People have only so much attention to give. But there’s so much content and information available in our digital world, businesses are constantly battling to catch the eyes and ears of potential customers. Some call this the “Attention Economy,” meaning that attention is a precious resource that drives markets. You might think of it as a “Customer Economy,” since ultimately your goal is to win customers and their business.
The news source also explains that you should never ask if consumers are available to talk. This question gives leads the perfect escape route from the call – they can simply say no and hang up the phone. Only use direct statements and don’t ask questions until the conversation is flowing naturally and you’re confident that the prospect is interested in hearing additional information.
Cold calling is one of the best techniques you can use for lead generation marketing. Unlike other advertising strategies, this option puts you into direct contact with consumers. Stephan Schiffman, author of “Cold Calling Techniques: That Really Work,” believes that cold calling is especially important given how frugal most consumers have become over the last few years.
Free sales leads are not that hard to find at all but you do need to do some work in order to be able to turn them into cold call lists. In this article I will show you some of the main resources professional sales people and lead generation organizations use in creating lists of companies to cold call. As you will see, most of the information you need to get started making cold calls is right at your fingertips!
What is wrong with just going through the phonebook in order to get free sales leads? It is a surprisingly simple idea and is not only free but also effective. Trying going to WhitePages.com and typing in your city and the kind of company you are looking to target to see what kind of results you get. This is the same as just picking up you copy of the YellowPages or WhitePages and going through it.
Salespeople and marketers like to talk about the funnel. The funnel is a way of describing all of your business’ potential customers, and how some of them will evolve into actual customers. The top of the funnel (TOFU) is full of leads — potential customers, most of whom are just trying to find solutions to the problems they’re experiencing but who may not be ready to purchase right away. The goal is to help guide as many of those leads as possible through the middle of the funnel (MOFU), where there is more interest in your product or business, to the bottom of the funnel (BOFU), where fewer people remain, but they’re the ones who are ready to do business.
Sales pipelines are only as good as the leads you put into them. Fill your pipeline with quality leads, and it’ll reflect a sales team that’s actively closing deals and generating revenue. Fill the pipe with unqualified leads, and it’ll show sales reps working hard with not much to show for it because the leads are actually nowhere near ready to buy.
The aspects of your lead gen campaign should mirror everything else on your website, on your blog, and within the product that you will eventually try to sell. If not, you’ll have a difficult time getting your lead to the next lifecycle stage. Your campaign should be about more than just obtaining an email address — it should be about developing a new customer.
Beyond introductions and agendas, the success of a conference call will largely depend upon the structure and purpose of the meeting, and your ability to manage the flow. Without the benefit of visual clues, such as the raised eyebrow, folded arms, rolling eyes, or the occasional exaggerated toss of a pen, a leader must rely on other indicators to keep a conference call moving along the right path.
By definition, there’s less room at the bottom of the funnel than at the top, so manage your leads wisely to ensure that only active, qualified sales leads make it to the bottom and into the pipeline. Otherwise you’re going to flood your sales pipe with leads that aren’t actually ready to buy. They’ll sit still and clog the pipeline, taking up time your sales reps should be spending working active deals.
With the new buyer it is important to note that your marketing efforts don’t end once a new lead comes into your system – what we call Top of the Funnel (TOFU) marketing. Many companies do a good job at generating leads, but the problem is that most new leads are not ready to buy yet. And if a sales rep does engage and the lead isn’t ready to talk with them, it reinforces the notion that marketing sourced leads are not great. As a result leads get lost, ignored, or snatched up by your competitors.
The increasing popularity of social channels has directly attributed to information abundance. Through social networks, buyers have been able to research and learn about products and services through influencers and peers. Additionally, a profound shift has taken place within social media channels. Although social is still important for branding and generating buzz, lead generation is becoming more and more important. By tapping into all the social media channels, from Facebook and Twitter to LinkedIn and Google+, you can be where your customers are and create that trust.
As you prepare to plan and lead your conference call, be mindful of the impact that physical location can have upon call dynamics. For example, if all participants in the call are remote, then as the leader, you are just another link in the call chain. In this configuration, all participants are on equal footing, and you can employ one set of call management techniques. However, project and logistical circumstances may dictate a different call configuration. As a call leader, you may find yourself in the challenging position of having some participants in the same location as you, while other participants are in various remote locations, tied in via phone. The leader is the cog in the meeting wheel. The remote participants are the spokes.
The self-directed buyer’s shields are up, and they are ignoring your messages. Developing a relationship to cut through the noise is critical. Not all leads that go to sales are ready to buy, so you have to make sure that you have in place a solid lead nurturing strategy to continue to build awareness and affinity for your brand while your prospect is self-educating. Through paying attention to your MOFU efforts through tactics such as lead nurturing, you can continue to have a relevant conversation with prospects long after your lead generation efforts.
If you are looking for a list of free sales leads who are already interested in your company, product or service then that is not likely to happen, unfortunately. The reason for this is that unless you – or someone else – has actively marketed your message, how can you suppose that there are people out there that are going to be automatically interested in what you have to say? The closest you can come is by defining who your ideal customer is and then going after those kinds of companies.