Getting new customers requires getting new leads. And, getting new leads requires effective lead generation. Getting new leads can take long periods of trial and error before the right leads are found and the ineffective methods are cast aside. However, by understanding the most effective techniques, you can avoid that costly trial-and-error period.
Building Your Customer Base
The goal of all lead generation is to create a larger base of customers. With the enormous number of options out there, building that base in today’s marketplace is tough, but it is possible to create a stream of customers that keeps growing. Building new streams is equally important, and this is done by having multiple ways to drive customers to you. But no matter how you first attract those customers, it’s necessary to build a sales funnel that will draw them in and then get them to complete actual sales with your company.
Choosing Your Customers
Casting a wide net to bring in customers is rarely wise. The crowded marketplace and multitude of customer types makes it necessary to choose the types of customers that you’re seeking. This prevents you from spending your time and money to win customers that likely will never buy, or if they do, won’t be loyal to your brand.
Buyer personas are an effective way to create a fictionalized customer persona that is easy to understand. You can then market to this persona. While there are endless theories about persona types and how to create them, one of the best ways to proceed is to simply think about some of the people who have bought from you. What did they seem like? How old were they? Were they well heeled or of more modest means? Where were they in their lives? When you have one or more personas together, you can find the marketing methods that will best bring you leads from those demographics.
The Sales Funnel
Once you find your leads, you can narrow them down to find the ones who are most likely to become customers. Those who have initially expressed an interest in doing business with you are sometimes called the hand raisers. They have made themselves known to you, but they are still at the top of the funnel. To get them to move through it, they need more marketing to make them receptive to your message.
Those who are more motivated and have expressed some interest in buying from you are sales qualified leads. These leads are the ones who have done things like place items in an online cart or make an appointment for a consultation. They are on the edge of buying, and they only need that one last push to make them do it. For these potential customers, giving them a highly positive customer experience is often what calls them to buy and keeps them loyal to your brand.
Marketing to people who are close to your buyer persona and bringing them along the sales funnel is an effective way to keep leads coming in and to make the most of the ones you get. With leads streaming in, you can keep growing and expanding.