thousands of companies sell lists and leads, but is the cost worth it? When it comes to sales leads quality is better than quantity. Better to have ten targeted quality leads than a hundred of little or no quality.
Most sales people who self generate leads are highly more successful than ones who don't. Regardless if you hold a sales position where you are given a territory, current customers, and prospects being able to self generate high quality leads will enable you to exceed your goals more rapidly. If you are in a sales position where you have to generate your own leads you will benefit greatly from these effective and low cost options. It will take time and patience, but will pay off when you have a smooth running multi-channel lead generation systems in place.
- Referrals are always the best type of lead, usually supplied from a satisfied customer to a prospect. As a sales person, you must make it a habit to ask for referrals from each and every customer you get, potentially every prospect you speak with depending on the type of business you conduct. Develop a referral program for your customers and award them with a prize (could a $5 Starbucks gift card) every time they send a qualified prospect your way that does business with you. Depending on the value of your product or service and compensation you receive for it, I have seen sales people give away iPads and laptops.
- Endorsement relationships. These are customer who are very satisfied with your product or service and promote you via there website, print ads, radio and T.V. spots. Usually a two ways street so you will endorse them in the same way, well worth it if they have a large customer base and strong following.
- Host seminars and special events at your local town hall or high school. You can often use these spaces free of charge and is a great way to be seen in your local community as a business professional and leader. This also sets you apart from other in your industry who don't provide these types of informational seminars as a subject matter expert in your field, product, and or service.
- Become a member of your local Chamber of Commerce and or Chambers in the areas where you conduct business. This way may cost you some dollars but, is a great way to meet local business owners. Chambers often host monthly events as well as give you an opportunity to market to their membership via their website, newsletter, and more.
- Attend networking events on and off line. Off line networking events will usually involve a small fee to attend or join but on-line networking via LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ cost you nothing more than your time.
- Participate in any local events connected to your field of expertise or industry. This may mean volunteering your time, which is worth money, but can be extremely effective at the right event.
- Create a lead generation website. There are many solution providers that offer a low cost lead generation system that can be tailored to your specific target and integrated into your already existing web site and social media presence.
- E-mail marketing. For a very nominal fee, e-mail lists targeting thousands of different segmented consumer can be purchased, and with creative and engaging content that you create, develop a very low cost e-mail campaign. Constant Contact is great for managing e-mail marketing campaigns yourself.
- Create and distribute a newsletter on a regular basis containing information on you, your products and services, and information pertaining to industry specific data as it relates to your services.
- You may have a website and social presence, manage them carefully to maximize their effectiveness. Consider creating a Blog where you can interact with consumers and provide them regular information about you and your service, tips, and industry advice.