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thousands of gold coins, presenting the opportunity of generating quality sale leads on a small budgetGenerating quality sale leads is one of the toughest challenges entrepreneurs and small businesses face on a daily basis.

In large companies, the sales team is provided leads by a well-funded marketing department. However, as a small business, you must seek out your own sale leads. A very tough job. You are confident enough to close deals if you just had the leads.

So, if you need help generating more quality sale leads we have a few suggestions that do not require a massive marketing budget to execute.

Three Ways to Create Sale Leads On A Shoestring Budget

Existing Customers

Growing your customer base is the focus of every business. However, businesses tend to overlook the opportunity to get more sales from their existing customers. Your best leads are your existing customers. A successfully run small business does not chase new customers at the expense of growing their existing business. Some great stats:

“80% of future revenue will come from just 20% of your existing clients”–Gartner Group

80% of future revenue will come from just 20% of your existing clients.–Gartner Group Click To Tweet

“Repeat clients spend 33% more compared to new clients”–CMO.com

Repeat clients spend 33% more compared to new clients.–CMO.com Click To Tweet

Your customers have already bought from you and you already know the key decision makers. If you have provided great product or services, odds are they will purchase from you again. The majority of the marketing dollars, spent by small businesses, is on searching for new business. While this seems like a rational business decision, be sure to allocate marketing dollars for existing business.

Select accounts with the greatest opportunity for growth. Create a plan for them including how you can help your client grow their business utilizing your product and services. With your limited marketing dollars, create a referral program, loyalty program, client newsletter, but most importantly, keep in touch with your existing customers.

Referrals

Referrals are very powerful and a great source of quality sale leads. They let you reach people you normally could not reach. How do you go about getting referrals? First by having a base of happy satisfied customers utilizing your great product or service and secondly, Just Ask. Who can you ask? Just about anyone. Let’s start with the low hanging fruit.

A customer referral from a satisfied customer is the best source. People just trust what other customers say about your company. A referral from a customer will not only get you more customers, it will get you better customers.

A customer referral from a satisfied customer is the best source. Click To Tweet

A network creates referrals. Referrals are the hallmark of a growing business. Referred customers and clients are easier to close, they already see you in a favorable light, and trust your recommendations. Referrals are a huge growth contributor to small businesses.

Other sources of referrals can come from family members, friends, testimonials, bloggers and social media platforms. Trust is the key factor. People almost always trust other people’s opinions and endorsements over advertisements and sales pitches. With a referral, however, the sales pitch is usually coming from someone they know and have trust in.

With all referrals, make sure you thank the individual who referred you. The referral was a generous act by your client, family member or friend. Thank them appropriately and it could lead to more referrals in the future.

Make sure you thank the individual who referred you. Click To Tweet

Your Past History

Your past history can be a wealth of leads. Let’s start with clients you pitched a year or so ago but you did not win their business. Reach out to them with a quick update e-mail or call. Things change quickly in the business world. It is a good chance to see if the solution they took with your competitor is working. Also a great opportunity to let them know about new or improved products and service you offer.

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Your past history also will include clients you have worked with and subsequently lost their business. It is tough to reach out to past clients and customers when things did not work out. As a previous client, you know them well. Provide something of value for their business or by solving one of their pain points you are aware of.

Here are 3 ways to reach out to past leads

1. Leverage your content

Content is a great low-pressure way to get in front of past leads. Send them a blog post or whitepaper that could be relevant to their business with an explanation of how you think it can benefit them.

2. Highlight new features

When you’re updating an existing product or launching a new one or new service, it’s the perfect time to reach out to past/dead leads. Look through your contacts and see who might find the new feature especially useful, and let them know about it.

3. Make it about them

Reconnecting with dead leads doesn’t always have to be about your company. It can be about their business too. Set Google Alerts for their companies and follow them on social media. When you notice positive news about them, such as the opening of a new office, a recent fundraiser, or the launch a new product, send them a brief congratulatory note. It reopens the lines of communication and shows that you care about building a relationship, not just closing a single sale.

Conclusion

These strategies and tactics may not work for every small business but I am sure at least one of them can work for your business.  Growing your business on a small budget is tough. We love addressing the challenges of growth when faced with limited funding.  We have also written on other methods to grow your business on a small budget by creating and utilizing your online presence.

Best of luck from the Sozial Monster Team.

Have you used any of these tactics to grow your business? What are some of your tips for utilizing your social media platforms to obtain leads? Please share your thoughts in a comment.

Want more strategic insights? Sign up for The Revenue Tribe Newsletter, which features exclusive insights from Sozial Monster’s Chief Strategy Officer Dagmar Gatell.

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