Getting more leads
You’ve tried just about everything to find leads for your business. The cold calling approach just doesn’t cut it anymore. Inbound marketing and lead generation are the way to go. And according to recent studies, they can provide a serious competitive advantage.
According to the Wall Street Journal, 61% of salespeople have tried out “lead generation.” But what’s working and what’s not? How can you ensure you’re generating the right leads? If you can implement a few tried-and-true tactics, you’ll be surprised at how successful your efforts can be.
The more rock-solid, quality leads you to have, the more results you’re likely to see in marketing efforts aimed at your leads. But before you can follow up on a lead, there’s one big, pestering question: where do you find new leads?
Before we get into where MSPs should find leads, it’s essential to learn where you shouldn’t get leads.
Don’t Buy Leads
A number of companies make some serious cash-selling leads in the form of email addresses and other contact info, but getting leads this way has a few huge problems associated with it. First, if you use email marketing software, many software vendors won’t even let you send to a list you’ve bought.
Second, these lists are typically no good since the company that sold you the list probably sold that same list to others, so those email addresses have already received a ton of advertising messages. Last, if someone gets an utterly unsolicited email from you, they won’t want anything to do with it, so what’s the point?
The lesson here? Build your lead list. Here are a few ways you can do it right this moment.
Take Advantage of Lead Sharing
Whether it’s the developer of your favourite backup software, your hardware supplier, or your distributor, most of the more prominent vendors you work with will have a partner program, including a lead-sharing program. Since most of these leads are interested in software, hardware, or services available locally, these are people who want to talk to you, making them precious contacts to have. Be sure to ask all your vendors about lead-sharing programs.
Understand Content Marketing
Why do you need to do content marketing? There are many reasons you need to do content marketing, but I want to highlight the most important reason. You need to generate leads, period! Let me explain. The majority of your clients don’t know anything about you. They had never heard of your business before. Even if they knew you, they would probably not do business with you again.
They have no reason to care about you and will not return to you for any more services. This is where content marketing comes in. When your clients find out who you are, they will know that you can actually help them. When they read your content, they will understand you and your work. This is the purpose of the entire process.
Content marketing involves providing helpful information to people who visit your website, social pages, or other digital locations. Your goal is to provide content in ebooks, guides, videos, or online tools that are so useful that your prospects will give you their contact information to get them. From there, you have the opportunity to provide them with more information via an email newsletter or digest. As you illustrate your expertise to them, many will trust you, and when they’re ready for services, they’ll know just who to go to.
Use Reference Selling
While reference selling doesn’t always get you contact info in hand, it’s a valuable tactic for gaining new business. Your clients have friends, family, vendors, and many other people they contact. Though you may not be able to get these contacts for use in a traditional marketing list, you can still offer a reward to current clients who refer a new client.
Make sure existing clients know there’s an incentive and make it dead simple for them to refer to others. Most importantly, it would help if you were someone your clients would recommend without hesitation. If the quality of your services is top-notch, you won’t have much trouble.
Leverage Your Personal Network
Marketing often involves sending emails to the hundreds—even thousands—of people in the bulk list you’ve created. Try as you might, it’s tough to make emails personal when they go out to hundreds of people. Sometimes you need to use a personal touch to get leads. By staying active on networking sites like LinkedIn, you can create new connections and keep in touch with people you’ve known for years but may not have talked to in a while. This doesn’t mean you should be trying to pitch your services directly, but by keeping in touch and making new connections, you let people in your network know what you provide and, with luck, they’ll think of you when they or someone they know needs a hand with IT.
IT conferences, chamber of commerce events, meet-ups, and local trade groups can be a great way to network, get new contacts, and even toss back a few adult beverages. Best of all, it’s not just a chance to gain new leads, and it’s a great way to build new relationships, which are the foundation of any business. Check your local chamber’s site and sites like Meetup for events in your area and start going—there are tons of opportunities to be had.
Get To It!
When it comes to getting leads, the only big mistake (other than buying lists. Repeat: don’t buy lists!) is to let opportunities pass you by. Business is out there waiting. The next money-making lead you find could be the person sitting in a chair near you at a local event, browsing online for IT business tips, or even hanging out with a client you already have. Your best option? Throw a few poles in the water and start reeling them in.