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The Simple Route to Generating Sales Leads with Your Business Website

One thing all businesses have in common, large or small, is they all have to generate sales leads.

If you are not generating sales, well, you are not in business!

A lot of my customers come to me because they have had so much referral business over the years they have never really developed a functioning lead generation system. Now, when those referrals start to dry up, they turn to me to help them turn the flow back on.

I want to help you develop your sales flow before that happens to you, because there is not much joy in digging your well when you are already thirsty! :)

None of this is instant, push-button stuff. It’s hard and it takes time and energy. If that is not what you signed up for then sorry to disappoint you. The good news is because it is hard, a lot of people avoid doing what is necessary!

Turning on the Lead Flow

For the sake of this discussion, I will call a lead someone who is in the market for what you do and has given you permission to talk to them.

Remember this diagram from my previous article about getting people from your website into your physical business?

Sales Lead Flow

What we are talking about here is Attraction, Permission and Engagement – getting as many people who are a good fit for how you help people, to give you permission to talk to them and keeping them happy until they take action. That’s it in a nutshell, but don’t mistake simplicity for easiness.

Start by Being Helpful

OK, we pretty much know how that works. You are helpful in small ways and people ask how they can pay you for more help in big ways. How does that look in reality?

  • Robert is a business advisor so he has a free guide to (coincidentally) “Ending the Famine and Feast Cycle of Sales” – the people who go through his free guide give their permission for Robert to communicate with them, and a percentage of people become consulting clients. The real clever thing about what Robert does is he also generates sales leads by being super helpful on LinkedIn – of course the LinkedIn networking connection is the permission there initially, but it quickly moves to the telephone.
  • Cody is a Realtor in Calgary who has a great deal of expertise about Calgary communities and local “lifestyle” knowledge. How does he express that? By posting a handful of useful articles about Calgary every week. Like Robert above, he was already doing a great job before I started working with him to take his efforts to the next level – their helpfulness is a genuine part of their nature.
  • When I worked with Procter & Gamble as a marketing agency team member, one of our gigs was to generate leads for their fine fragrances products. Until we could communicate smells digitally, what we had to do was generate what is now called “Content Marketing” that attracted the key target customer and encouraged them to add their contact details to receive free smelly samples.

Overcome Objections

Before a prospect takes action they will evaluate if they really want to work with you or not, so you have to make it easy to see if they are a good fit.

Ikea has started developing videos showing how to assemble their furniture. While obviously attractive and useful content, the content also helps to dispel a key objection (“I don’t know if I could build this thing I want to buy”).

Another part of overcoming objections is proving that you can help people. Littered around my site you will see testimonials from happy customers. I would much rather have an actual customer talk about the experience of working with me versus a friend in the business give me an endorsement, but those kinds of testimonials serve a purpose too. The best proof is showing results rather than telling people how awesome you are.

Qualify Your Offer, Who You Help, and How

Don’t try to attract just anyone. Work to pull in the people you can best help. Other than Authority Blogger, there are many blogging products out there, so before anything else can happen I have to explain my course is for people with “advice based businesses” – people like consultants, financial advisors, coaches, speakers, authors, and so on. (I don’t teach people how to make money from adsense, and that kind of thing). While that obviously puts a lot of people off, it attracts the right people who I can help the most (and who can afford the program because one additional sale will more than pay for the entire cost of the training).

The webinars I run always have pre-sales questions such as “will this work for people like me?” and “who have you helped in the past”. Answer honestly, I would much rather turn someone away from buying (and I do, all the time) rather than have someone buy who is just not the right fit.

This means you have more fun because you only get people you can really help, and their testimonials and case studies further reinforce your proof :)

Promote!

After focusing your message on who you help, what you do for people, your proof, and who you don’t help, then you need more and more people to hear about you.

