One of the most common questions that I get from sales people is…
What is the best method for sales lead generation?
This is an interesting question because there are numerous answers available that depend upon what you sell and who you sell to as a group. Now, I know that is not the answer most of you want, but it is the truth.
So here are a few of the more common answers to this question.
- If you are new to a company, check out the orphaned accounts list. An orphaned account is one that was left my another sales person and no one is currently working the account. Interesting fact about going back into old accounts – most of the time they are waiting for you to call.
- Get list of businesses from one of the mailing list services. Yes, it will cost you some money to get the list. Yet, if you are looking for a fast start and are willing to contact accounts cold turkey, then this is a fast route to gaining a customer list.
- Trade Associations in your industry or an industry you sell to can be a major source of names. If you also write an article for the trade association or give a presentation (not a sales presentation – an expertise or how to presentation) at a regional or national conference warm and hot leads should follow.
- Write an article for an organization or organization that are viewed by your customer segment. Again, expertise is the faster way to get noticed and get called by the customer.
- Work the trade show leads. If your company does trade shows, then make sure that you work the leads. Yes, some will be not so great – yet, calling leads is all about eliminating non-buyers! Most sales people make a mistake thinking that all leads are buyers. No, most are just a name with no urgency for action. Find the ones that have a sense of urgency and get all over them.
- Now, here is the classic method. Do research in the library or Internet and find the companies and names of officers within the companies. Create a database of names by industry type or geographical region. Work these accounts using direct mail and phone call campaigns. Build a relationship with key people in the organization using regular contact. This is the proven method that works every time – assuming you have the discipline to stay the course. The sales superstars do an excellent job of this simple method.
Lead generation is hard work. And, will pay off in a huge way if you work the different methods of making contact with the companies you target. Targeting accounts is one of keys to successful selling in B2B sales. I will discuss targeting accounts in a later post. Get started on your customer list today. I have found that the best customer lists are the ones that you control – process to contact. Get started today – make a phone call and touch a customer.