Sep 8, 2010

3 Pillars of Lead Generation

Lead generation is a process. It can range from very simple word-of-mouth networking to large scale advertising campaigns. No matter the scale of the program, there are always 3 basic pillars that drive effective lead generation.

1. Simple Clarity

The foundation of effective lead generation is clearly articulating what you do. It’s essential that your customers get you.

Try this little exercise. Describe your business in 10 words or less. Use this simple guide:

  1. Your company is …
  2. Your company sells …
  3. Your company serves …

That’s it. Give your audience the facts, and nothing but the facts.

Too often company descriptions are puffed up with fancy words, experiential expressions and other tactics to help differentiate the business. For example, a local web development firm uses the description, “We crusade against ugliness.” This is an interesting mission statement, but it doesn’t say much about the business. No matter what, make sure your market gets you.

2. Always be giving

BNI, a business networking organization, has the philosophy of giver’s gain. It’s based on the belief that when you help others get what they want they’ll help you get what you want.

The Internet has taken the giver’s gain philosophy, and put it on steroids. With social media you can go out of your way to share really great content that helps your customers – whether they’re buying or not. You can blog, post videos, produce a podcast, tweet, network, answer questions, you name it. All of these publishing vehicles makes it so much easier to share valuable wisdom and insights with your market. They enable you to create and share content along the principles of giver’s gain.

Each piece of content you produce is a demonstration of your firm’s capabilities. It shows how you think, what you value and why you’re unique. It’s a window into your products and services.

It doesn’t matter what type of content you produce, just be prolific. In an earlier post I wrote about the 3% Rule. At any given time only 3% of your market is buying, the rest are not. Great content is your vehicle to speak with that non-buying audience. It gives you a reason to speak with them, engage them and keep your name fresh in their minds. The goal is to create a relationship with your customers so they will call you first when they are ready to buy.

3. Build a unique value proposition

When you implement the first two pillars, the phone will ring.

The final pillar is all about differentiation. How are you unique? When a customer calls in, they want to know how you are different. They are comparing you with their alternatives, and trying to assess if you are their best choice. If they can’t determine any points of differentiation then they will default to haggling over price. Instead of competing on price, show your customers how you’re different.

It’s a process

Lead generation is a process. You will always be working on these pillars. From refining your value proposition to extending your reach, the work is never done. But that’s ok. The more you work the process the more leads you will generate.

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