Lead Generation 101: What is Lead Generation And How To Do It
EVERYTHING A LEAD IS. AND EVERYTHING A LEAD IS NOT.
Let’s get one thing very clear: a lead IS NOT a sale. A lead is simply someone who has expressed interest in your business and/or the products/services you offer. Could a lead turn into a sale? Absolutely yes! But it’s your job to follow up on that someone and turn that someone into an actual customer.
That’s right, leads don’t automatically result into sales. You have to take the time to nurture and cultivate leads so that they convert into something more substantial.
WHY A BUSINESS NEEDS LEADS
Attracting and attaining leads for your business, also known as lead generation, is vital to your business’ success. In today’s competitive marketplace, it’s no longer easy to come across new customers.
With the advancement of reputation-based technology (like Yelp and Amazon), customers are becoming more stringent on how they select a company to work with. And the thing is, your company is among at least 5-10 that a potential customer is vetting before they make a commitment.
Nowadays, businesses are working harder and smarter to drive the right type of lead through their sales funnel to close the deal.
LEAD QUALIFYING: WHY IT MATTERS AND HOW TO DO IT
So now that you know what leads are and that you need them, let’s go over how to qualify someone as a lead. There are different scenarios and levels of engagement that help determine how ready a person is in making a purchase in the buyer’s journey. Here are a few examples of how to tell the difference between a cold, warm and hot lead.
A Cold Lead
Mary enjoys saving motivational quotes to her Pinterest board. One day, she saw a recommended pin featuring a promotional graphic offering your latest “Goal Getter” free eBook. Curious, she clicked on the image link and really wanted to try out the goal setting exercises contained in your eBook. She signed up by adding in her email address, which is where the free eBook was waiting for her in her inbox.
In this scenario, Mary would be considered a cold lead as she had never had any previous knowledge of you and your business. In Mary’s case, she is in the awareness stage of a buyer’s journey.
Cold leads like Mary need an adequate amount of time and effort to convert into a hot lead or a customer. Consider adding her into a drip email campaign that touches base with her at least once a month.
A Warm Lead
John, a budding entrepreneur, needs help getting his new business off the ground. After searching on LinkedIn for business coaches for a couple of weeks, he came across your promotional post about a free consultation in an entrepreneurial group you’re both part of. He signed up and immediately filled out your informational survey detailing his current career pain points and some of his first year financial goals.
John is a perfect example of a warm lead and because he went out of his way to give exact information he knew would be helpful for you to help himself out. A free consultation is not only a safe, cost-savings commitment for John, but also frames him in the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey where, clearly, he’s very interested in having a mentor, but not quite sure of it.
Warm leads like John need a bit of nurturing to convert into a hot lead or a customer. Our team at Lead Funnel Makers highly suggest ensuring that your free consultation campaign funnel includes touch points at least 1 week, 2 weeks, 1 month and 3 months after the appointment. This constant follow up will keep you top of mind.
A Hot Lead
Lisa has long been on your email list for years. In fact, when you go to check her records in your CRM, you find that she regularly opens your emails and clicks on the links in them. Here’s a double wow factor for you: by looking up her name, you find that she even follows your company on Facebook and LinkedIn! Just when you didn’t think your day could get any better, you discover that she registered for an upcoming in-person workshop you’re hosting at an off-site venue. This event was created in partnership with another company and you’re using it as a way to get in front of potential customers.
In reality, you have plans to unveil a slew of interactive courses with larger price packages, and your recently launched introductory course for calligraphy is just a taste of what your students will get once they get more serious about this lost art form.
Convincing someone to cough up money to your company is no easy feat. In this scenario, Lisa technically crossed over from a lead to a sale by purchasing a registration. However, because the beginner’s course is seen as a low-price point introduction to what you’re really trying to offer (which are higher priced, in-depth educational packages), Lisa is still considered a hot lead as she hasn’t fully committed to your particular products and services just yet. That being said, she’s in the purchase stage of a buyer’s journey.
To ensure Lisa’s successful conversion, we recommend a post-workshop follow up with an offer to sign up for your other in-house packages at an exclusive rate.
THE BASICS OF GENERATING LEADS
So now that you know you have to get in the lead generation game to be competitive enough in your industry, you need a plan on how to get in front of those leads. This process, and the product of your plan, is called a lead funnel (aka, what we do!).
Here are the fundamental items you need to build a complete a lead funnel.
You don’t think that leads are just going to appear out of thin air, do you? Also known as a “lead magnet,” an offer is an item that you’re giving out to anybody in the world who could possibly be interested in it. Oftentimes, offers and lead magnets are FREE. There are some scenarios in which an offer has a price point, but beware that forcing a potential lead to pay at the get go is usually a barrier and turn off. Which means that you’ll more than likely lose a lead than capture one.
Examples of lead magnets include: digital resource books, downloadable webinar, sample sized products, free consultations and more.
There is no right or wrong offer for your business. You ultimately have to decide what resources you’re able to give away, and the capacity you have to do so. What is most important is determining if your offer or lead magnet is of value to potential customers. If you don’t think it’s valuable, the public’s opinion will follow.
A Landing Page
This is the sole page an online visitor will land on where you expect the conversion to happen. Think of it like this: you’re at a trade show or a job fair promoting your company. You have the table decked out with brochures, flyers and even a fully branded tablecloth. You’re even playing the part by wearing your name tag, which was especially designed to incorporate your logo on a magnetic plaque.
This setup is very similar to a landing page where it’s designed to not only meet your branding standards, but also match the look and feel of whatever promotional campaign you have to offer. PS – make sure it’s mobile responsive!
You’re at that job fair or trade show for a reason right? So are the event attendees. While it may not be a good idea to be so straightforward and tell prospects that you’re trying to generate more sales, it’s also not the best approach to make the special occasion about you.
Your leads need to have a motivation to take action on your webpage. Make sure that you make it clear what the benefits are when a lead signs up by giving their information to you. Whether it’s as simple as “sign up now” or “learn more,” visitors need to be reminded of why they’re on your landing page in the first place to reinforce what it is that you’d like for them to do.
How do you organize the way people give you their information once they express interest at an in-person event? A clipboard with a sign up sheet? A fish bowl where people can throw in their business card? Whichever way you decide is best, it’s clear that visitors need a certain amount of information to give to you so that you can follow up with them. Forms on landing pages are vital to the conversion as this is exactly where and when it happens.
At the very least, you’d need to be able to capture the visitor’s first and last name, email address, and phone number to keep in contact with them. Depending on your offer, however, you may want to require more information. This is especially true for free consultations or any event in which you need more than the bare minimum to give them your lead magnet.
NEED HELP WITH YOUR LEADS?
Need help setting up a system to qualify leads or generate them through a lead funnel? Contact Lead Funnel Makers for a free consultation on how to get started.