What do you do when … you need more leads?

Sticky situationsYou’ve been delivering solid work over the last few months. Your clients appreciate you, you are getting referrals and your business is growing! But it’s not growing fast enough. Your sales are growing, but your expenses are growing too. You need to accelerate your sales growth –you need to generate more leads. What do you do? 

salesleadsWe all love referrals — they close easily and pay well, but it’s hard to make more of them. A business is doing something wrong if there are no referrals, but you also need something proactive to push your business forward. Every business needs a gas pedal — something to help speed up sales. What is that for you?

1. Communicate

Don’t keep your good work a secret; tell folks about it! Great idea, but who wants to hear about you? First, contact your customers. They are your best source of referrals and your easiest source of new business. Send a letter to them talking about some of your new work. You might also want to contact folks you have written a proposal for that didn’t buy from you are another good source of leads and referrals. They know you better than strangers do. You are also likely building a network of other businesses that you buy from, refer business to, or otherwise network with. They’d like to hear more about your success.Now that you’ve built up a great list, why not communicate with them every month or so instead of just when you need leads? An e-newsletter every 4-6 weeks would be a great idea. The newsletter doesn’t have to be about you; it can be about changes you see in your industry or trends that you see in client projects. That could really keep the leads flowing in.

2. Press the flesh

We buy from people we know, like and trust — we also refer business to people for the same reason. Have you been held up in your office a bunch, stuck behind your computer? You need to get out the door and meet people. Find a gathering of your ideal clients (industry event?) or a venue to meet more referral partners. Have you been active on social networks? Push that activity into something more personal like a phone call or a cup of coffee. Move those relationships along to a deeper level and you will generate more leads.

3. Put it out there

The two activities that have consistently proven to increase leads are to write and speak to your target audience. This isn’t just true now — this has been true for my whole career (and I’m guessing much longer before then). Find a way to add 3,000 — 6,000 words of new content to your website every month. Don’t just write it and put it up — get it out to the community through social networks, through commenting on other blogs, through your email list and even by finding individuals who might be interested in it and sending it to them! Now that you are regularly creating content — turn it into a larger work. Create an ebook, a video or a speech out of that material and go give it. The more you put yourself and your ideas out into the marketplace, the more confidence you demonstrate in your abilities, and the more likely you are to attract new prospects.

So if you need to generate more leads and you want to grow your business faster, you need to be more aggressive. You need to be reaching out, demonstrating your expertise, and pushing the issue.

What did I miss? How do you generate more leads?

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