1. Bring it to my attention.
This may sound like a no-brainer, but if you don’t start your week with a clear plan for when and how you will focus on getting new leads, you WILL get sidetracked by other things. It’s amazing how often we get caught up in making things, doing admin work, or doing other tasks that are easier for us. Start each week by putting some thought into how you will get new leads for that week.
2. Talk to my group.
Make it clear that everyone on your team has a role to play in selling and marketing. You are all in charge of coming up with new leads. Get your team invested in the goal of getting new clients. This can be done by giving great service, asking for upsells, or referring people to the business. Even when I only had a virtual assistant for a few hours a week, I made sure she was working on high-value tasks or taking care of all the low-value tasks so I could focus on bringing in clients.
3. Dedicate appropriate time.
When I first started my business, I spent 4 to 6 hours a day finding new leads. As you build your business, this changes and grows, but most people don’t spend enough time asking people to pay them money or buy their programs, products, or services. Set aside time on your calendar to work on lead generation, and divide it up by the high-value tasks you’ll do each day.
Hint: If you don’t know what the activities are, that’s your first problem, and you should be solving it right now.
4. Keep track of old leads.
I make a list of prospects I’ve talked to before every week. I follow up with them, check in, see where they are, and ask how I can help them. Every week, I make sales by following up with people on this list. When someone says “no,” they usually mean “no, not right now.” If you really want to help people, you should reach out and see how you can help them.
5. A follow-up system that is both high-touch and high-tech.
No matter how long you’ve been in business (a week or a month), you need a good CRM (customer relationship management) system in place. A CRM is a database of your contacts where you can keep track of how you’ve talked to them before and make tasks for what you need to do next with each lead.
You can automate follow-up steps like sending an email or a card in the mail, or you can set up tasks to remind you to call or email someone. This is the future: using the best technology and the best personal touches to create a seamless experience that shows potential customers you care. Find a free system or use a simple Excel spreadsheet if you are new to business.
6. Major lead trigger.
I plan to do at least one big thing to get a lead every month, along with other smaller things to reach clients. This means I want either one sponsorship, one webinar (with hundreds of attendees), one partnership (with someone who has a big list), one speaking gig (15–20 people), one telesummit interview, or one paid email blast. In short, there is one event that I know for sure will get highly qualified prospects to talk to me right away.
7. Multiple smaller lead triggers.
I make sure to add a number of smaller, ongoing outreach efforts to my main lead trigger. These include using LinkedIn, sending out emails, going to networking events, asking for referrals, selling more to current clients, and doing smaller partnerships and speaking gigs. The key is to stay consistent (and start automating) week after week. If you don’t, your income will go up and down a lot.
8. Make goals clear.
To reach my goals, I know exactly how many conversations I need to have each week. Every week, I look at these goals and my calendar to make sure I’m on the right track. This way, I’ll always know exactly where my business stands. I also know if I need to add more activities to my calendar that bring in more leads. Remember that taking action is the best way to get rid of fear.
9. No excuses.
When you first start, before you have a list, you have to do a bit more work. But this is the most exciting part! Because you can improve your message, figure out exactly what works for you, find the marketing techniques that will make up your overall strategy, and really connect with your ideal customers on a deep level. Too many people dislike this step and avoid it in the end because it forces them to face their fears. To get to the next level of business success, you need to talk through most of these things.
Even though it’s harder at first, you have to hold yourself to the same standard that a very successful person would: no excuses. If you need to have 3–5 conversations a week to reach your goal, you don’t stop until you’ve had those conversations. When you use this standard to measure your business and your life, you start to think of a lot of different ways to get new leads. You also start to see that leads are coming in from all sorts of places, even ones you weren’t working on directly!
If you don’t go the extra mile to get leads for your business, someone else will.
There are people out there who believe in what you want to do and will gladly send clients your way. It’s easy to make a referral program that people enjoy and that gets results quickly. Then, every week, get back in touch with your contacts and ask who they’d like to send you. Referrals are much more likely to turn into clients, and you start to build relationships with your partners that are both profitable and good for both of you.