Eight Sales Lead Generation Methods
-by Shamus Brown
I've been getting lots of email
from you lately. And one thing that I hear often
is that you need more sales leads.
In order to generate sales leads,
you need three things:
- A written profile of your target
- A list of suspects containing
- A method of reaching your sales
In this article, I am going to discuss
eight proven methods of reaching your sales prospects.
Complementary Partner Referrals
I put this sales lead generation
method first because this one generates the highest
quality sales leads. How you do this depends on
the market you are in. There have been a lot of
articles written about networking through chamber
and association meetings, so I won't rehash that
If you are selling business to business,
you want to strike up relationships with sales reps
from companies who call on the same businesses as
you do. An example is if you sell an information
technology consulting service, then partner with
a few computer systems hardware vendors. These reps
call on the same customers as you and you complement
each other by sharing leads and information about
customers and prospects.
As much as nearly everyone dislikes
this one, it is very effective for sales lead generation
when executed properly. If you consistently prospect
for leads by phone, you will consistently generate
You can find more cold
calling tips here at this website and I also
recommend that you check out by Stephen Schiffman's
"Cold Calling Techniques" and Anthony Parinello's
"Selling to VITO".
Live seminars are a great sales
lead generation technique because you are usually
delivering your a pitch to a prospect very early
in their buying process. The key to a successful
seminar is offering a solution to a problem that
your target market really wants to solve. You can
give the pitch yourself, or get one of your company
executives to do it (sometimes business "celebrity"
can help pull more sales prospects in).
Live seminars can be done inexpensively.
The costs for in-person seminars are comprised of
room rental, refreshments, audio-visual equipment,
and promotion. Teleseminars are the least expensive,
with the only costs being conference phone line
rental and promotion. Webinars are actually more
expensive due to the hefty fees the online meeting
services charge to use their services.
Trade shows are a good way generate
sales leads if you can find events highly targeted
to your prospect audience. Often such events yield
low-quality sales leads because they are attended
by the recommenders and influencers and rather than
the true decision-makers.
I rate this method lower on the
list, yet it is a valuable one if your company has
the budget and there are industry events well-targeted
to your audience.
Sales letters are one of the more
underused sales lead generation methods. There is
an entire industry of people dedicated to selling
this way called direct marketing. But most field
sales reps and business professionals don't know
how to use this technique well.
Success with this method comes as
a result of mailing a well-written letter to a good
quality list of names (quality = targeted at your
Two good primers on this are "The
Ultimate Sales Letter" by Dan Kennedy and "Selling
to VITO" by Anthony Parinello.
This method can be highly effective
when done right. You must find publications that
are able to deliver your target audience. You must
run ads that stimulate people to take action. To
generate sales leads, you must avoid big-company
style image ads.
I am no expert on advertising, but
I do know that if you can't do this one right don't
do it at all because you can blow through your marketing
This one is very appropriate for
small businesses and some independent professionals.
With a well-designed website, you can generate sales
leads through "ads" that the search engines create
from your webpages. If you know what keywords your
prospects are likely to search for you with, then
you can generate very targeted and qualified leads.
This method is not for everyone
though, as your prospects must be searching for
something related to your products, services or
the problems that you solve.