Lead generating for small businesses is VITAL! Any small business owner will tell you that the most important part of STAYING in business is having new clients and servicing past clients – all of these are part of your pipeline.
Your pipline is the people who have (in order from low priority to high priority):
- Noticed you are in business but are not currently using your services
- Have indicated that they are interested in something you have to offer
- Have purchased from you in the past but are not currently using your services
- Have purchased from you in the past AND have referred other people to you!
The order may seem amazing to some of you – people who are interested in purchasing RIGHT NOW are less important than old clients? YES! Old clients have shown a willingness to spend their hard earned dollars with your company and should be cherished. You should be contacting them regularly and making sure that they know you value them!
THEN you should have a system set up to contact potential clients regularly until they are ready to buy. A database is a great tool for this as it will let you know regularly who you should be contacting, be it by email, phone or mail.
If you do not have a formal pipeline in place right now – get one. Start a list of EVERYONE you have ever done business with and make sure they are in your database. Then make a list of everyone who has expressed an interest in your services. Rank them according to their level of urgency AND have some sort of system for determining their probability of closing. A good system is 90% for people you have sold and are just waiting for payment, 50% is someone who might buy but who has finalized the decision and 10% for someone who has requested more info.
When you are getting ready for your day, you now know who to call! Start with the 90%-ers and work your way down. Send emails to remind the 10%-ers about your service. AND don’t forget to contact a couple of old customers with something relevant to your business – an email newsletter, an article you think they might enjoy or just a “hi, just thinking of you” email.
If you would like more information about lead generating sources join our FREE Marketing Newsletter For Entrepreneurs! This month’s article will be focusing on sources for leads for all small businesses.
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