Daniel Duckworth
  • Daniel Duckworth
  • Sales 101

3 Unusual Ways to Get More Sales Leads

We already know that it is much easier to get sales from existing customers — 80 percent of revenue will come from 20 percent of your clients. However at certain points of business growth, it’s important to gain new clients. Instead of talking about how to best write a proposal or close a sale, I’m going to talk about the step that comes first, lead generation.

Design Quotes AustraliaBefore I begin, I want to explain some of the language so we are all on the same page:

  • Prospect: Broadly interested in your service (e.g. a business owner or consumer), but not yet contacted

  • Lead: A prospect that meets your criteria (e.g. a business owner that needs a website)

  • Qualified Lead: A lead that has shown clear interest in you or your services

  • Opportunity: A lead that has requested more information or a proposal

1. LinkedIn Group Invitations to Generate Qualified Leads

think outside the boxLinkedIn groups are brilliant for business-to-business lead generation. With this technique, you can invite prospects to join a group you own. If they join the group, they immediately convert into a qualified lead.

Here is how it works:

  1. Create a LinkedIn group with a name like “Join now if you need a better website.”

  2. Create a nice profile and hero image for the group that reflects the service or product you want to promote.

  3. Join an industry or business related group for your own country.

  4. Go to the list of members for the group you joined (as a member of the same group, of you are allowed to message other members even without a premium account.)

  5. Send a friendly message (see my example below) asking the person to join your group.

  6. When the person clicks your link, they will see the title “Join now if you need a better website”.

  7. Anyone who joins is now a qualified sales lead that has some interest in web design services.

Once people have joined your group you can begin contacting them directly. However I suggest providing value before trying to sell. For example, produce a free website audit report.

It’s also a good idea to provide useful updates to the group which relate to your service so that members are reminded you exist and that you are an expert.

Example Invitation

RE: LinkedIn Group

Hi [name], I see that we are both in the [group name] group. I noticed that many members of our group are also in the Business Owners group and thought you might appreciate a pre-approved invite.

Final Thoughts

Once you have the process down pat, 20 minutes a day is more than enough. I found that about 1 in 10 invitation results in someone joining the group. Keep track of the people you have contacted so you don’t send the same message to the same person twice.

Make sure the groups that you are joining are relevant and have members that have a good chance of being a business owner and a decision maker.

2. Use AdWords Traffic for Opt-in Downloads with Auto-responders

Most of the time people buy AdWords traffic and send it to a landing page advertising their services. However we found that when we offered a useful report or template our conversion rate jumped from 15 to more than 30 percent.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Choose a relatively less competitive keyword group like “website audit” or “SEO audit”.

  2. Create a free “12 Point Website Success Checklist” PDF.

  3. Create a nice landing page that focuses on the benefits of the checklist and which requires an email opt-in (email only will convert higher, phone and email will give you more ways to engage with the lead)

  4. Add subscribers to an auto-responder series in which a weekly email provides tips on improving their website.

  5. Create a compelling ad and send traffic to the landing page

  6. Generate leads and follow up with an offer at the end of the auto-responder series

An example of this in practice is our web design brief template, and here is the ad we ran along with its performance in AdWords.

Click-through rate: 7.08%

Average Cost per customer: $2.20

Conversion rate: 31.5%

Final Thoughts

It’s important to create something that aligns with a prospect during the research stage of the buying cycle. A web design brief is a good example since it suggests that a client wants to create a brief in preparation for hiring a web designer.

3. Combine a List Post with an Opt-in Download

List posts are very popular, especially if you find the right topic that interests your target audience. For example I wrote a post that analyzed the SEO value of the Australian business directories. It’s a very detailed list post that provides a bit of SEO analysis and ranks each directory according to their SEO value.

The post was very successful getting around 800 unique visits per month. The key to taking advantage of this traffic was to provide an opt-in download that matched the problem the reader wanted to solve. In this case, it was about getting links for increased SEO rankings. So we collated a list of link targets into a spreadsheet and offered this as an opt-in download.

How did it do? At it’s peak, it generated five leads per day.

The key is to follow up with those opt-ins, continue to provide value and make a compelling offer.

Here’s how it works:

  • Identify a problem your target customer has

  • Write a list post that provides real value and helps solve the problem

  • Create an opt-in download that helps solve the problem better/faster

Final Thoughts

It’s important that the post gets lots of social shares early on so that it is more likely to rank highly in search results. This post depended entirely on search traffic for its success. When you create a post, make sure you put a lot of effort into promotion. Send it to your personal networks and each social media channel you are part of.

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