A common trend in small businesses is to go out and search for leads only when you need to. When you are quiet you go in search of prospects, but when the contracts come in you stop sourcing leads because you spend your time servicing the clients. The problem with this approach is that it tends to be feast or famine. You are either desperately busy or desperately busy looking for new business because you have bills to pay.
I’d like to suggest a more consistent approach. Even when you are busy, it is still important to generate leads. The reason for this is that leads are what will bring you future business. You don’t walk looking down at your feet, focusing where you put each step. Instead you look up to where you want to go. The same principle applies to shopping for leads for your business. You need to be looking ahead, even while you are involved in your day-to-day operations.
Now I know as entrepreneurs you are busy. You are probably asking how you are supposed to find the time to consistently source new leads. This is where technology comes in handy. By putting systems in place, which can be largely automated, you can ensure that you are following up on every response you get and are working consistently at developing your client list.
What systems can you use?
- AWeber is a mailing system that I use for my auto responders. I have a series of messages that get sent out to anyone that responds to my offers and adverts. I have found them to be very good. The nice thing is that people that sign up must confirm their subscription. This ensures that the people you are keeping in touch with are genuinely interested in what you have to offer. In this way the system helps you create a warm lead list.
- Constant Contact is a popular mass mailing system. If you already have a mailing list, you can simply plug-in and start sending emails. It’s very easy to use. They have email templates available to help you design your mail campaign. You can also easily manage, track and pull up reports on your mailing campaign at any stage.
- 1ShoppingCart is another example of a mailing system that you can use to generate and follow up with leads. The great thing about this system is that you can segment your lists. So if you are targeting one specific group of clients or have a promotion you want to send to only select people, this is easy to manage. You can also track your campaigns, see your response levels and draw up reports.
- If you are doing a lot of offline work you can still use customer relationship management systems to help stay on top of your management process. You can outsource this and then schedule to run the system once a week. In this way you can see where your different prospects are in the buying process.
With automated systems you can still generate leads and follow up on responses, even when you are busy. You don’t have to be physically calling customers on the phone or making appointments to see people. You can simply keep in touch via email, consistently providing people with useful information that will lead them to buy from you.
About The Author:
Melina Abbott helps small business owners get new customers and more sales. You can download her popular free bulletin – How to Attract New Customers in 7 Easy Steps – at http://www.businessbyresults.com/free-marketing-resource/