One of the services we offer is lead generation, where an interested prospect puts their virtual hand in the air and says “I’m interested, tell me more”.
It’s what every business owner wants, more leads.
Ask what they mean by a “lead” and the answer is always “contact with someone who needs my services”, or something similar.
When we dig a little deeper and ask over what timeframe, the answer is always “now” or “soon”.
And that’s the problem.
The reason you don’t have many leads is that you focus on trying to connect with people who are ready to buy from you right now.
There just aren’t that many of those people.
Go through this thought experiment. Think of all the businesses or individuals in your market who are a great fit for you – right size of company; right geography; right sector; right attitude; whatever defines your ideal client – out of those people, what percentage will believe they have a need for your services or those of someone like you right now or in the next couple of weeks?
For most people it’s a small percentage. 1%, 5%, 10% at most.
Then think of those same businesses or individuals – what percentage of them will come to believe they need your sort of services in the next year? The next 2 or 3 years?
The number rises dramatically. Maybe to 30%, 50%, 80%
So in other words, when you first connect with a potential client, be it at a networking event, via a sales letter, or them coming to your website, the chances are very slim that they need your services soon – that they’re a “lead” in the commonly used sense.
But the chances are very high that they’ll need your services in the next 3 months, 6 months, 1 year or 3 years.
What’s the difference between the two? Time.
You’d ideally like to be talking to that person in 3, 6, 12 or 18 month’s time, when the time is right and they’re ready to buy.
What’s the best way of of getting to speak to them then?
Keep talking to them. You’ve made your initial connection – now build a relationship. Demonstrate your credibility so they call you when the time is right.
What do most businesses actually do?
They ignore them. Choosing instead to focus their energy on finding people who are ready right now. Trying to find the needle in the haystack rather than nurturing relationships with potential clients for the future.
Lead generation is tough if you only see leads as people ready to buy right now.
If you switch your mindset to leads being people who will buy in the future, there are many, many more of them. Orders of magnitude more.
Nurture those relationships and you’ll have a tonne more leads when the time is right for them.
One of the many b2b lead generation tactics that we do for our clients is setting up prospect nurture sequences. These are automated systems that take interested prospects along a path to a hot prospect who is ready to buy. You can’t make your prospect buy when you want them to, BUT you CAN stay with them , help them, and build trust and credibility with them, so that when they’re ready to buy, you’re the obvious choice.
I’ll be covering how to do this in detail in future blog posts, but if you have any immediate questions let me know in the comments 🙂
P.S. Want us to take care of your lead generation? Then check out our services here