How Are You Getting Hot Leads?

Had a dialogue with a client this week about where their new leads are coming from that lead to new business. The client kept using the term “referrals” as their major driver for new business.

Now on the surface this sounds great and exciting news – referrals are driving all their new business opportunities. Then the dialogue went deeper and the news was not as great.

It appears they were not doing anything to create or control the flow of “referrals.” They just happened to show up from “word of mouth” situations. Is this a real strategy for leads?

This issues happens to most sales people and especially to professional services groups. And, it is similar to the “instant gravitation” found syndrome which is a short term fix. Making matters worst is the continued reliance on this “false” strategy.

The truth is their are two types of “lead generation techniques” which appear to both be labeled as “referrals.” Actually, only one of the techniques is actually a referral.

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Tools for Getting High Quality Leads for B2B Sales

Been getting a number of questions on how to get leads for the b2b sales team. My opinion on generating leads is to make certain they are high quality leads.

I know most b2b sales people are frustrated by unqualified leads they usually receive from the marketing group. And, since the only thing a b2b sales person has to trade for their sales success is their time.

Therefore, if they are out chasing leads that are more closely related to black holes than qualified sales leads – well they are losing both time and potential sales results. So, I can understand their frustration – been there.

So how do you get high quality leads?

Here are five tools to get higher quality leads. If you don’t know how to use them, well lend on your marketing team to get the right job done.

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Six Steps for Growing Referrals for Your Business

Recently I spoke about getting referrals as an important part of improving or growing your b2b sales opportunities. After I mentioned this, I get a couple of questions about how to improve their referral process.

Since referrals have been known as the Golden Chain for Sales Success, it has probably been the least understood sales growth process available.

Look the referral process can only begin when you start it – by asking for a referral. Most of your customers know plenty of other business people who could use what you have to offer. The key is to get to them before your competition does.

Enter the referral.

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“Door Openers” are Needed for Hot Leads

One thing I know – b2b sales people are always wanting new “hot” leads to place in their b2b sales pipeline. Right?

I know I’m always looking and several of my closest clients tell me the same thing. They want more “hot leads” for their sales pipeline. You know these types of leads, the ones who are actively looking for a solution to their problem or critical issues.

So how do they know you can possibly solve their problem or critical issue?

You must use what is know in the marketing world of classic “door opening” strategies. This is not a complex thing. Just a little personal mind-storming or group brainstorming to develop a list of problems you regularly solve for your customers.

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Marketing Lagging in good B2B Sales Leads?

Alright, most of you know I am a big believer in b2b sales understanding the world of marketing if they are going to join the ranks of the B2B Sales Superstars. So, I look at what marketing departments and their ad agencies are generating to develop quality leads for the b2b sales team.

Simply put, the marketing groups are getting low scores in the world of gathering high quality leads for the typical b2b sales person. Why is this happening with all these smart people working for marketing departments.

These marketing groups are getting some things done like social media marketing (the young people in this departments understand how to use this media.) and they know how to get print advertising done and even some public relations marketing. And some have rediscovered the use of “You and Your” to place the potential customer in the story line.

However, when I review the content of the marketing pieces or even the social media – they is one common missing link to make it totally work in the world of b2b sales. So, what is missing?

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Two Methods for Using Business Letters

Got some questions from sales people asking about how they should use business letters or direct mail in their sales process?

This is a great question at this time since most b2b sales people think the only thing working today is email. Email is a great tool for immediate responses after you have made contact with a customer or an existing customer who uses the email as an electronic delivery service and a paperless “green thing.”

Email is great for transacting current business, yet, it is not easy to use for prospects or people within companies you have not done business with in the past. In fact, the CAN-SPAM Act has made it a very expensive legal issue to use unsolicited email to individuals or companies. It can cost you up to $10,000 per emailed account – so beware of sending out unsolicited emails.

Business development or prospecting can be very effective using the old direct mail process. Today, direct mail is making a comeback since most people are not using it properly. In fact, it is pretty simple and there are only two true methods in my opinion to use direct mail.

These two methods are…

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Do You Have an Elevator Speech?

Often I’m asked about this thing called an elevator speech. And, a lot of sales people have no clue what it is, why you need one or how to create one.

So, today, I thought I would take a moment to share what I know about the famous “elevator speech” and how and when to use it. Especially since I find most b2b sales people answer the “what do you do?” question with the self-defeating and end of conversation – “I’m a Sales Person with XYZ Company.” Tall about a show shopper.

Okay, here are the answers you are looking for regarding the what, when and how to build your elevator speech…

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Lead Generation techniques with Purchased Lists

Continuing my Lead Generation theme and creating sales growth, I thought it would be a good idea to discuss buying a list. Most people think buying leads is easy and straight forward. While it is simple, easy does not fit the description due to certain factors.

First, all lists are not created equal. There is a lot of junk in the marketplace and the lower the cost, the more you should question the source. A targeted customer list is your most valuable sales growth tool.

Second, data is not the same across available databases. Some databases really work at keeping their databases current and clean of junk. Unfortunately, these are the minority – so Buyer Beware!

Third, specifics are better for productivity reason than general information. And, the more targeted you get the more the price goes up. However, here is the big reason to buy a specific list – it saves you time and therefore the cost is a trade off.

Now there are factors or elements to consider when buying a prospect list and here is a list of factors to consider…

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Find New Accounts to Grow Your Sales

I am asked multiple times a week, How Can I Grow My Sales?

This questions hangs with every sales person I speak to and to my surprise very few get the best answer to question.

What is the answer?

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10 Things to Learn at Your Prospects Website

So you have found a list of potential customers or a book of list or some other source of prospect leads, what do you do now?

The first thing is to compare the companies on the list to your ideal customer profile and the preferred market or vertical markets who are better suited for your products and services. Discard any companies on the list that are questionable based upon your criteria. If they are larger, public companies, then check them out against sources such as a Hoovers or Dun & Bradstreet (I know D&B owns Hoovers but they keep them separate) or some other independent business research service.

Now for the fun part, it is time for you to check out the prospect companies website. A simple AND difficult process – depends if a company is less than sharing of their information on the web. More often you will find a treasure chest of information on these websites. In fact, there are 12 things that I look for on these sites – and you should look for them also. Here are the big twelve…

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