The money’s in the list! How to generate leads for your business

Lead generation differs from the majority of marketing in that it is not ‘selling now’. Rather, it is ‘selling tomorrow’. That is, collecting details of people who may be interested in your product or service for future use – even if they are not necessarily interested in it now.

There are a few good reasons why you should run lead generation campaigns: It keeps your business supplied with a steady stream of fresh, new customers without having to go out and sell every day. Also, customers found through lead generation tend to be better, longer term customers than those you find today and sell to today.

Try to dedicate some time to lead generation every month. If you have plenty of customers right now you should still dedicate some time to lead generation. Consider it an investment in the future of business. If you’re short of customers right now don’t be tempted to substitute all your lead generation for out-and-out hard selling or, chances are, you’ll always be struggling to find new customers.

Here are a few methods of lead generation to consider:

* Give away free samples. Yes, you might attract some freeloaders but chances are those who accept them are interested in what you have to sell. When they come to actually needing to buy that product or service chances are they’ll think of you first.

* Run a prize competition. Even in the online age, prize competitions add carry a fair bit of clout. They attract attention in your marketin and add a fun element too.

But this is important: Make the prize something only those who are interested in your product/service would want to receive. (And make sure it is actually something worth winning too!)

* Have an open day. Suitable if your product/service has a ‘behind the scenes’ story that potential customers would be interested in.

* Set up a free newsletter, perhaps an eletter, and send out useful information about your product/service/business on a regular basis. Here’s more about this.

* Write a book, about you or your business. Most autobiographies (but it doesn’t have to be an autobiography) are written for the publicity they bring. Give it away free or even sell it at a minimal price.

Here’s more advice about writing a book.

But whatever and however you generate leads this is incredibly important:

Have a way of collecting the names of those you find through lead generation and some contact information – including their consent to contact them again – and compile that information into a list or database. You’ll then have a list of valuable prospects who you can contact any time you like.

For more help with lead generation contact me at mark @