Top 5 Ways to Generate Qualified Leads For Your Small Business

Do you ever wonder if you could be doing a better job marketing your small business or professional service firm? Successfully marketing a small business is hard work. There are several key skills required to consistently develop new business that you, as a small business owner, must master in order to succeed.

The first skill you need to have is the ability to regularly generate qualified leads. You must consistently build your list of prospects if you are to grow your business. Your business will not grow if you market to the same, stagnant population over and over again. While there will be a certain percentage of people who choose to buy from you after repeated contact with your marketing material, the amount who buy will always be limited by the size of the list to which you market.

How often do you add to your list of qualified prospects?

Here are five steps you can take to improve your prospect building skills.

Focus On Client Needs

Whether you print a brochure, advertise in industry periodicals or use search engines to generate traffic to your web site the first thing your marketing materials must do is get noticed. One of the best ways to have your future clients notice you is to use words in your marketing materials that focus on their needs. By using such words your clients will immediately associate your ad with their problem or unmet need.

For example, if you are a patent attorney your ads will have a much better chance of being noticed and acted upon by those who need your service if you use the words, “Get paid for your invention” instead of “Patent Attorney”. Getting paid is what an inventor wants. You may be proud of your status as an attorney but your clients are interested in the results you provide that solve their problem.

Be sure you use words in your marketing material that focus on your clients’ needs. They will get noticed more often.

Eliminate Waste

Another step you can take to improve your ability to generate leads is to eliminate unproductive marketing methods. Marketing takes time, money and effort. If your tactics are not generating the results you want stop using them and try something new. Of course, in order to separate the good tactics from the bad you need to measure the effect of individual marketing efforts.

Perhaps you run the same ad in two different newspapers. If you don’t know that the ad in “paper number two” is generating 95% of your prospects you will never know that it would be a smart move to reallocate the money you spend in “paper number one”.

What steps can you take to measure the effect of individual marketing tactics?

Once you know which tactics are lead generators and which are not you can improve your ability to generate new leads simply by reallocating the resources from unproductive tactics to ones you know work.

Use Your Web Site Properly

Another way to maximize your ability to generate leads is to use your web site properly. The purpose of your web site is to generate leads. To maximize the number of leads your web site generates make sure your site has information your prospects want, is easy to navigate and maximizes the opportunity for your prospects to get in touch with you, either by calling you or by providing you with their contact information.

Clearly let your visitors know you’re there for them and they will be much more likely to reach out and get in touch, especially if your site’s content demonstrates that you understand and can solve their problems.

Cross Marketing

Cross marketing is the process of establishing marketing relationships with companies whose product or service complements what you sell. For example, a company that helps web site owners track the traffic to and through their site would do well to develop relationships with web hosting companies. There is a natural symbiosis here – anyone who has a new web site needs to (or should) measure their site’s traffic so they can make well-informed decisions to guide the evolution of their site and any web hosting company wants their clients’ business to succeed so they can keep them as a customer. Companies don’t need web sites if they’re out of business. It therefore makes sense for web hosting companies to promote web statistics companies and vice versa as each can benefit from the other’s service.

What cross marketing tactics do you use to promote your business?

Ask Questions

Regardless of your favorite marketing mechanism the goal is the same: to generate interest in your products or services. Whether you use a web site, a brochure or newspaper ads to generate leads the first thing you must do is get your future prospects thinking about the problem that you solve and they have. A great method for invoking this type of thought is to use questions in your marketing materials.

If you are a dentist, questions like, “Do you have tooth pain?” or “Are your teeth sensitive to heat or cold?” will do a much better job of drawing in your prospects that marketing materials that say, “Do you need a dentist?”

What questions can you ask to get your prospects thinking about the problems that they have that you solve?

Move Your Marketing Forward

Take some time to examine your marketing efforts with respect to the notions outlined in this article. Is there room for you to improve your ability to generate leads? Most likely, there is.

Copyright 2005, Better Marketing Results and Jeremy Cohen. All rights reserved.

How To Improve Your Customer Base Small Business Mailing Lists

Improve Contact with Small Business Mailing Lists

For many independent businesses, small business mailing lists make up the core of their advertising efforts. Many local stores or service companies find that advertising through any other means cannot offer the return on investment that their marketing efforts require. These lists, unlike advertisements online or in local newspapers, allow you to conserve resources by reaching out only to those who are likely to become customers. Even if you have had a number of positive responses from members of your mailing list, it is always possible to see improvement in response rates by changing the way you contact them.

Whether you are sending emails or mailers, timing is the key to getting the response rate that you want. If the piece you will be distributing is promoting a sale or any other limited time offer, make sure that it arrives just a few days in advance of the start date. Mailers that arrive too early are likely to be forgotten by the time the sale period begins. Those that arrive after the sale has begun may not give customers enough time to plan their trip and take advantage of the promoted discounts. To ensure that your pieces arrive when you need them to, write the copy and create the layout well in advance of their distribution.

Offer and follow through with incentives for customers who supply personal contact information. One of the most common incentive programs, and one that is extremely effective, is offering a special discount during the month or week of your client’s birthday. Not only will this be a gentle reminder to visit your store, it will also make them more likely to recommend that friends and family members join your contact list as well. By joining with them in celebrating special events, you and your staff can further endear yourself to your most loyal customer base.

When promotional mailers are properly timed and worded in such a way as to make them feel more personal to the recipient, they will result in more converted leads and return visits from past customers. Well-used small business mailing lists should exist both to begin new relationships with prospective clients as well as to continue to cultivate your relationship with loyal customers.

