Running Out of Leads? 3 Lead Generation Secrets For Your Small Business

Lead generation can be expensive and kill a small business marketing campaign before it even gets of the ground. You can tie up vital dollars in buying lead generating mailing list compiled together by outside companies. You can pay employees to collect data from each customer that comes thorough your doors. Then with all this data you still have to buy stamps to mail ads or post cards. And with most states enacting the no call list how good is the telephone data.

But don’t despair your marketing strategy is still safe and at hand, because of a little thing called the net. Here are three lead generation ideas for your business:

1) Ask and ye shall receive. Do you like T Shirts? Well I sell T Shirts! And yes it is that simple. The new wave of social networking has made it possible to build connections with customers and then create a forum to ask them what they like and don’t like. You can even go deeper as to ask them what they like and don’t like about your company, service and or product. It seems that we are more likely to speak our mind through email or social networking post then we are face to face. This type of arena is very helpful in marketing your business.

2) Yelp for help. Customer service sites like yelp are making it possible to ease drop on your customers. Although we are more likely to say things on the net we would not say face to face does not mean your customers will say it on your site. Companies like Yelp encourage customers to come to their websites and lay at the good, the bad and the ugly of other companies. You may find it worth while to visit these sites to find customers that are satisfied with your company and reward them or find customers unsatisfied and try to make them happy again. Trolling these sites should defiantly be part of your market strategy.

3) Follow the lead to a lead. Even the old school marketing strategy consists of networking. You got to know your client and you had them bring in a friend or two and as a reward they received a gift. You can use your social networking fan base in the same way. Take your list of fans and then look at those that are connected to them. We all put way to much personal information on our profiles. A quick glance of your fans friend’s profiles will generate leads that you can use in marketing your business.

These are more lead generation ideas for your business out there; these are just my three favorites. A successful marketing strategy can be fun as well as effective. I enjoy logging on each day to see how much my fan base has grown and then searching out other possible connections through my connections. The growth of the internet will only simplify small business marketing more and more.

Small Businesses Turn Leads Into Sales by Responding Quickly

The key for a small business to turn leads into sales is speed. When people look for information, products, or solutions on the internet, they want instant gratification. If they have to wait for you to send back an email or wait for a phone call from you, you’ve probably already lost them. If they have to wait for you to send them something in the postal mail, you never had a shot anyway.

The first time that I realized just how critical this was, I had been in business for a few years, and my company was a preferred vendor for a training website. Every day, people would visit this website, and because it was so comprehensive, it was very difficult to navigate. As a result, a lot of people would just fill out the form on the website requesting whatever type of training that they were looking for. As soon as someone filled out the form, it automatically got posted on the secure side, so if you were one of these preferred businesses, you could login at any time and see what had been posted.

To help us all out, though, the owner of the website would send out a summary at the end of the day, so every evening about 8:00 PM or so, we’d all get an email with a list of all of the leads that came in that day.

I responded to hundreds of these leads without any turning any of those leads into sales. Then, one evening, there was a lead from someone wanting a public speaking class in Dallas. I thought, “Oh, I got this one.” And I responded to it. The next morning, I called the person and introduced myself, and she was the most cold and distant prospect I think I have ever talked to. She just said, “We’ve already chosen someone else,” and hung up. I was totally confused.

So I thought about what I should do to try and close some of these leads, and I figured that I really needed to know what everyone else was doing. I went onto the site and created a posting of my own. It was about 10:30 AM, and I put into the posting that I would only accept email proposals.

By 11:00 AM, I had already received three proposals. The first was just a generic email with a HUGE attachment that took quite a while to download. It was about 20 MB of brochures in eight separate attachments that I never really went through. The second was just a simple email saying, “If you still need help, call me.” (Okay it was a little more involved than that, but not much.) The third, though, was a beautiful, professional looking proposal. After glancing at it, I had pretty much decided that if I had really been buying a public speaking class, I would have hired that company.

By 3:00 PM, I had about 25 proposals.

By 6:30 PM, I had received almost 50 proposals.

By 8:00 PM, the time that I was typically receiving the summary email from the website, I had received over 72 proposals.

The next morning when I woke up, I had received 143 proposals. After the first 20 or so, I didn’t look at any of them – not even out of curiosity.

When new proposals kept coming in the morning (less than 24 hours since I posted the listing,) they just ticked me off. I was thinking, “What a loser! You’re number 150 on the list.” But remember, that less than 24 hours prior, I was consistently number 73 or 74 on these lists every single time. (I was the late guy that was ticking everyone off.)

I met with my team that day to share what I found out. We made a commitment to be the first to respond to every request. We only had six people working for the company, but we decided to assign one person every day just to wait for the phone to ring, one person just to wait for individual email leads to come in, and another just to wait for corporate contract requests to come in.

Our goal was to call any email inquiry back in less than five minutes. The most common comment that we started getting when we made those phone calls was, “Wow! I just hit send. You guys are really fast.”

That year we went from a small half-million dollar company to almost one and a half million dollars in sales. The next year we doubled sales again. The only thing that really changed was the speed at which we were following up with potential clients.

