The dream of any business owner is to make enough sales, to generate massive profit. Online, you can’t reach that goal without knowing what lead generation is.
Although you may not be the one generating leads for your business, lead generation is something every business owner should know. Unless you want to leave the success of your business to chance.
In this article you will find all you need to know about lead generation, why it’s important, the benefits and how you can start getting leads for your business.
What is Lead Generation?
First off, a lead is someone who is interested in what you sell, someone who can benefit from what you offer whether products or services.
Leads are the people who are likely to buy from you, the people who truly need your goods or services and can afford them. (Emphasis on “need” and “can afford”)
Let’s look at an example.
Say you are an iPhone retailer.
Who are your leads?
Consider this. Generally most adults need a smartphone in today’s world. But iphones are not the only smartphones and not every adult is a good lead for your iphone retail business because;
- iphones are expensive
- Sophisticated for some people
- Don’t support some apps that are found in play store
- Costly to maintain
The leads for you, an iPhone retailer are people who have a substantial income that can afford it, people who see the camera as one of the most important things in a smartphone, people who value the high status that iphone signals.
You see where I’m going with this right?
Once you know your business, your products and services well enough, you would know who your leads are, then you can focus on attracting those people, and not waste your time, effort and resources trying to sell to everybody, even those who will never and can never buy from you.
Lead Generation is a way of bringing qualified leads close to your business so that over time you can convince them to make the big decision of buying from you.
See buying is not an easy decision. There are many psychological battles going on in your customer’s mind.
People are thinking
- Who is this person?
- Can I trust him/her?
- Why should I buy from her?
- Is this the best value I can get?
- Do I really need this?
- Why don’t I spend this money on some pizza?
- If this product is so good why haven’t I or my friends heard about it?
- What do other people think?
The list is endless.
You can’t break all those thoughts by only posting pictures of your product/service. Don’t expect people who see your products to magically love it and throw their cash on you.
Let me tell you this secret for free.
“People don’t just buy things because they think it’s the best deal for them. They buy from who they know, like and trust”.
Buying has more to do with feelings than rational thinking.
According to the “rule of 7“, a person needs to see your marketing message an average of 7 times before buying from you.
If you don’t generate leads, that will never happen (unless you spend a huge chunk of money on advertising).
3 Types of Leads.
Leads are classified into cold, warm and hot based on whether or not they’re aware of their problems and how your business can solve those problems.
1. Cold Leads.
These are the people that have never heard about you. They might not even know about their problem well enough.
They have all the characteristics of your ideal customer but they can’t buy from you no matter how much value you promise them.
You need to first build a relationship with them, let them see you, hear about you and how you can meet their needs
2. Warm leads.
They have heard about you or come in contact with your business at some point. They know their problems well and are eager to solve them. But they’re not sure they can trust you.
They are weighing their options. These people can buy from you with a little convincing, a promo or any other incentive.
3. Hot leads.
Having hot leads is the dream of every business owner. They are eager to buy from you because they know your value, they love you and trust you to provide the best solutions.
They are clear about their problems or desires and are desperate to have their needs met.
These are the people that can borrow to buy from you. They are the people that save for months to do business with you.
They most likely have gotten something of value from you and can’t wait to see all what you have in store for them.
Why is Lead Generation Important?
I’m sure you can sense the importance of lead generation already.
1. It focuses your marketing message.
Since you know your ideal customers and how best to speak to them based on their familiarity with your business, your marketing becomes more effective.
2. It ensures continuous sales.
As stated earlier, the buying decision doesn’t happen in an instant. It can take 6 months to a year for someone to buy from you.
But if you’re generating leads consistently, sales will come in consistently too. Because as others are getting closer to making the buying decision, more people are starting on their journey towards that final destination of buying from you.
One fatal mistake small business owners make is, they don’t generate leads. They sell to people who have no idea who they are.
3. It helps you build a lasting business/brand.
According to Business Day Nigeria, about 80% of businesses in Africa don’t survive beyond 5 years. In the US, about 20% of businesses close within their first year of establishment.
We can list a handful of reasons why, but one thing is certain. A profitable business wouldn’t close down so soon.
When you’re making massive sales, generating profit day after day, year after year, your business stands the test of time.
A customer you took from a cold unaware lead to a hot ready-to-buy lead is more likely to stick with you if you give them great value for their money.
Not only will they buy once, they will feel like they made a rational decision and that you’re the best choice there is.
Benefits of Lead Generation.
Some benefits are;
- Predictable sales:- Less reliance on luck.
- Consistent sales
- Save time and resources:- your message is targeted.
- Manage objections perfectly
- Convince the right people you’re the best fit for them
When you understand lead generation and buyer’s levels of awareness your business will rise to a new dimension.
You’ll be playing in your own league and your competitors will wonder how.
How to Generate Leads for Your Business.
There are different ways to go about this. However, for any lead generation system to work, 3 things are needed.
- Traffic source
- Lead magnet
- Communication channel
Don’t fret, it’s easier than it sounds. Let’s break it down.
1. Traffic source
Traffic simply means people. You need to find a place where you can speak to a large audience. The more the people, the more likely that some of them will be interested in your business.
Some traffic sources include.
- The Internet. Using your blog to speak to a large audience.
- Social media platforms:- Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
- Forums:- Quora, Reddit
- Paid advertising
- Communities:- WhatsApp group chats, Telegram groups, Discord servers.
2. Lead magnet.
Earlier I explained who a lead is.
A lead magnet is something you use to attract a lead. You lure them to give you their contact (phone number and/or email).
It’s like fish bait. You offer something your ideal customers can’t refuse free of charge.
For example, say you sell hair and you’ve observed that people struggle with hair maintenance.
You can create a 10-minute video giving easy to digest tips on how to maintain hair.
You might think people already know this or that they can just google it.
But people don’t read as much as you think they do (it’s sad, but it’s true).
They might not even use your lead magnet. Only a few will learn from your lead magnet and out of that few only a few will use the knowledge shared.
So make your lead magnet as valuable and as irresistible as possible.
Once you show people that you know their pains and desires, and that you can solve their problems from them, buying from you becomes easy.
Also, those who benefit from your lead magnet will appreciate you. It adds to your credibility and authority.
3. Communication Channel.
People giving you their contact (email or phone number) in exchange for your lead magnet means they are granting you permission to talk to them.
That’s all lead generation is, getting permission to convince your ideal prospects to buy your products/services.
People want to be convinced. But first you need their permission.
The best channel of communication will depend on your target audience. You must know your target audience and their preferred mode of communication.
Some channels include;
- Facebook groups
- Telegram group/channel
- Quora spaces
- Discord servers
After getting leads from a traffic source and attracting them to your communication channel using your lead magnet, you can start nurturing them, turning them from cold leads who know nothing about you to hot leads who are eager to buy from you.
One mistake small business owners make is that they try to sell to their traffic source. To people who don’t need what they offer, who know nothing about them.
If you get the 3 processes above right you’ll never have to worry about sales again.
Conclusion – Master Lead Generation to grow your business.
Pause for a moment and think about the process you go through before buying anything online.
Think about how you behave.
Except you were referred by someone you trust, you typically go through the lead generation process.
You never buy things as a cold lead.
Imagine scrolling on Instagram and then some random brand shows up telling you they offer the best clothes in the market. You’ve never seen or heard anything about them. I’m sure you won’t buy from them no matter how good the offer is.
But if they manage to pique your interest, you’d visit their page/website.
That’s it. You now have everything you need to start generating leads and making consistent sales.
You are welcome.
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