If you sell services one of the biggest challenges is identifying qualified prospects who want what you have to offer and are ready to buy. It is possible to waste time on cold calls and other marketing activities that turn up little in the way of sales. Wouldn't you rather have a steady stream of hot leads, leads that not only include contact information but give you an idea of what the prospect needs, the problem they want solved?
You have a web site, and hundreds if not thousands of people visit your site each week. If your site is working well it should be providing you with a list of hundreds of people who want to be on your marketing list each week and dozens of qualified leads, people who want you to call them right away about your services.
Use the following five tactics to generate a list of qualified prospects.
1. Collect Contact Information
Strive to collect the email address of every person who visits your web site and is interested in the problems you solve. Offer a free article, tutorial or guide as bait to motivate people to give you their email address so you can market to them again and again.
Offer prospects something they want, and place your sign-up form prominently at the top of your home page and in a side navigation bar on the other pages of your site. This should help you capture the email addresses of 10-20% of the people who visit your site each week.
2. Use Auto Responders to Collect Detailed Information
If you use a free giveaway and the briefest of sign up forms to get people to give you their email information you can market to prospects but wouldn't it be helpful to have more information?
Use an autoresponder to send people a confirmation when they request your free article or sign up for your newsletter. In the email ask them for detailed contact information and ask them a couple of questions about what they're interested in.
3. Get People to Tell You How You Can Help Them
Many people use the web as tool to find solutions and to hire people who can help them solve their problems. If you are a financial advisor, giving away an article on financial tips is a great way to get contact information but what you really want to do is to identify those people who have an immediate interest in your services.
Prompt people to contact you by including an inquiry form on your web site, but don't make the mistakes made on most web sites. Too often inquiry forms are buried on the site, multiple clicks away from the pages most frequently viewed by your visitors. Include your form on high visibility pages, at the bottom of your homepage and other key pages about your services and products.
Use your inquiry form to both collect contact information and to identify the services your prospects are interested in and how you can help them. When you make your follow up calls you'll know where to start the conversation.
When you receive completed inquiry forms you can sort through them to identify which ones are worth following up on based on the answers provided. Then pick up the phone and use these qualified leads to find new clients and grow your business.
4. Collect Feedback and Learn More About Your Prospect's Needs
When people visit your sell pages, the web pages that describe your products and services, they've expressed an interest. Some will move directly to purchase, others will discover they don't have any further interest and a large number will fall into the middle. These are people who are interested but not ready to commit.
Before visitors leave your web site sell pages, you can use exit pop up windows to collect feedback and to find out what they are looking for.
Offer a free article to motivate visitors to fill in the form. When you get these feedback forms, follow up with a call. Use this conversation to find out why they didn't buy the service or product or to get further information about the problems they want solved. Once you have these prospects on the phone you'll be surprised how many you can turn into clients.
5. Send out Surveys to Identify What Sells
If you have a newsletter you can leverage the trust of your readers to collect ideas of what they want to buy. If you've been sending out ideas and information to your target market periodically they will be more than likely to respond when you ask for their input.
Two to four times per year, send an informal survey to your subscriber base, asking for their ideas. Ask them which of your product or service ideas they like best and what they need and want. Tabulate their responses and develop the products and services they asked for.
Use these five lead collection strategies to identify prospects with a problem, one you can solve. Once you know who needs your help, its easy to follow up, close the sale and grow your business.
About the author
The author, Marketing Coach, Charlie Cook, helps independent professionals and small business owners attract more clients and be more successful. Sign up to receive the Free Marketing Guide and the 'More Business' newsletter, full of practical tips you can use at http://www.charliecook.net
Author: Charlie Cook