Typical Web Surfer

Typical web surfers will usually do something like this. They have a question and quickly do a Google search. They will scan the first page that pops up looking for a listing summary that most closely relates to what they are looking for. If they find one, they will click the link to see if an answer can be found.

Not finding the answer right away, they might fill out a web form requesting additional information.

Then they will go back to Google and look at the next listing. This one has an FAQ page, and they read a few of them and feel comfortable enough to fill out another form to get a second opinion.

Then they will go back to Google and look one more time. This time, the website has a blog with dozens of helpful articles and a few videos that look really nice. They now pick up the phone and end up getting a voicemail.

They might look at a few more listings, but most will not likely to fill out any more forms. No one wants to be bombarded with spam from a lot of websites, so they will probably be cautious about filling out more forms. They will probably only call additional listings from here on out and only if the website is very compelling.

So here is the big question…

Who is most likely to get the business?

If the owner of the third website had answered the phone instead of having the call go over to voicemail, then that person would have had a tremendous advantage over the other two companies. In fact, if the person replies to the voicemail right away, that owner still has an advantage.

In reality, the person who makes contact with the prospect first and builds rapport with the prospect is always in the driver’s seat.

However, if you respond to the email the next day, the person will answer the phone saying, “Huh? Who are you again?” The web surfer typically forgets entirely that he/she requested the information in the first place within 24 hours or less.

If the person gets a brochure in the mail a week after sending the email, well… you get the picture.

Speed is your friend in online sales. If you can’t personally follow up on the requests, then hire someone. If you can’t hire someone, then at least invest in a good email follow up system.

Don’t make your good prospects wait for you.

Move quickly. Move nimbly. And make a ton of people happy and a ton of money in the process!

10 Pay Per Click Marketing Crimes That Prevents Small Business From Making $500k a Year – Guilty?

Number 10: Spending Money On PPC Before You Know It’s Going to Work For You

Have you ever noticed that a business owner will spend tons of money on Google Pay Per Click Advertising and find out later that this does not work?

Of course you have.

I know business owners who have spent more than $6,500 and never made a dime back.

Using one free tool on the internet will help you figure out your chances of your business making money online with your ad.

Don’t miss this critical first step.

Number 9: Not Enough Visitors To See Your PPC Ads

You paid for PPC ads.

What do you mean I am not getting enough visitors to see the ad? That’s Google’s job right?

Wrong…

…Google allocates eyeballs and qualified customers to you once you follow specific criteria.

End result…Fewer people see your ads…fewer take action…failed marketing campaign.

Number 8: Your Ad Is All About You

Which message do you think is better?

Please call me today as I have been in business for 30 years and am the best red lorry salesman. Call me at 911.911.911

Or

Imagine driving in your red lorry and keeping your family safe from accidents. Click on this link to
download my free guide today that reveals the secrets to buying a red lorry.

Do you have the wrong message? This will kill your campaign and in time empty your bank account.

Number 7: Spending More Money on PPC Ad Costs Than Earning In Sales

This sounds pretty obvious right.

But so often we will take care and measure our sales and bank account but for some reason small
business owners don’t test, track and monitor their PPC marketing results.

And it is not your fault. This could be seen as complicated at times.

The key is to measure your control ad, your click through rate and your cost per click and a few more areas.

Without this, you could be out of pocket.

Number 6: Picking the Wrong Keywords for Your Business

The keyword is the equivalent of the sign on your door. It is how your customers find you and determine what is relevant to you.

Imagine your customer searching for a red lorry and your ad says purple cows.

What is the chance of them ever finding you?

Using the right tools to find the keyword generally helps your maximize your profits.

Number 5: Getting Slapped By Google

This sounds strange. You can actually get slapped.

And when you do, Google charges you more for your keywords than other advertisers.

And most marketers call this the “Google slap”.

There are specific ways to match your ad to your web page to avoid the slap.

Play fair with Google.

Number 4: Advertising To The Wrong Market

If you are a local business why would you advertise to a National Audience? If you do, then you are just wasting your money.

Alternatively, if you are a National business, you advertise only in a few cities and never understand why your competitor is building a larger market share with the same type of ad.

Number 3: Not Having A Duplicate Credit Card On File

And if you don’t pay the bills, chances are you may get locked out till you make good on your card.

And the worst part, you don’t set the right daily budget and you suddenly find yourself owing tens of thousands of dollars.

Having a duplicate credit card means you are always on and capture every lead you can. It is all about building the momentum.

Number 2: No Follow Up

The tragedy…

…Not following up with the lead or selling one product or service.

There is no leverage to earn future income for this lead. You spent good money and efforts for the PPC lead and lose them once they buy from you.

Your success to achieving a $500,000 payday is largely dependent on your relationship with your list.

Number 1: Not Getting Help

This is the biggest mistake of them all.

This is the mistake that keeps most small business owners from ever having the kind of success with
earning more than $500,000 a year using PPC marketing.

I know that most small business owners don’t like to make themselves look weak or helpless, or have some preconceived ideas about PPC marketing.

It can seem confusing. Why spend all the time figuring out what works when you can talk to the right person and get answers in seconds.

