The global reach of the Internet allows a company to reach clientele that it would normally have no interaction with. However, just because there is more opportunity to sell does not mean that businesses are able to do so. A full 90% of online businesses fail within the first five years of operation because they do not know how to get new sales leads.
Rinsing e-mail lists from information compilers is frowned upon more and more. With the new anti-spam legislation of Canada setting a new tone for business correspondence across the industrialized world, companies must find new ways to generate sales leads without overusing the more traditional, impersonal methods of information gathering and spam.
Below are a few ways in which a new business can go about generating new sales leads using the resources of the Internet.
One – Use social media.
There is no better way to get new sales leads and by using your current social circles. People are much more likely to patronize your business if you come to them through a trusted source, a.k.a. a friend of theirs.
There are many ways to use social media to draw in the friends, colleagues and family of your current customer base. One of the most effective is to tag photos of customers that you already have so that they will share those with their social circles. A picture with a smiling customer speaks volumes that no amount of written testimonials could ever replace.
Social media hubs are second only to the major search engines in helping new customers to find businesses. Many online marketing experts actually believe that social media may actually overtake the major search engines in the next couple of years. The importance of social media cannot be overestimated when it comes to obtaining new sales leads.
Two – Target your search engine optimization strategy.
In order to obtain new sales leads in a cost-effective manner, it is essential that your search engine optimization strategy be targeted toward the audience that is most likely to purchase from you. You can begin this targeting process by paying close attention to the analytics that you receive during your current search engine optimization efforts.
Pay special attention to the demographics that seem to be the most interested in your products. Note how they react to your marketing efforts and which keywords they respond to. You may have to incorporate some multivariate testing in order to determine which phrases and keywords are actually creating a positive response in your target market.
Three – Join forums and message boards that are relevant to your business.
Becoming known as an expert on a major forum or message board is a great way to obtain new sales leads. Many new businesses have employees who do nothing but browse forums and message boards answering questions for potential clients in the name of the company.
Four – Begin a blog and start a community.
In order to create sales leads for yourself without having to hard-sell and cold call, you can bring interested parties to you by starting an informative and entertaining blog. This is an effective way to create a community of people that will look to you as an expert.
This post was written by Kyle Sanders, content manager for SalesOverdrive.com – the leader in sales outsourcing and consulting.