Small Business Tips: Thirteen Secrets Revealed

Is your small business falling into a dangerous trap? Follow these small business tips and learn from those who have already made some costly mistakes so you don’t have to!

Small Business Tips:

1. Lead with revenue, not expenses. Don’t spend before you earn. That also means not purchasing every shiny object.

— Hold your purchases accountable for what you planned for them. That means use of the class or product you just bought!

— Hold your expenses accountable for producing promised results. Take action!

2. Be your own guru. All good training is useful. Get a business mentor that can help you. But, stop looking for a know-it-all guru and get going on your 6-month grand goals. This is a huge part in empowering yourself. Knowledge = confidence; Ignorance = fear.

3. Realize this is the new normal. This is the new normal market. Successful marketing today takes dedication, insight, authenticity and action.

4. Follow through and follow up. Any successful business person will tell you that their #1 source of business is repeats and referrals from past clients and centers of influence. If you don’t call them, they will forget about you and your offers of expertise.

5. Live in the present. Make money with your business of the moment instead of focusing on what used to be or might be – be present in the here and now.

6. Don’t be a seminar junkie and a no-action flunkie. You must do both to succeed! It’s not enough to just read about, study, and learn what to do for your marketing and life vision. You also have to take action and DO what you learn, so get out of analysis paralysis and get into action. Get out of your office and network!

7. Know your market stats. How many visitors come to your site each month? How many emails are being opened, or links clicked? What are your clients talking about? These are all essential pieces of information for your strategies and tactics follow through.

8. Understand urgency. Don’t take too long to act on responding to questions and comments. Call leads and prospects back immediately and communicate regularly with existing clients.

9. Think like a business owner. Being debt-free IS free. Know your business and personal overhead and make sure you have a business plan. Know how many clients you need to contact in order to close and achieve your goals.

10. Focus on new lead generation daily. Establish minimum standards for the number of contacts you will make per day and become a well-rounded lead generation machine.

— Will you make 20 calls a day?

— What is your plan to attract a larger list?

— How do you stay in contact?

— How will you earn sales from your relationship building with your client base?

11. It’s not a numbers business, it’s a people-helping business. Our truest purpose is to be of service to others. Focus on what you’re here to give and the income will follow.

12. Don’t be phone-phobic. The answer to growing your business may be: “pick up the phone.” Cold calling and warm calling just take practice on a daily basis.

13. Write out your Passion and Vision. What is your plan/goals to get your life’s dream business and lifestyle?

Only you can make these secret tips work for you – they are only secret, if they are hidden in your business.

I have read that action breeds confidence and courage!

5 Success Strategies To Lead Your Small Business Effectively

As an entrepreneur and small business owner or manager your business will often be limited-or-limitless depending on how effectively you are able to lead. Leadership qualities in and of themselves are easy to define – any dictionary will give you the technical definition of leadership as well as the qualities inherent in a leader. True leadership success lies in blending these attributes with your personal style in a way to truly express your inherent gifts and talents in such a way to move people and opportunities towards your inspired vision.

Here are 5 strategies to ensure you effectively lead your small business to success.

1. Motivate individuals through passion and inspiration.

The most successful businesses always seem to capture an essence and create an almost “cult” like following among its team members and customers. Zappos, Google, and Apple have all created a culture of truly motivated and inspired individuals. This motivation permeates the business structure itself, but more importantly, freely flows out in to the marketplace through its products, services, and clients. How are these companies able to move so many people and opportunities towards them? Inspired motivation with mutual respect for individuality.

As a business leader you must possess a clear inspiration of a bigger future for you and all those around you. This includes team members, advisers, and most importantly the clients you serve. If you truly are inspired by your business you will motivate and excite those around you by your passion and enthusiasm. Passion and enthusiasm attracts other individuals with similar values and mindsets. Combine these two catalysts with a clear vision and you have a formula for successful motivation.

2. Respect and encourage unique individuality.

Old school ways of management would have you focus on conforming the world to fit your vision and strategy. The exact opposite holds true today. You must truly respect and encourage individuals to freely express themselves through your vision, organization, and products or services. The more you are able to empower everyone associated with you to be their best through their own unique abilities the sooner you will see massive transformation in your business success.

3. Empower through empathy.

Leading a business effectively isn’t just about articulating the vision and ensuring everyone understands you and your intentions. More importantly your success depends solely on your ability to empathize with others and truly hear what they are saying. By understanding the position of your team members you will be able to incorporate their motivation for success into your own vision for the organization. In turn, if you truly understand your clients position and fulfill their needs on their own terms, you will foster long-standing mutually beneficial relationships.

4. Foster trust through accountability.

Personal accountability is one of the biggest traits you will possess as a successful leader and in-turn require of those around you. A successful accountability habit includes the following:

Be honest and tell the truth always.

Follow through and do what you say you will.

Lead by positive example.

Be realistic and set achievable initiatives

Delegate effectively and responsibly.

Honor and respect the individuality of others.

Hold others accountable for themselves.

5. Pay it forward.

Pay it forward by remaining a life long learner, motivator, and teacher. As you inspire and motivate those around you to share in your vision for success, others will step up and begin to champion your cause. As a true leader it is your responsibility to seek out other individuals and inspire them to step forward and lead. The more openly you share your success and teach others the better able you will be to continue to expand your leadership abilities.

Blend these 5 success strategies with your personal leadership style and I know you will maximize your effectiveness and see immediate results.