One of the questions I get asked a lot is how do I generate more leads for my business that are low cost? And look, it’s a really, really great question. In fact, I think that just about every single person who owns a business should learn how to make sure that every marketing strategy in their business is getting them a return on investment. For some of you, your cash flow may be tight, so some low cost strategies are going to be a good idea for you to sort of hit the ground running and get things happening. So I’ve got about five different ideas I’m going to run by you now.
1. Start Cold Calling
The first thing is cold calling or bold calling, which is where you yourself get on the telephone and call your target market. Make yourself a targeted list, don’t just go ringing anybody. Think about it. Go, well who was it that I want to target. Come up with a strategy of how you’re going to target them and then start calling. Even if you just make it 10 people a day.
Some of you you’ll have a bit of call resistance. I know a lot of you don’t like cold calling or bold calling. But if you said you know what? I’m going to reach out to 10 people a day, and I’m just going to have a chat with them. And let’s say 1 in 20 say, “Yes I’d like to meet with you, or buy from you”, that’s a couple of new customers or prospective customers every week. Realistically to make 10 calls a day is going to take you an hour, maximum two hours. It will be a very low cost, the cost of calls is low. As long as you have the time available you can get that done. So that was my, my first tip there.
2. Go to Networking Events
I go to a lot of different networking events, and I see other people going to networking events. All they do is stand around in their own little group drinking alcohol and chatting with people they already know. So, whilst I say go to networking events, I want to make sure you get the most out of going to a networking event. What that means is setting yourself a target. Saying, “You know what, I’m going to go to this networking event, I’m going to grab ten business cards,” or “I’m going to make two new meaningful conversations and relationships with people I haven’t met before.” Go there with a clear and concise goal.
But networking is usually, or it quite often, can be as low cost as the meal itself, or it can be a thirty or forty dollar fee just to go along. But quite often there’s a lot of different business people there that are happy to talk to you. Just keep in mind that most people go to networking meetings as selling, they’re not buying. But it’s an opportunity for you to go and network with people, and maybe, you know, strike up a strategic alliance with somebody in a similar industry that has a similar target market or something like that. So one again though, a very, very low cost marketing campaign that can give you quick and easy results.
3. Ask for Referrals
Number three that I’ve written down here is ask for referrals. Now I bet you love getting referrals, everyone loves getting referrals in their business. I think one of the challenges is not too many people actually ask for them. If you want to get more referrals, it is as simple as asking your clients for a referral. But it doesn't even have to be a client, it can be a provider, a supplier, it can be a friend, it can be a neighbour. But ask for referrals. And don’t say, “Can you give me some referrals?” I'm going to give you a way of asking that will work really, really well for you. It works really well for me.
And that’s this line: “who do you know who...” I’ll repeat it, “who do you know who.” So for example, say your business specializes in cutting the costs of telecommunications for big corporations. You’d say, “Who do you know who wants to save thousands of dollars off their telephone bill?” Or “Who do you know who could benefit by a recruitment company that guarantees that we get the right people.” Or “Who do you know… So by asking “who do you know who” you’re more likely to get some good referrals from people you deal with. Of course, if you get some praise from a customer because you did a great job, ask them for some referrals at that point in time. Referrals cost just about nothing to get, and have a very high conversion rate. So it’s a really smart way for you to grow your business.
4. Online Marketing
One of the things that really challenges me in this day and age is the amount of businesses that aren't marketing online. Something as simple as setting up a Facebook page. If you don’t have a Facebook page, your competitors probably do and whether you like it or not, there’s millions and millions of people on Facebook. And I'm talking millions.
They use this as a format to build community and have conversations with other customers and with their supplier and to put special offers out there and run competitions. It’s a fantastic platform for you as a business, and it’s very very cost effective, to the point where you can actually do marketing, Facebook marketing. You can set your daily budget. So if you've only got fifty dollars a month to spend, then you can set your daily budget to be two dollars a day or a dollar eighty a day or whatever that works out to be. You can stipulate exactly how much you want to spend and what the goal is out of your advertising campaign. You can then drive people to your Facebook page, and you can market offers to them through posting.
On the other side of online marketing of course, is making sure you've got a good website that is conducive to people wanting to stick around and read information. It’s got to be content-rich these days, it can’t just be a static online catalogue any more, it’s got to be content-rich. People have got to enjoy going there, enjoy the experience. It’s got to also work on all devices, you know, smartphones and tablets. It’s got to be what’s called responsive; making sure that you’ve got your online marketing down pat and your website working well.
Other things like blogging for example is very, very popular these days, and Google loves people who blog because it’s more content, and content is what Google wants to bring to its customers. So when someone’s searching for something, they don’t want to show them some boring webpage that does nothing, they’d rather send them to a webpage that has great content. If you have got great content, you’re more likely to be ranked higher in the search engine rankings. Of course with online marketing there’s things like LinkedIn which is very important from a professional networking point of view. And Twitter, which I’m not as ofay with, but I believe can be quite effective. There’s a newer one out there called FourSquare. So there’s all these online marketing tools you can tap into. Very, very low cost to get involved in but can give you some quick and great results.
5. Create a Webinar or hold a Seminar
Finally, I think one of the things that is not offered enough by businesses is webinars or seminars where, if your target market is a little bit unsure of what it is you do or who you are or how you offer it, maybe you can have a free information session. It can be an hour, it can be two hours, it can be online, it can be in a seminar room. But invite all your prospects along to an event where you might put on some cheese and biscuits and some hot coffee, or a few beverages. Those people can come and meet you, see what it is you do. You can make a special offer at the end and it’s another very quick and effective way to get more customers quickly. So that’s another one and whilst that costs a little bit more than the others because you have to hire a room, etc., it’s still fairly low cost. You can put on an event on for, for probably less than five hundred dollars that’s an effective event. You might get 10, 20, 30 prospects come along. And if you can turn those into sales, maybe it’ll make a difference to your business.
So there you go… Hopefully those five tips that I’ve given you are going to help you generate new leads at a low cost, make you some more sales and put some more money in your pocket.
About the Author
Ben Fewtrell is a sought-after Business Coach, Keynote Speaker and trainer who has featured in Virgin’s Inflight Magazine and Entertainment Portal, SKY Business and “Secrets of Top Business Builders Exposed”. He is also the host of the popular Business Brain Food Podcast where he interviews leading experts on anything and everything business.