You have a choice. You can go out and try every marketing method and flounder about or you can turn Google into your personal sales force.

We don’t like to ask for help. I’ve been there myself.

Number 3: Not Having A Duplicate Credit Card On File

And if you don’t pay the bills, chances are you may get locked out till you make good on your card.

And the worst part, you don’t set the right daily budget and you suddenly find yourself owing tens of thousands of dollars.

Having a duplicate credit card means you are always on and capture every lead you can. It is all about building the momentum.

Number 2: No Follow Up

The tragedy…

…Not following up with the lead or selling one product or service.

There is no leverage to earn future income for this lead. You spent good money and efforts for the PPC lead and lose them once they buy from you.

Your success to achieving a $500,000 payday is largely dependent on your relationship with your list.

Number 1: Not Getting Help

This is the biggest mistake of them all.

This is the mistake that keeps most small business owners from ever having the kind of success with earning more than $500,000 a year using PPC marketing.

I know that most small business owners don’t like to make themselves look weak or helpless, or have some preconceived ideas about PPC marketing.

It can seem confusing. Why spend all the time figuring out what works when you can talk to the right person and get answers in seconds.

You have a choice. You can go out and try every marketing method and flounder about or you can turn Google into your personal sales force.

We don’t like to ask for help. I’ve been there myself.

Small Business Internet Marketing and Local Business Online Advertising

Small Business Internet Marketing Local Business Advertising Online How to start small business internet marketing and local business advertising online is a question that many small and medium sized businesses are pondering as more and more consumers disregard Yellow Pages books and other forms of traditional print media and move online to find what they are looking for.

The Internet is dramatically changing the way we do business and all the major companies are dominating online advertising leaving small and medium sized businesses in dire need of an Internet advertising solution for connecting and interacting with local consumers who are moving online in record numbers.

Many businesses who have created an online presence for themselves are quickly realizing that a pretty looking website does not equate to being found among the millions of websites online. Add to that the cost of dealing with designers and developers, and many businesses have no hope of competing in today’s Internet savvy communities.

One effective way is to utilize some of the many article and press release directories available online to announce your arrival into the online community. Providing concise informative information is the key here. It is not about flogging off your business products but about providing solutions to consumer problems.

Think about what solution your product or service can provide and write an article about that, not about your product, but what solution it can provide. Save the product details for the author’s resources box.

Another way small and medium businesses are trying to compete is through pay-per-click (PPC) programs like Google Adwords. Unfortunately most of the high target keywords and search terms have been become highly competitive and are generally cornered by major companies with large advertising budgets. And, to add fuel to the fire, there are now real concerns about click fraud.

Is Click Fraud and PPC Advertising a Problem?

According to Click Forensics, the overall industry average click fraud rate was 17.1% in the 4th quarter of 2008, up from 16.0% in the 3rd quarter of 2008. The problem, which is not new, is companies get paid based on how many times users click on online ads. Fraudsters develop computer programs that simulate user clicks to drive up traffic, and artificially inflating revenue. -Source: Peak Solutions/SEO Since 1999

What this means is if you and I are real estate agents and I find out you are advertising on a pay-per-click search engine, I will get up at 6am and start clicking on your ad until I use up your daily budget to stop the ad from appearing on the search engine for the rest of the day to improve the promotion of my ad on the same search engine.

What About Organic Search Optimization?

The most effective form of search engine marketing is organic search engine optimization or SEO as it is more commonly known. Internet keyword search studies confirm that keyword searchers prefer the organic search listings 6 to 1 to the pay-per-click sponsored ads found at the top of the pages above or to the side the organic searches. But SEO is a whole other story.

What About Geo-Targeted Advertising?

However, new small business Internet marketing technologies and strategies are opening the way for small and medium sized businesses to succeed in their business advertising online and compete in this lucrative online marketplace. One of these strategies’ is geo-targeted advertising which is driving online shoppers back into local stores and into using local business services.

It works by identifying the online shopper, gamer or surfer’s IP address and pushing out advertisements for local businesses onto those websites. These ads can be seen popping up everywhere from major search engine pages and gaming sites to the ever popular social networking sites like YouTube, Facebook, MySpace and other high traffic sites like eBay.

So it’s not surprising that local has become one of the hottest words in advertising. Attracted by the enormous growth opportunities, everyone, including the world’s largest technology, search and media companies, is gravitating toward local business advertising.

Smart business operators are laser-targeting their advertising campaigns by selecting zip/postcodes suited to their business needs. This means their ads only show up on websites when and where potential customers from their designated areas are online.

When the consumer clicks on an ad they are directed to, in many cases, a mini-website complete with text links, images, videos, discount coupons, and even interactive driving instructions. Never before have small and medium sized business owners had such real time control of their online branding features combined with a powerful local advertising presence.

To top this off, many sites are providing these small business internet marketing ads with no hosting, design or set-up fees and, no contracts terms. Is this the online solution small and medium sized businesses have been looking for to accelerate their business advertising online?

Couple this with effective business opportunity lead generator and prospecting systems and video response marketing solutions and you have the complete small business internet marketing package.