As a salesperson, your business lives and dies by the leads you generate -- those little bites of interest that can turn into sales. If you’re not constantly looking for new leads, you’re not likely to be in business long. If you’re struggling to find new ways to generate leads, first of all, remember that you’re never really off the clock. Look for options before, during and after work to spread the word about what you have to offer.
Never go anywhere without your business card
Keeping the idea that you’re never really off the clock in mind, never be without business cards. Any meeting you have can be an opportunity to talk about your business and to entice people to learn more. Without that business card in your wallet, you won’t give people the opportunity to find you later on.
Participate in networking groups
In these types of clubs, you’ll have the opportunity not only to give your sales pitch, but also to get feedback about the nature of your pitch, which can help you improve it later on. Don’t stop at joining just one group -- join several to give yourself more opportunities to spread the word about what you have to offer.
Offer free information on a blog or website
Providing value-added information on your blog or website can help those who are slow to warm up learn about what you have to offer and learn something too. By posting regularly, you’ll have a better chance of your site coming up among relevant search results. To make this work to your advantage, offer a link to a product or service in your blog or website sidebar.
Look for guest blogger opportunities -- or be a guest speaker
In a similar fashion to writing on your own blog, writing on other people’s blogs can be a great way to share information about your product or service and tap into someone else’s network. The same goes for being a guest speaker. You might not mention your product or service much at all during the body of the speech or post, but be sure to ask the person you’re working with to allow you to post a link to your website at the bottom of the post, or in the case of a speaking engagement, to pass out flyers or business cards at the end. In some cases, you can even have your products on hand at that speaking engagement, thus bypassing the need for leads and going right into sales.
Create videos that have the potential to go viral
Here again is another way to provide value-added information that can lead to more eyes on your website. If you create videos, make sure they’re not dry or boring and that they’re meant to entertain or offer valuable information. In the video description, offer a link to the sales page of your website so viewers have the option to learn more.
Offer something in your email signature
Every email you send can also be an opportunity to generate leads. Under your contact information in your email signature, include a description of what you do in one sentence or less, and then include a link to your products or sales page.
Join associations related to your industry
Like networking groups, joining associations gives you the chance to get out there and meet people who are interested in hearing about what you have to offer, and may look to you the next time they need a product or service. Some associations also allow you to post links on their websites or to include other marketing information, so check into what each association offers you in exchange for the membership fee, and choose ones that have the best value and largest following.
Develop partnerships with other businesses
Through your networking groups and association memberships you’re going to meet other business owners who may be interested in a strategic alliance. In other words, you refer clients to them and they do the same for you. Look for business owners offering services you don’t offer, but ones that your clients might want. If you’re a personal trainer, for example, you might develop a partnership with a nutritionist who can counsel your clients in healthy eating. If you sell vintage furniture, you might develop a partnership with a realtor who specializes in old or restored homes.
Generating sales leads is an ongoing process, and you’ll need every scrap of creativity and energy you can muster to keep the sales rolling in. By taking all of the steps mantioned above, you’ll be well on your way toward success.
Image source: Bplans