How to generate leads without cold calling
Cold calling, for a long time, was the main way of making contact with other businesses who may have a need or want for the product or service you offer. Personally, I’m still a big advocate of making contact with people using the old ‘dog and bone’ – it helps you to connect with people quickly, and also allows you to give people a one-on-one insight into your business and what makes you different to your competitors.
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the statement that ‘Cold Calling is Dead’ (a statement I strongly disagree with by the way!), however cold calling should just be part of a larger prospecting strategy which makes the most of the variety of ways to approach and connect with potential customers. I wanted to share with you a few of those options that have proven successful for us at Bright Design for you to consider using going forward.
There’s nothing more powerful than a happy client of your business referring you to their friend, family member, or business – as they already know the value of what you can offer. It’s a huge endorsement of the work that you do, and allows you to build trust with the person based on proven results of your work for somebody that they know already.
The simplest way to get those referrals is to ask your clients for referrals – one potential option you may want to consider is incentivising your client base to refer you to people that they know already, for instance maybe offering a percentage discount on their monthly service or discount on their next order?
Social media is a great way of staying connected with people you do business with – however it should be used as a way of growing the amount of people you do business with too. LinkedIn, the professional network, has been really useful for connecting with people who I work with currently, but if you are providing value to the network (such as by posting blogs, relevant videos, or interesting infographics for instance) other people will find you based on your content and the needs that they have, which helps to expand your network of contacts. It takes some time to boost the visibility of your profile, but it’s certainly worth doing.
Networking events are not only a great way of expanding your knowledge and meeting like-minded people in the area, it’s a really good way of getting out there in a professional environment and raising awareness of your business. And of course, every person that you speak to has their own network of people who could have a need for what you can offer – take some time and speak to people, you’ll pick up some handy tips and ideas for your company that you may not have thought of, but over time it can also help to grow new business opportunities.
Whilst not always right for all businesses, organising a social event can be a great way of inviting current clients and other local companies to a fun day which may also result in business for you going forward.
Make use of all of the platforms available to you to make people aware of the event – email your customers, add a post on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (and potentially follow up on that too with a reminder message), and why not go down the old-fashioned route too and print and hand deliver your invite where possible – here’s some ideas of possible events to consider:
• Host a lunch/dinner – inviting people to a meal can be a great way of getting people together to discuss business in a relaxed environment but also to relax and get to know each other outside of work. We recently did this ourselves and it was a big success!
• Charity auction – giving people the opportunity to come in and bid for prizes whilst raising money for a good cause
• Pub Quiz – either at the pub or in your office(!), get people together for a night of knowledge and to give bragging rights to the winner at the next company event.
I couldn’t leave without mentioning the company website – according to Google 71% of B2B researchers start their research with a generic search using a search engine, and Google itself receives over 63,000 searches per second on any given day (Source: Internet Live Stats). Now whilst not all of these people will land on our websites sadly, the website should be used as a tool to drive more new leads from Google.
“SEO has a 14.6% conversion rate compared to 1.7% for traditional outbound methods such as cold-calling or direct mail.”
Effective SEO, quick performing Adwords campaigns, interesting and engaging videos, and a host of other options can help in getting your website to where you want it to be – making you, and not costing you, money.