Matt here from Rocket Expansion. We set up lead generation systems for clients in as varied industries as custom-built business software, dentistry, engineering projects, and book sales.
I’m going to share the number one most important strategy we use to get more customers for our clients, so you can use it too. This works for any type of business needing interested people to sell to.
How To Generate More Business Sales Leads So You Can Gain More Customers
Don’t go straight for the close!
The number one biggest mistake you can make in generating leads is to smush “leads” and “sales” into one single step. Do not do this!
The only time you can do this is when you’re selling a cheap item and simply taking orders (like an online store), and even then it helps to do some other steps first if you really want to be successful (like grow your email list).
In other words, unless you’re simply taking orders, have a process to create leads and a next-step process to sell to those leads.
Sales is a process of taking someone from:
- don’t know you, don’t care about you,
- to hey, I know who you are and what you offer,
- to I have this problem,
- to I understand you have the solution,
- to I’m buying your solution
And even that is oversimplifying it!
The main thing to understand here is that the sales process is a process. If you simply stop thinking of sales as an “instant silver bullet”, and rather as a “bridge for prospects to easily move across”, you will have understood more than 99% of the planet about successful selling.
To be successful, the sales process needs to be divided up into different steps, one after the other. Each step must achieve its purpose before moving onto the next step. Each step must be easy to achieve.
First Concentrate on getting Leads not Sales
Imagine you’re at a party and you meet someone who is a real estate agent…
You’re there to unwind and enjoy yourself. It’s a party after all! Before they even get your name and find out if you’re in the market to buy property (or even interested in the slightest), they try to convince you what a great investment they have that you need to get a piece of right now!!!
Absolutely gross right?
You’d just want to get out of there and maybe even go home and have a shower right? Yet that is exactly what online (and offline) marketing campaigns do all the time!
Example: Person calls you up from XYZ Co, opens the call with “Hi, how are you?” Now if I’ve ever encountered a more annoying start to a call from a complete stranger it’s this one!
Example: Big long sales page offering all this stuff with a gazillion discounts, spammy in-your-face “BUY NOW” buttons all over the place. Digital vomit, right?
If you think about building relationships in the real world, with real people, you would never do this right?
In all of these above examples the person pitching was trying to sell you something, without even really seeing if you were a real lead or not. This is of course a huge waste of time and energy.
The way to focus this energy is to…
Build A Bridge Towards Your Sale (A Step by Step Process)
Remember, selling is a relationship-building process.
Normal people build relationships like this:
- Introduction (Common Ground, Mutual Interests)
- Contact Details
- Meet up
- More Meetings (Acquaintance)
- Hang out regularly (Friends)
- Borrow garden tools, give each other gifts, kiss, make love, etc. (Exchange/Transactions)
Do you notice there are eight steps there? Imagine trying to borrow someone’s garden tools when they’d never met you before? Or trying to kiss someone when you’d never even said hello before?
Sometimes it will work, but most of the time you’ll get a slap in the face or at the very least a funny look.
This is exactly the same when building customer relationships, because that is all they really are: relationships.
Sometimes (about 2% of the time) you can sell something to someone right away. But most of the time, with the vast majority of customers you’re going to have to build the relationship with a series of steps:
Step 1 – Awareness
This is simply letting the prospect (potential future buyer) know that you exist.
Online you could:
- use social media
- write useful content for showing up in Google search results
- pay for Google ads
- pay for social media ads
- get interviewed on others’ YouTube channels, podcasts, blogs, etc.
Offline you could:
- get a radio interview
- put up a billboard
- magazine or newspaper ad
- mail out info packs
- in person, simply say “Hi!” in a bright, friendly way
All you’re trying to do is let people know that you exist! The only thing you’re trying to do at this step is to get their attention so you can make an introduction. You need to do something that stops them doing their usual action. This is called pattern interruption.
Example: We run ads like this on social media because they’re really different and stop people scrolling long enough to read our offer and click on our page:
It’s a video ad and the dragon flies around the text which makes people stop and want to read it.
Once you’ve got attention, you’ll go on to introduce your business and services…
Step 2 – Introduction
This is simple, introduce yourself as the service that’s made for your ideal customer. That way you’ll interest your ideal customer and get rid of those who aren’t.
