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Sales are all about probabilities. Everything you do, say, show, etc. will increase or decrease the probability of a sale. The sale process starts with a potential customer (lead) and ends when the customer pays. (Actually the sale process never ends because you want the customer for life). The customer will need your products/services again and your customer will be able to refer new leads.
Lead generation/prospecting is the lifeblood for any business or organization. Without lead generation you will not succeed. Lead generation is a never-ending process. You must always generate leads from one source or another. Also, you must always refine techniques and track past lead generation programs to measure your progress.
The best lead generation program is going to be the program that produces the most sales. Work on and refine lead generation programs that produce the highest probability of a sale. For example, if you are a real estate agent selling houses in Minneapolis it makes no sense to generate leads in Japan.
Develop a lead generation program that works for you.
Below are some recommended lead generation programs in order of best probability for a sale.
- Existing customer – Call them and tell them about new products and/or services that are available. Ask if they would like a no-obligation proposal/consultation/etc that will show them the benefits of your product or service.
- Past customers - Call them and tell them about new products and/or services that are available.
- Referrals from customers – Ask customers if any of their supplier’s and/or associates would be interested in your product or service.
- Family and friends – Ask if they would be interested in a no-obligation proposal that will show them how their web site can increase their business profits.
- Business associates - Ask if they would be interested in a no-obligation proposal that will show them how their web site can increase their business profits.
- Club or organization members - Ask if they would be interested in a no-obligation proposal that will show them how their web site can increase their business profits.
- Referrals from people you know - Ask people you know if any of their supplier’s and/or associates would be interested in a no-obligation proposal that will show them how their web site can increase their profits
- Businesses you do business with - Ask if they would be interested in a no-obligation proposal that will show them how their web site can increase their business profits.
- Telemarketing – Telemarketing is a great tool and should be used 4 hours or more per week. The beauty of telemarketing businesses is that there is always someone to talk to and you get to pick whom your potential customer is. Follow the general guidelines below to increase the probability of a sale.
- Create your database - Pick an area to call. Close to your home would be nice to limit driving time and to be close to your customer. Choose business type. Choose businesses you are familiar with or you have an interest in.
- Get your list - Use existing database of current and past customers. Use www.qwestdex.com as great source for leads. Designate certain areas and/or groups. New business list. Create a list from new businesses starts listed in a legal newspaper. The list has the name of the company, owner and address. Most businesses will not have a dedicated phone number, yet. I recommend looking up phone numbers of owners and calling them at home. Every new business is going to need products and services. Call them and ask if they would be interested in a no-obligation proposal that will show them how your product and/or service can increase profits for their business.
- Develop a telemarketing script - Rehearse script and develop your own style. When you make calls, act friendly and natural - don't use canned script for every call. Your first goal is to talk to the decision maker.
- Create file system - It is important you are well organized with all your leads. Treat each and every lead like gold. I recommend using a manila folder for every lead. Document all contacts on the outside of this folder. The goal of every lead is to make an appointment. Leads can be organized by the following.
- To contact -
- These are leads that you have not spoken to yet nor have an appointment with. Always make your initial contact ASAP (the same day as you received lead).
- Appointment. These are leads which you have an appointment.
- Post Appointment. If you do not sign an agreement. Always follow-up on a regular basis.
- Sold. Leads that sign an agreement.
- Dead. Leads that tell you not to contact them any more or they tell you they bought from someone else.
Get your pipeline started.
Prospecting = leads = proposals = appointments = sales = money = good times.
It all begins with prospecting! The amount of prospecting you do will equal the amount of money you make.