by Jeff Molander
Time to read: 3 minutes. I recently discovered 3 of the best, most effective lead generation ideas out there: #1, Update the way you’re marketing yourself online to DESIGN for sales. Don’t follow “the gurus.” #2, Give your best advice away online, in exchange for leads. #3 Create confidence in prospects in ways that give “results in advance” to ultimately earn the sale.
Here’s what I mean step-by-step, in detail.
Stop measuring, start designing (to sell)
Point blank: Why are most sales people and small businesses struggling or failing to generate leads? Because they invest in Web and social marketing—yet define success as engagement instead of sales. But there’s more.
If you are struggling to create sales leads with LinkedIn, videos or blogs you (or your marketing team) are probably very busy justifying.
You’re measuring content (and investing time in WHAT messages say) rather than structuring or designing to turn those messages into leads—to create response.
In other words, you see content (words and images you put onto the Web) as a means to build brand, gain attention and influence.
Successful lead generators and sellers see content differently.
They apply blogs, videos, white papers, ebooks (etc) in ways that change the success rate of customers. This is the biggie—the most effective of all lead generation ideas I’ve found.
They see content and social marketing as a means to DO something with the attention content generates—capture a lead, nurture it and ultimately sell products/services.
They see content as something that can ‘move the needle’ for customers in ways that create tangible outcomes. How?
Give your best advice away for free
Today’s most successful lead generators give content away free. They give advice, tips, tricks, shortcuts. All of it, without hesitation.
You should too. Give away your best tips and/or samples of what prospects need to achieve things or avoid risks. Get blog readers or video viewers confident in themselves. Do you sell a unique experience… or is experience part of the ultimate reason people buy from you?
No problem. Sample it.
Make prospects believe they can achieve something they want by giving them the tools to ACTUALLY DO it.
Again, this is one of the best lead generation ideas I’ve found in my business.
For example, empower them to make better decisions or teach them a new skill. But then plant a seed: give them reason to think, “hey, could there be more to discover about ___?” This makes buyers hungry for more of what you’ve got and primed for your call-to-action.
My free social media sales training program is a great place to start doing this. It comes with a worksheet to get you started on this exact process. Put these lead generation ideas to work for you, free!
Create confidence in them (so they trust you)
What’s the #1 thing you’ve got to earn from a buyer? If you’ve sold ANYTHING you know the answer: Confidence.
Social media experts claim you can earn trust from prospects based on what you say and how you say it.
Hogwash. Bullpucky. Nonsense. Horsehocky.
The only way you can earn trust in this world is to DO something for the prospect that moves their needle—that has meaning. You’ve got to give them confidence in themselves. The best way to do this is give away a sample of actual results in advance of their investing in you.
Yes, like a free trial but depending on what you sell with a twist.
Help customers get something done faster, better, smarter, cheaper. For example, help customers decide on “best fit” for their needs … or checklists that guide buyers toward better (personalized) decisions … or short video tutorials that teach customers a skill or short-cut that is relate-able to their goal and what you sell.
Help customers be (and feel) smarter, more effective buyers.
Toward the end of the blog post create a call-to-action that says to customers, “here, let me help you DO ____.” Play on their hunger to get more confidence.
Exchange downloadable guides in exchange for their email and name.
Start here, right now
Applying these lead generation ideas is simple. Do it. Do it now! Ed Worthington of Action Business Systems started applying them to sell document management services and copiers. Within a few months he generated copier sales leads that closed faster!
- Listen for your target market’s pain, suffering, fear or aspirations.
- Answer them online. Give remedies, short-cuts etc. Start responding to what potential customers need or crave in your blog.
Keep it super practical. This system makes it easy to (in time) connect what you sell to your blog posts. Start by asking yourself, “Which questions do our customers need answered before they’ll buy?” or “Is there a skill I could teach them that would make them feel (and act) like a smarter buyer?”
Remember: Don’t restrict the questions to those about your product—think like a buyer.
For example, are there myths prospects believe in that prevent them from understanding an important consideration point?
Do they fear getting ripped-off or talked into a situation that doesn’t serve them? Is there an experience they’re craving?
To get ideas, listen to potential customers as they express: fears, hopes, aspirations, objectives, problems or challenges. Listening is easy on the Web.
You should conduct search engine keyword research but here are other places to find your buyers’ questions—FAST. LinkedIn Groups, Webinars, Monitor www.search.twitter.com (for expressions of pain or un-met needs around what it is you’re selling… and complaints about your competitors) and, of course, Google keyword research.
My free social media sales training program is a great place to start doing this. It comes with a worksheet to get you started on this exact process.
Good luck implementing these super effective lead generation ideas!
Photo credit: Dallas Photographer, Matthew T Rader
About the Author
Jeff Molander+ is the authority on making social media sell. He's a sought-after corporate trainer to small businesses and global corporations like Brazil's Petrobras. He's an accomplished entrepreneur, having co-founded what is today the Google Affiliate Network. Jeff also serves as adjunct digital marketing faculty at Loyola University’s school of business. His new book, Off The Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You, is first to offer businesses a clear, practical way to create leads and sales with technology platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and blogs.