Example: We introduce our author website design services as
“Give Your Readers An Engaging Online Experience,
Get A Website That Showcases Your Books, Grows Your List, And Attracts Publishers And Promoters”
That’s the first line on the landing page once they’ve seen the ad above, and it’s also on the ad above as you may have noticed.
This is a simple, powerful approach: Let your ideal customer self-select themselves because you’re only speaking to them when you introduce yourself!
Remember, your customer doesn’t really care what you are called as much as they care about what you mean to them!
Introduce yourself and the person who does (service X) for (person Y) so they can achieve (Z benefit) and a lot more people will keep reading than if you just said “Rocket Expansion Digital Marketing Agency”, or whatever.
Step 3 – Contact Details
Give Away Something of real value! Receive the privilege of email communication in return.
Yes, I know you’ve heard this before but that’s because it’s such an essential action in your lead generation process.
The main thing that has changed in the 2020s is that there are so many people giving away crappy ebooks now. You need to really give away something amazing if you want to get a high sign-up rate.
Example: For one of our clients we created a 3 part video course that
- helps their prospects learn how to work out their basic purpose as a business
- create a strategic plan to carry out that purpose
- create an action plan to ensure the strategic plan gets done
And we did it by repackaging material they already had!
Getting a little creative on how you can create a high value giveaway will really help you to generate valuable leads a lot faster.
Example: Bringing it back to normal-life relationship-building it’s as simple as:
- let me buy you a drink,
- let’s grab a coffee
- even sharing some useful link in a text message of something cool you found online: “Hey what’s your number? I want to send you something.” See how that’s exactly the same thing?
Like I said before, simply think of building business relationships in exactly the same way as building great friendships built on trust, value, integrity, mutually beneficial exchange, and everything else any great relationship is built upon.
Step 4 – Interest
Ok, introductions are made, you’ve offered some upfront value to show you really care, the next step is to keep that attention going!
If having a sales call is part of your sales process, now is the time to offer that. Frame the sales call as “I’m here to help. We offer a free assessment of (insert type of problem your service solves)” and really give them a free assessment.
Don’t offer the sales call as “I’m going to use some jedi mind trick to make you buy my stuff”. Noone wants to feel like they’ve given up control and are under someone else’s influence.
If your process is purely online, send them an automated email sequence with valuable actionable information that leads them more and more into desiring your product.
Example: What does the ice cream parlor guy do if he wants to convince you to buy? Gives you a little sample taster right?
- Offer a Free Business Assessment
- Free Instant Analysis
- Free Website Conversion Audit
- Free Sample of what you offer, get it?
Step 5 – Listen
A great way to get the opportunity to listen to your prospect’s needs is to…
In a sales call you want to find out certain things from the prospect.
- Exactly what do they want?
- What problem are they trying to solve?
- How much do they want it?
- How much are they willing to pay for it?
- When do they want to go ahead with it?
- Are they going to be a painful client that is never satisfied?
- Whatever else you need to know to go ahead and make them an offer they will respond to
This helps you decide if you’re a good fit for them and they’re a good fit for you.
One of my friends and mentors Dr. Greg Winteregg has a great way of asking this question:
“So if you were sitting on this problem how much is it bothering you? Is it like sitting on a thumbtack? Or on a nine-inch nail?”
That way he immediately knows how much the prospect will want the solution his service offers.
You should also always ask this question after you have got the information you want:
- “Do you have any questions for me?”
You want to make sure they also have the information they need to decide if you’re a good fit for them. This also gives you an opportunity to demonstrate how your services answer these questions.
As soon as you find out they’re not a good fit, end the call as fast as you can while still being polite. You don’t need to ask all of the questions you have for them if you’ve already decided they’re not a good customer fit for you.
When you use the system in this post properly, you’re going to have so many leads that your time will become very valuable. Managing the salesperson’s time so you don’t waste it is a very important part of the sales and lead generation process.
Use Online Questions As Well
You can send questions as part of your email list welcome sequence as well.
Example: We have a simple email that asks anyone who joins our list exactly what they want from us:
Step 6 – Propose The Solution
Build proposal templates for your different services. Make them amazing!
A great proposal presentation is an easy way to set you apart from your competition.
Include as much visual content as possible, even include video if you can. A picture speaks a thousand words and a video is 26 pictures a second.
Link to examples of similar work you’ve done for others if possible. A great proposal doesn’t just tell, it shows.
Talk is cheap as they say. Show real value by demonstrating action and you’ll earn many more sales than using words alone.
