Our troublesome (albeit gradually improving) economic climate has a lot to answer for. One particular gripe is that it’s still a challenge to identify great leads which have serious potential, even as the economy starts to pick up. If you’re involved in lead generation in your business, you can probably identify with this pain. Uncovering the perfect client can feel like finding the Holy Grail, yet, get it right and your business could flourish.
Sadly, there’s a two pronged problem in place. While a still-rocky economy has shrunk marketing budgets (although this picture now seems to be changing for the better), potential clients are still very cautious about where and how they spend their money. This means that leads are more likely to need more persuasion to switch providers or suppliers – and need even more convincing to take up a new service altogether. With all this in mind, how can your marketing department pick out potential leads with the need and the budget to invest in what you have to offer? And how can this all be done in a cost-effective way that keeps your marketing budget as humble as possible?
Harness the power of free company checks
Putting your money and your marketing in the right place is essential. By targeting the right people with the right message you can ensure that you squeeze the absolute most out of your lead generation, with as little waste as possible. A free company checker like this version offered by RM Online is a great place to start identifying who you should be pursuing.
This type of company checker is great for identifying businesses with good turnovers and ruling out those which do not have the budget to be worth your while. At the same time, you’ll also be able to identify and steer clear of possible leads who have histories of insolvency and non-payment.
Segment and model your ideal clients
We’re sure you already have a few “ideal clients” on your books. If you can identify what it is about these clients which makes them the right fit for you, you can then hunt for similar opportunities based on your existing experience. This will again help you to target your lead generation and spend your marketing budget in the right place. Before you hit the ground running with a lead generation campaign, look over your existing client base with a critical eye, select your “ideal clients”, then ask yourself:
- Who are these “ideal clients”?
- What makes you a good fit for them?
- What is their location?
- What is their sector?
- What’s their turnover?
- How long established are they?
Once you have answered these questions, use the results to build up a model of your different ideal clients. The finished models should give you a few, very clear target markets where you should now concentrate your marketing efforts.
Scope out brand new leads
You should now have all the information you need to find the right people for your service. Equipped with this valuable resource, you can start tracking down those elusive ideal clients. But where should you start?
Business directories are a pretty decent place to find leads. They’re also useful if you want to segment your possible leads into the groups we outlined above, thus honing your lead generation campaign. There are a few things to be wary of when you use directories, however. The cheapest options are often false economy, full of outdated and even inaccurate information. It’s worth spending a little more on a good quality resource which will help you uncover the right people, with the right facts and figures to help you.
Make use of the grapevine
After all this hard work, it might surprise you to know that some of the very best lead generation happens organically – through your existing customers. If you can provide a great service or product, word has a habit of getting around. There are a few ways to get the most of of this effect. You could, for instance, attend networking events when they arise and invite your top clients along with you. A personal relationship can help you to uncover really great leads, drumming up interest and trust through powerful recommendations.
What tactics do you use to identify prospective valuable clients? Have you found making your lead generation strategy cost-effective a challenge? Share your insight and experiences with our readers below.