I first thought lead generation was near impossible. In fact, I thought there was really only one way to find profitable lead generation sources. You had to spend a lot of money to hire marketing people to find you leads that pay you more money than you paid your marketing people.
When, in reality, most of us don’t have a lot of money to spend on lead generation.
I know I don’t.
Fortunately, there is still a way to generate high quality leads without a big budget.
But, let me be clear. Everybody pays.
You will either pay with your time or you will pay with your wallet. You’ve got to decide whether you want to invest the time now, up front, to tap into the long-term, more profitable lead generation sources. Or whether you’d rather hire a 3rd party to immediately find leads on your behalf. Or maybe a combination of the two. But either way, everybody pays.
Here’s my suggestion to you: think of lead generation as an experiment.
See most people ask themselves, “how am I supposed to generate leads?” Now, since you are a member of the Senator Club, you are one step ahead of the rest of them. You ask yourself, “what if I tried to generate leads this way?”
Lead generation is a long journey for you to experiment on. And every day along that journey you need to remember your objective.
Your objective is to generate the highest quality leads at the lowest cost; to convert into customers that pay you money known as revenue to grow your business (wahbam!).
In other words, your job is to find ways to get the word out about your product within your budget.
It’s a simple process, but difficult to do.
So, before I get into how to find profitable lead generation sources. I assume you already know the following key pieces of information for your sales process. If you don’t, before you start, get to know them well:
- Your target customer
- Their buying process
- Their key influencers and decision makers
- Your product and brand message
- Specific goal for each lead generation campaign
Ok. I trust you already know these key pieces. So let’s get into the actual lead generation strategies. I will share both low volume lead generation, typically more for business to business (B2B) sales. As well as, high volume lead generation, typically more for business to consumer (B2C) sales.
3 specific strategies to find a low volume of highly targeted leads
These low volume, highly targeted lead generation strategies are used by the best. From giant Fortune 500 companies to one person startups. Take advantage of them. Especially if you sell products into a small universe of buyers.
#1 Get leads from a paid data source
You can actually pay for contact information. Not “leads”, just contacts at companies. Their name, company, title, phone number and email. Here are the shortcut steps to make it happen.
- Pay for contact data from a 3rd party company. You can use different contact sources for different target markets. For example: Capital IQ (finance contacts), Radius (SMB contacts), Data.com (crowd sourced contacts).
- Add the select contacts as a “lead” to your customer relationship management (CRM) solution.
- Now, send targeted emails and make calls to get them on the phone.
This is exactly how we sold a $25 million tech company while I worked in investment banking (you had to be there for the full story).
#2 Get leads from magazines and media
Your leads are in the public eye. I used this strategy first hand when I did lead generation for a private wealth advisor. He grew his portfolio from $15 million in assets under management to $100 million. His primary strategy is outlined below. He succeeded because he consistently and methodically followed this lead generation strategy. See if it works for you.
- Get leads from industry magazines, journals, blog posts, conference speaker lists. Your leads are in the public eye. Only target one source at a time so you methodically canvas all potential sources for leads.
- Add all the names you find to your CRM.
- Send them a personalized email or in my boss’s case, an actual card sent through the mail.
#3 Get leads from social media
No surprises here. You heard it before. Social media websites are effective lead generation sources. However, I am specifically recommending LinkedIn. Even today, I find and target specific people on LinkedIn. We are doing a proof of concept with someone I found on LinkedIn 7 months ago (remember I sell enterprise software full time). This is how big deals still get done. And LinkedIn is the best source for uncovering valuable information about your lead.
- Search your personal connections, use people search, identify people in related groups, or see the “people also viewed” profiles in the right sidebar.
- Find their main office line on the company website and find their email address (use email-verify to guess and confirm emails).
- Add the name and information into your CRM.
- Email and call them. Find a way to get in front of them.
So that’s how you find low volume lead generation sources. What about high volume? What if you need a lot of leads, instead of a few? Next week, I will publish five specific strategies to scale your lead generation to find lots of leads.
I published the presentation from our event last week to slideshare so you can easily view it below. If you are wondering what the photo on the 2nd page is – well, I recently got engaged in a hot air balloon.
What do you think? Can you get leads from paid data sources, from magazines and media, or from social media. The answer is yes, you can. Thoughtfully test each strategy yourself. Then only you can decide whether it’s the right fit for you product. Revenue numbers don’t lie.
Can you think of any other lead generation strategies that’s worked well for you? Share it with everyone else in the comments below.