What's the best way to get sales leads?
Lead generation is a numbers game. You need a lot of impressions to get the numbers you want and the sales results you need, but what’s the best way to get sales leads?
Leads are the sales profession’s mystical element. Finding the right customers at the right time and being there with the right product and price is how our world revolves. It’s multi-strategy work. You meet people, you network, you cold call, you run ads, you launch direct mail, you ask for referrals, you use a customer-relationship-management system. The problem, though, like all life, is time and scale. How fast. How many. How profitable.
Lead development strategies are not “one off.” You do all of them. Some salespeople and business owners have favorite methodologies and depending on the product and service – and the margins and commissions – a few leads from the golf course might generate needed results.
To really sell, though, as agents, salespeople, and small business owners, you need customers, and to get customers you need leads.
Narrowing, Culling, Focusing
Sales leaders know the art of narrowing, culling, and focusing to get the leads they need. If one sale makes the year, the critical element is laser targeting the decision makers who can make that purchase. However, if you need a lot of sales to make your year, you need more scale to get the leads you need quickly.
That’s why direct mail is a favored marketing strategy to generate the right leads quickly for the right results.
The Direct Marketing Association reports that direct mail is the second largest channel for U.S. ad spend, valued at $44.2 billion annually. It generates leads and sales because people like mail and like print advertising. Direct mail has the highest open rates compared to email and other digital advertising.
“Warm” Calls, Not Stale Lists
With direct mail, you’re not buying stale lists of customer names that have been picked over by competitors for who knows how long. You’re buying groups of people who represent your ideal customer. They’re “warm calls” not “cold calls.”
Prospects might be defined by life stage, such as newlyweds, retired couples, new parents, soccer moms, or other categories so you can send the right message to the right people at the right time.
They might be defined by recent activities, such as home or auto purchase, hobbies and sports, or activities that relate directly to the kind of customer you’re seeking.
You also might define your segments by geography: the neighborhoods and ZIP codes they live in, homeowners or renters, and other categorizations, such as businesses or corporate function.
What you invest in with direct mail is not a list of cold names, but touch points of people on a buying journey for what you’re selling.
Because direct mail is more personal, with Olde School Marketing you have an added human dimension of handwritten media. Either through a subscription service or one-time mailings, your prospects and customers may receive a handwritten message that enhances personal connection and creates opportunities for relationship and trust that printed labels and ink-jet printing can’t achieve.
Handwriting services include envelop addressing – which always boosts open rates – and greeting card messages. Card services are great for holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, or special recognition to keep you personally in touch with customers and prospects.
The real beauty of direct mail is that with the right strategy and message, prospects call you. You get leads that match your criteria. You prequalify on the basics and focus your messaging on customers most likely to want your products and services.
Scale: Big Sweeps
The most compelling part of direct mail marketing is the scale. You can create big sweeps of key customer segments to present offers, branding, and special messaging to optimize quantity of responses. With the right data preparation, you can focus even large mailings on important customer segments you want to reach.
Direct mail is also a great way to stay in touch with customers to build long-term relationships. You stay in touch with newsletters, handwritten greeting cards, letters, or postcards that keep you top of mind.
Help and Advice
Direct mail is more than just sending out stuff. Like other lead development strategies, direct mail can use complementary media and strategies to create a powerful marketing outreach that supports personal branding, improves direct mail response, and uses multiple media to cover all the bases to generate leads and develop your sales funnel.
A sales funnel is simply creating marketing that connects with customers at different stages of their buying journey. Those stages start with basic awareness or discovery of you and your products and services and end with the sale.
Olde School Marketing provides help and advice on how to connect with the leads you need to reach. From basic mailer design and offers to a complete strategy on how to build a powerful lead-generating program that brings in the prospects you need to make your sales.