Written By: Matt Buchanan
How do you generate good leads during a global crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic? Every part of life has been changed in one way or another, and you have to adapt quickly to keep your business moving along.
Quality leads are the lifeblood of any business. No matter what kind of product or service you are trying to sell, you need to generate good leads to target your offerings.
Without those leads, even the best product or service in the world will be completely useless.
Of course, as a business owner, salesperson, or marketing manager, you already understand the importance of leads.
Let’s take a look at three tips for lead generation during challenging times.
Simply put, you may have fewer leads during a market downturn. There are some things that are out of your control, and you can’t do much about the overall health of the market. If fewer people have money to spend, you’ll have a smaller pool of customers. That’s just the way it is.
Without as many leads to work, what can you do? Dial-in your process to make sure none of the leads you do have slip through the cracks. To make the most of a bad situation, you need to avoid needless mistakes.
Take this opportunity to improve every part of your lead management system and you will be in even better shape when the market starts to recover.
Use a CRM.
If you don’t yet use Customer Relationship Management software in your business, now is a great time to start. There are countless options on the market today, so it’s easy to find one that suits your needs and budget. Failing to use a CRM is sure to result in missed opportunities as you struggle to keep track of all of your leads.
Always answer calls.
Failing to answer the phone when a lead calls for information is an extremely expensive mistake. You need to have coverage on your phones to make sure any potential customer or client can get the service they deserve. In addition to answering phone calls consistently, improve your process for answering digital messages to shorten response time.
Ask for a sale.
If you never directly ask a lead to make a purchase, how will they have the opportunity to give you their business? Make sure each lead is asked for their business after having gone through the nurturing process.
You don’t want to let any valuable, qualified leads slide through without getting proper attention. They are never all going to turn into customers, of course, but optimizing your process in tough times can help you make the most out of the opportunities available.
As you adjust your sales tactics during difficult times, think about how you can best present the value that you offer your leads. It’s important to remember that value is not the same thing as the lowest price. If you are competing on price alone, it will be difficult to survive a market downturn.
Presenting your value to each lead comes down to highlighting what it is that differentiates you from the competition. For a service business, a common differentiating factor is experience.
If your company has been offering quality service for decades, make that known at several points throughout the sales process. Or, if you have created a unique approach to solve a common problem, explain that advantage to your leads.
In the end, you don’t want these potential customers to judge you solely on price. It will be tempting for them to shop on price alone during a pandemic, but you need to take them past that focus to present the bigger picture. Once the true value of your services is made clear, paying a higher price will seem like a smart investment.
It’s always easier to sell to past customers than it is to convert a new lead. That’s been true for the history of marketing, and it isn’t going to change anytime soon. When facing a difficult market, turn back to those who have purchased from you previously to make additional sales and boost your bottom line.
There are many different ways you can engage with your past customers. The exact method you use will depend on the type of business you run and how often customers need your services. Consider these two methods to get value out of your past customer base:
This is an easy and obvious way to attract your previous customers. Reach out to them with a special offer for a discount if they engage with your services by a certain date. Depending on the quality of your customer data, you can customize this offer to specific groups within your database depending on when they last purchased, services they used, etc.
Another way to leverage your past customers is to directly ask them for referrals of family or friends. This is particularly useful for companies who offer a service that isn’t needed frequently. To incentivize your past customers to refer your services, offer either a cash reward or a discount on future purchases.
It would be easy enough to just throw up your hands in the middle of a pandemic and claim that there is nothing you can do about the situation. And, to be sure, you can’t fix the problems taking place on a global scale.
But you can work on improving your lead generation process. Even making small changes like these tips for lead generation can be enough to generate good leads and keep the doors open as you look forward to brighter days ahead.
Matt Buchanan is the Co-Founder and Chief Growth Officer at Service Direct, a technology…
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