  • Network your niche – face to face is still a great way to have an accelerated relationship, but also use the online tools. Make sure everyone knows who you help and how.
  • Spread your content – share and encourage sharing – tell people why they should care rather than ask people to share just because.
  • Turn up anywhere your prospect hangs out – get in front of your audience where they already are and bring them home. That means guest posting. That means doing YouTube videos. That means public speaking (see networking), interviews, webinars.
  • Publish – Write for industry magazines and consumer magazines that your prospect reads. Writing a book is also a good way to generate leads … as long as you connect the dots for the reader between your book and contacting you. Amazon as a lead generator? Try it!
Connect your networking and publishing back to your website. People will want to look into your content, your story and your background before contacting you.

Bottom Line

See? I told you it was simple but not easy. Business is often that way … But this is really what you have to do.

Have I got it wrong? Doing these things but not getting leads?

Please share your experiences in the comments ….

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Comments

  1. Super simple Chris!

    It’s the work behind it, that takes time and patience.

    Your point about “Qualify Your Offer, Who You Help, and How”, is essential. We can’t help everyone and by stating who you can best help, will narrow your niche, but it will also set you up for great success with those you do help.

    Thank you – Theresa :)

    • Hi Chris,

      I agree with Theresa, its the time, patience, and, I would add, ongoing effort that is the “magic.” Simple.

      You are spot on … in my experience, being helpful is key in overcoming objections folks may have in working with me. Once they see me in action, they begin to trust what they see.

      What’s cool about the process you teach, Chris, is the relationships that are developed. Meaningful and lasting, they are truly worth the time, patience, and effort required to nurture them.

      Thanks for your contribution to the ongoing conversation in generating leads. Have a super week.

      TJ

      • It’s so much more fulfilling when you genuinely help people (regardless of for free or for pay). And it means you can look your family in the eye and sleep at night too :)

  2. Hi Chris

    That is so true, it is simple but as you say a “lot of people avoid doing what is necessary!”. You have to work on lead generation every day in order to keep the flow of leads constant.

    Being helpful has really helped me in my business. It helps me demonstrate my knowledge and build trust with people without trying to sell. The time I spend being helpful is always paid back many fold because when someone wants more specific help they’re keen to come back to the person who helped them for free.

    Thank you very much much for mentioning me in your post! I really appreciate it :-)

    Rob

  3. I’m blogging up a storm and someone told me to drop almost everything off the home page of my main biz website and just put a form with an offer to collect leads for coaching clients. But I’m still not bringing in much coaching business–and I’ve published an Amazon bestselling book in the last month and a half. So, I’m not doing something right. I do need to create a course, and I’m about to set my sights on that next. I’ll be reading a bunch of the earlier posts you wrote that are listed at the end of this one…

    • I did a couple of posts specifically about bringing in coaching leads, but a big factor is where you are getting your visitors from – traffic source is super critical when it comes to conversions. I found I got many more visitors from Problogger than Copyblogger but the latter convert much more often and are longer term customers. Nothing wrong with PB, just they are not my core target market – make sense?

  4. Totally agree! One of my goals is to create you tube videos on “how to’s”. If I could only find the time!!! great read!

  5. Hi Chris,
    Great post, I think a lot of companies write content because they have to. A great tip from Marcus Sheridan is to answer all the questions that your potential customers have and provide content around this. You mentioned about iKea overcoming objections. By answering all the questions that potential customers have you should cover off objections also!
    Great to meet you at blogworld and I enjoyed your book!

  6. I got scammed a few times when generating leads for my site, Worst part is i had to pay for the services. CPV and CPM marketing strategies really did not work. Now i think it;s the trust that you have to build with your reader to monetize your site.
    So Chris i agree with you it does take hard work to achieve online success. You my friend are worthy of my trust, thank you for your honesty.
    Frank Z.

  7. One thing I have come to realize is that before people become leads they first want to know whats in for them. Therefore, you have to be ready to give out something for free before your potential customer turn into buying customers.

    The best way to achieve that is by offering quality content. The more you are help and helping people in your niche address problems facing them, the more like you are to turn them into raving fans and eventually leads.