Six marketing techniques that will win you great sales leads

“Hello, would you like to buy something?”

Does that sound like a valid marketing method to you?

However, some small businesses think it’s OK to start off like that. They start a business and then immediately get down to convincing everyone that what they provide is the best in class and everyone should want it.

I remember seeing an episode of Dragon’s Den where a guy tried to convince everyone in the room that his invention was the best thing ever created.

It was some plastic device which you attached to your car to show how much space you should give cyclists.

It was terrible. But the guy who had invented it obviously thought it was amazing.

Everyone else in the room could see it was a terrible idea, and pretty much everyone who was watching thought it was, too. He was given a mauling on Twitter, but still, he continued.

What does this say about his marketing?

It pretty much proves that he’d done none, and that’s the problem. Many people don’t do any marketing or any research before they start their business, and they don’t seem to be able to connect with reality.

These are the businesses that fail.

So how do you make sure you’re not one of them?

Do your research

A businessman I knew had a “great” idea for a product.

His market research consisted of asking his friends and relatives at a party.

He launched the product, and a few months later, and 20K down, he closed the business.

It was a terrible idea.

The problem is, many people are trying to provide a solution to a problem nobody has, and that’s one of the biggest and most common mistakes in any industry.

If you’re starting a business and you want it to succeed (and who wouldn’t?) then your first step is surely to ensure you provide a service or product that people will want to buy.

You can do this is many ways, but simply asking friends isn’t one of them.

Sometimes it’s an issue you are having yourself, in fact, many Kickstarter campaigns are created this way. The inventor has to invent something to solve a problem they have, and they find other people are having the same issue.

An idea is born, plans are laid and then people are invited to invest.

Consider Guerrilla marketing

Limited budget? Want to be a bit different? Then maybe guerilla marketing is for you?

The technique was borne of the idea that to get noticed, you need to be different, and you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money.

This type of marketing can be particularly disruptive and powerful, and it often does well simply because it makes people look up and take notice.

For example, a local stationery supplies company made waves by placing a safe with a combination lock in the middle of a shopping centre with a note saying “got the combination?” above it.

This intrigued people.

They announced a clue on their Facebook page which, if decoded, would give the person clever enough to work it out, the code to the safe.

This stunt made its way to local TV and radio, and it got them lots of publicity.

So think – is there anything you could do that would get people talking but wouldn’t cost much?

Scarcity marketing

This is useful if you can market to people who might not need your product now, but maybe could in the future.

It essentially involves stating that your offer is for a limited time only, or that you only have a certain number of a product available.

Of course, you need to make sure that your product is indeed limited. If you then go on to sell millions then you’ve effectively duped your customers, and they won’t be happy.

However, if you can make a limited edition of a product or service and make it available for a limited time, then it can pique the interest of people who were on the fence about your product.

Viral marketing

In some cases, a good guerrilla campaign can lead to a great viral campaign.

Viral marketing is all the rage on the Internet, but unfortunately, there’s no real formula to explain why or how a campaign goes viral, they just tend to work or not.

But you can help it by again making your advert or promotion a little different to the rest.

You then need to spread the word, and that’s when it can go viral.

Of course, some things help to make it go viral, here’s a quick checklist:

  • It’s short and simple
  • It contains emotional content (babies, cats, puppies)
  • It has universal appeal (again, babies, cats, puppies)
  • It’s relatable

If you can target your potential customers well, you might find that your short video skit or advert gets in front of just the right amount of people who are willing to share it far and wide.

Referrals

Do you ever ask for referrals?

If you’re like many people, then you’re just too scared to.

That might sound harsh, but it’s so true of many companies. They simply fail to take advantage of their best assets, which are usually existing customers.

And it’s really not difficult.

Simply ask the question, “Hi Matt, you’ve been using us for a while now and I hope we’re doing a good job, do you know anyone else who might benefit from our services?”

Or if you have people on an email campaign, send them a link or even a coupon so they and their friends can get a discount off something.

Give something away for free

To some, this is a crazy idea, and yet some of the most successful businesses give tons of things away for absolutely no cost.

Usually it’s in the form of downloads and e-books, but nonetheless, they give lots of information away, and they don’t ask a penny for it.

The thing is, in this digital age, email addresses and contact details are worth something.

If you can get someone interested in a product of yours via a free version, then they’re more likely to sign up to a more advanced or better paid-for version.

Summary

Whatever type of marketing you attempt, you have to remember that in this world of full-on information overload, you’ll probably have to try a few times before it really hits home.

The type of marketing you eventually decide to pursue will be down to your resources and creativity, but it’s always worth trying a few different types to find the one you’re more comfortable with.

In the end, if you get your name out there, your customers are more likely to be receptive to your products.

 

Sales leads are only the start, you’ve still got to do the selling bit!

It doesn’t matter what your product or service, to make money from your skills; you need to be able to engage with someone who wants to buy them.

Of course, salespeople get a pretty rough time.

It’s hard for anyone to admit that they are one, but if you have your own business, or if you’re part of a larger organisation, at some point in your corporate life you’re going to have to step into a salesman’s shoes.

Sound hard?

You bet it is!

Here at Pay-Per-Lead, we can take away some of the initial pain by at least giving you the details of someone who is open to talking. But converting them into customers? That’s the bit you need to take control of yourself.

So, we thought we’d give you some pointers to make the process a little bit easier.

The difference between a cold and warm lead

You’ve no doubt heard of the term “cold calling.”

