When I first meet with startup Founders, a common mistake seems to be that they are only relying on 1 or 2 sources for sales leads. If you’d like to gain some quick traction and experience as much growth as possible, try adding a few of the following sources into your arsenal.
If you’re not using Twitter on a consistent basis, it’s time to start. Within two weeks of setting up my own Twitter and posting a couple articles that I had written, I had my first two customers from Germany and England. Find a way to engage with potential customers and you now have a solid source for leads.
2. Cold Emails
Develop a template, research some prospects, and send out some emails. The purpose, should only be to book a meeting. Your template should be short. Many people prefer this to a telephone cold calling as it is less intrusive. Another benefit is that cold emailing isn’t as time consuming, which frees you up to work on the other aspects of your business.
With the tools that are available these days, there’s no excuse for not having a website or blog. Give value on your site and make it very easy to contact you. If you’re going to use one of those contact forms, only require people to give their name, email address, and message.
4. Direct marketing
Direct marketing can be a very strong source for leads depending on your business. If you’d like to stand out from the competition, try using a hand signed letter to catch your customer attention.
5. Cold calling
Cold calling is one of the least effective sources for lead generation there is. Most people would agree that referrals are the way to go. But when you’re a startup, cold calling may be your only option until you have your initial customers. Create a script, rehearse it so you sound natural and confident, and be prepared for rejection.
Find out where your decision makers go and go there. Be specific about where you spend your time. Focus on building relationships, don’t go to networking events and “sell”. Explain what you do and deliver value first. If you’re an expert in your field, this will be easy.
Most people are not experts in the field of advertising, which results in a lot of wasted money. A lot of the time, weak content is used and positioned in the wrong space. If you aren’t strong in this area, seek out an expert for advice.
A weekly newsletter is a great way to position yourself as an expert and deliver continuous value to your customers. When someone who reads your newsletter needs help in the area of your expertise, they have no reason to go elsewhere.
9. Word of mouth
A simple rule to live by when doing sale is under promise and over deliver. Having an extraordinary and innovative product can mean nothing if you don’t deliver an exceptional customer experience. Always give more than what’s expected and people will talk about you.
Not only will people talk about you, but they will tell everyone they know. You shouldn’t ask for referrals, referrals should be earned. You need to give before you can get. Give memorable service, give your customer a referral, deliver value first, make it easy to get ahold of you, and do not ask them for a referral. For every 1 referral you get by asking, you have 9 people that will avoid you forever. This isn’t the easy way. This concept is about giving without an expectation of getting anything in return.