Do you hate cold calling but need leads?
You’re not alone. IT’s rare to meet anyone that enjoys being cold-called. Yet, countless businesses continue to rely on it for lead generation. At best, you are starting off on the road to a very difficult sale. At worst, you’re pissing off a potential customer and branding your business as “one of those telemarketers.”
There are ways to increase leads and get cash flow rising without cold calling:
- Public Speaking
This is old school and underrated. When you speak in front of an audience, even if it’s only a handful of people, you are instantly positioned as an expert.
Most businesses and organizations are only happy to have you offer a free, educational talk with their members or employees. If you deliver a ton of actionable, informative content, and pass around a sign-up sheet, hand out promotional material, or better yet, ask for their business after the speech, you’ll find yourself with a steady influx of leads.
If you fear public speaking, either get over it (as a business owner you’re in a leadership position), or find someone in your company that thrives on the attention of performing for an audience.
Sell The Audience
You don’t want it to turn into one of those sleazy “free” speeches that do nothing but sell the audience the entire time. Speak, educate, and help your audience and they’ll be jumping to give you their business.
Also, this is a great way to spread the word about your brand. People love to tell their friends about the great info they learned during a presentation at the local library. They’re not so keen on telling them about the fascinating conversation they had with a cold-caller at dinner time.
- Internet Leads
If you’re new to marketing online, use paid ads to generate traffic to your site. IF you’re on a budget, use Facebooks ads, which are much more cost effective than Google.
Utilize SEO for the long-term battle. It won’t help much at first because it takes time for your site to be found by the search engines, but it is critical for long term lead-generation. In the meantime, take any budget you have and pour it into a good ad campaign that leads to a well-written landing page, not your homepage. The idea here is to take someone from Facebook or Google to your page and get their information so that you can sell to them. Or, to take them from ad to sales page. Sending traffic to your homepage is a good way to waste money.
The Comeback of Direct Mail
- Direct Mail
Direct mail is a bit like cold calling someone’s mailbox, but there’s a huge difference – direct mail pieces are not seen as invasive.
Junk mail is junk mail, great direct mail (DM) campaigns will at least get read.
This is best saved for when you have the budget to send test mailings and have a professional copywriter at your disposal. DM is competitive, and only the best pieces are effective. Wait until you have the budget, then unleash a DM campaign.
You can get creative by sending out “chunky” mailings (oversized packages, or mailings in bubble-mailers that have objects inside that would be relevant to your customer, i.e., if you are a marketing firm, sending a business a few one-sheets, a booklet breaking down where they’re going wrong online, and a pack of toy cavemen with the headline, Is Your Marketing Stuck in the Stone Age?)
Direct Mail Still Delivers
- Writing for Magazines, Newspapers, and Online
Let’s bookend public speaking with another guaranteed credibility builder and lead generator, writing.
Even today, the newspaper is still seen as a credible source of news and information. Online, anyone can publish anything as long as they have a computer. In print, articles go through editors before being published.
While readership for newspapers is down, almost ever paper now has an online companion, which is great because you get double exposure for one article.
Same with magazines. You don’t have to write for Forbes or Vogue to get noticed. Local magazines and newspapers can bring in a ton of leads.
The downside is that the shelf-life is short, but you need to be consistent in your writing efforts. Every publisher, online or off, is in dire need of content. Provide great content and they’ll publish your work. Inform first, promote second.
If you are up for the challenge, write advertorials.
Get Creative Rather Than Cold Calling
Get creative and turn customer testimonials, especially customers that have a compelling story, into human interest pieces. These are guaranteed to get your phone (and inbox) ringing because human interest stories involving a business show that:
- Your business helps people just like them
- You’re an expert
- You are a business made up of people, not a faceless corporation that will take their money and send them into customer-service hell hen there’s a problem
- You’re trustworthy – after all, their favorite newspaper/magazine/website published a story about you, so you have their endorsement