It’s been on the TV enough, and you’ve probably had someone phone you up to ask if you’ve ever claimed for PPI, or an accident you had, or even to change your mortgage.

These are cold calls, and they’re classed as such because the person on the other side of the phone doesn’t have a clue whether you need the service they have.

They’re calling you completely “cold,” in the hope that by calling enough people, at least a few of them might be receptive to whatever it is they’re selling.

As you can imagine, this is very difficult.

The person making the call has to have a particularly tough constitution to take all of the rejection they are likely to suffer, and boy, do they suffer.

In fact, when it comes to the role of sales, cold calling is often the bit that puts people off completely.

Warm leads are different.

If a prospect is “warm,” then they’re already open to talking.

They might not be a dead cert, but at least they’ve heard of your company, or you know they’re in the market for what you sell, or maybe have even enquired about your particular service.

The thing is, when you phone them up, a warm lead is more open to discussing what it is you have.

This also means that it’s a much easier job for the salesperson to convert this lead into a sale, and hopefully, avoid any difficult questions such as “who are you?” and “what are you doing calling me?”

Life’s easier with warm leads, but it’s still no guarantee that they will become your customer, so you need to work on them, and that’s what this post is about.

There now follows a list of techniques that have been proven to work for decades and have been taught by many sales companies.

If you thought that being in sales was about being a tough, rough, hard-as-nails negotiator, then prepare to be pleasantly surprised, things in the real world are far different!

Prepare for rejection by qualifying your lead

When you start a sales call or even a meeting, there’s often an expectation that the buyer and seller are going into battle.

As the seller, you arm yourself with a whole arsenal of information, slides, leaflets and your job is to make your service so attractive that the buyer will be chomping at the bit, ready to bite your hand off and buy everything you have.

But what if you turned the tables?

What if you firstly tried to ensure that you were the right “fit”?

Maybe, just maybe, if you started the conversation by telling the buyer that you wanted to check first that the two companies can work together?

Sound odd? It might do, but it works.

Some buyers are ready to buy. They’ve made their decision, and they are willing to open their chequebook.

That’s fine. Sold. Move on.

Others turn up looking for a fight.

Consider this conversation:

“So, tell me why I should buy your pens?”

With this question, the buyer is fully expecting you to say how good your pens are, probably explaining the grip, the feel, the type of ink, etc.

But if you reply with:

“I think we should find out if you even need any pens…”

Immediately you’ve passed the question back, and at this point, it’s up to them to explain to you why they need pens.

This is in stark contrast to most sales meetings.

At this point you’ve asked the prospect to qualify themselves, altering the mood completely, and if you do it well, it makes quite a difference.

It’s not about being combative, it’s about diffusing the situation and turning it more into a conversation, but it also helps you with the next tip…

Get them to tell you what they want

Very often a sales meeting begins with the prospect expecting you to “sell” and explain everything about your product.

This usually ends up with a boring PowerPoint presentation or endless flip boards of information, and if you’re lucky, some of it might hit home.

However, if you ask them what it is they’re after, you can hit those points specifically and accurately without having to guess.

The first thing to ask is why they think your solution would help them.

Seriously, that’s a great place to start.

Let’s take another example.

If you were selling car leases, you could ask your prospect to explain why they think yours would be better than anyone else’s. Of course, they could say “I’ve asked you that,” but you can simply counter with, “have you had a bad experience with others then?”

The thing is, you’re not trying to sell something the prospect doesn’t want. If you try to do that, you’re setting yourself up for objections.

Tell a story

People like stories.

If you can put the prospect inside a story, then they’re much more likely to agree with you.

This is why case studies work so well. They show a situation that people can associate with and understand because it’s real life.

So, if you’re describing how your product works, explain it with a story.

For example:

“Our product helps to increase sales by 20% while reducing on-line marketing costs by up to 25% through a series of customer-facing initiatives, self help and follow up.”

That’s a statement of sorts, but it doesn’t really help anyone understand what it is you’re on about. It’s not emotive, it’s just a statement, and it’s not necessarily true.

However…

“DHSmith, the High Street brand, increased sales in one month by 16% simply by using our card system. Customers could get the cards for free, and many of them filled out the easy on-line application to get a discount. You can go and get one yourself to see how it works. It reduced their marketing costs by 20% in the first two months, and their managers have now started rolling it out across other stores.”

Much better. Real world, real experience.

Let them speak

Have you ever been in a meeting and been annoyed when someone inturrupts you all the time?

Or when they finish your sentences or try to second guess what you’re saying?

Yeah.

Don’t do it.

Let the prospect speak. They need to do all the talking.

This is when the psychology of dating comes in useful.

When you’re out with someone you’re trying to impress, do you talk all the time, telling them about your amazing day, explaining what you do at work, or do you ask them to tell you about their interests?

If you want to get on, you need to be interested in people, so you need to listen.

Listening is one of the most important skills in any business, and by learning how to do it well, you can suddenly find your sales will rocket.

Get interested in people, and they will be interested in you.

Don’t try to force them down any particular route, don’t try to explain everything, in short, just be quiet and let them sell to themselves.

Summary

Hopefully, you can see a pattern in the above tips.

Being a sales person is about being a normal functioning human being, and not trying to step into the shoes of a silver-suited, slick salesperson with a deathly stare.

Selling is easy if the person you’re talking to learns about you, likes you and eventually trusts you.