For some of our proposals, we give away a completely custom-made product worth a few hundred dollars. We don’t win each deal but no one else is doing this. So it’s totally worth it for us in the long run with the higher closing rate we get because of it.
Sending a client something that looks like a million bucks sets the stage for them wanting to throw money at you.
Step 7 – Call To Action
This is such an important, yet so often neglected step.
All a call to action is, is what you want the customer to do next:
- Sign on the dotted line
- Fill in your details here
- Pay using one of the convenient payment options
- Complete Your Purchase
- Sign Agreement and Proceed to Payment
You get the idea.
A call to action is exactly that: a direct command telling the prospect what to do next.
It needs to be very clear what they have to do and what will happen once they’ve done it.
Online calls to action will simply be a button. In an email your call to action might be “Read More” which takes them to your website.
Offline calls to action could be “Call Now to Enquire: 888-888-8888” in a magazine. “Learn more on: websitename.com”
The main call to action (often abbreviated as CTA) is obviously to complete the purchase or seal the deal. But a CTA should be at every step when you want a prospect to act:
Example: Email sign up form: “Learn the Secret to More Sales” (button)
Example: Email subject line: “Do This To Get More Customers” An email subject line is really a call to action to open the email right? Notice that this was the exact CTA I used in the name of this article. You’re reading it, so it probably worked!
In your main deal-closing CTA include everything needed to seal the deal there and then:
- Payment options
- exact instructions on what to do to begin.
- what will happen when they take the action
This is often called “the close” but really it’s simply telling the prospect “To become a client simply do this…” This is the best “closing technique” I know of. Here’s our invoice, here’s how to pay. Once the deposit is paid we’ll send a meeting invite for our first consultation call (or whatever your next step is).
This ensures your prospect feels safe during the process because they have no doubt about what they’re doing. Doubt is your enemy. Certainty is your friend. People who feel certain feel safe. People who feel safe buy more easily.
Step 8 – Follow Up
Almost no one buys the very first time they see an offer. It’s something like only 5% that do. Follow up is vital if you want higher sales volume.
It can be as simple as a quick text message or email with one line:
Example: Email: “Hey, just checking if you got this and if you had any questions? Happy to run through it on a quick call as well if you’d like.”
I suggest sending reminders less and less frequently so you don’t come across as annoying, and if you know someone is planning to get back to you, only send a reminder if they don’t.
Don’t only send reminders to read your proposal. You don’t want to be that needy kid who isn’t getting his ice cream cone and won’t shut up about it!
Send things like great content as well:
Example: “Hey, just thought about your business and think we can use this (insert new thing you’re now doing) for your project.
Example: “Hey, we’ve just made this article or video for businesses like yours. I think you’ll love it.”
Even if it doesn’t say “see my proposal”, they’ll be reminded of you and will very often respond with something like: “Hey, thanks for sharing! Haven’t forgotten about your proposal. We’re just discussing it and will get back to you tomorrow.”
Setting This All Up For Lead Generation Wins.
Using steps is the key. You can use these 8 steps as a checklist:
- Getting lots of reach with your ads but no traffic to your website? Work on Step 2 (Introduction)
- Getting lots of traffic to your website but no sign-ups? Work on Step 3 (Contact Details)
- Big email list but no one is interested in services? Work on Step 4 and 5 (Generate Interest + Listen to Your Audience)
You get the picture.
This may be not the first time you have heard this method of lead generation.
This isn’t the first time someone has written about this. The method I have explained above does work when it’s done correctly. Every Successful business I know does this in one way or another, often without even realizing it.
If you do exactly these steps that I’ve laid out above, and do them well, and work at making each step really get results in moving prospects into the next step, I assure you that before long you’ll have so many customers banging down your door demanding service that marketing will be the least of your worries!
The Fast-track – Getting help from a Lead Generation Specialist
You’re good at what you do, otherwise, you wouldn’t be in business. You’ve delivered how many successful products and services already? You’re very familiar with what it takes to deliver quality.
A lead generation specialist is very familiar with all of what I’ve explained in this article. They’ve seen it all already. They know what works best at each one of the 8 steps to move more people towards more sales more quickly.
We’ve built lead generation systems that sell $10 products and systems that sell $100K+ products. We know what works best for different types of industries and what doesn’t.
If you need help setting up your sales lead generation system feel free to give us a shout.