Out of the following 8 options, which is the most effective to generate business leads?
What is the best method to generate more business leads?
- Attend Industry events
- Referrals from existing clients
- Industry Networking Websites
- Creating industry partnerships
- Cold Calling
- Online Marketing solutions
- Purchasing email marketing lists
Referrals from existing clients. It's a domino effect, get a few clients to say you have done good work and recommend you, and they will tell their friends who tell their friends. Attending industry events will also probably work because you get the chance to connect in person, similar to a personal recommendation.
It's hard to say which are the best because they ALL are good avenues to bring new Business. But I'll tell you cold calling and email lists are the most challenging for the simple fact that people today have a built in defense mechanism against strangers contacting them out of the blue. They use to do a lot better but thanks to telemarketers and spammers you run a risk of making a HORRIBLE impression of yourself taking those routes.
The others have their seasons depending on what phase your Business is in and what state the market is in. So it's hard to say which is ultimately the best. For someone who's been in Business for 20 years it may be referrals, while for someone who's been in Business for 2 years it may be online marketing, while someone who's been in business 3-5 years may get more Business from attending events. It also depends on the type of Business it is and where their markets are most accessible. For example, there's a huge difference in frequency and accessibility with an event for web coders vs. an event for crane manufacturers. So there is no cure all general answer to this question.
Generating more sales leads is easy if you know what your prospects are looking for. And to do that, you will need a good research tool for the job. While social media seems to be a more modern choice, there are still those who prefer the advantage offered by directly cold calling prospects. The information, as well as cooperation, obtained through such telemarketing surveys can be a great help for your marketing efforts.
As a business owner, you get to play a key role in this. Even if you cannot cover everything, calling every prospect that you can find in your market will reveal details that can help your appointment setting team at a later time. There is nothing really wrong with using a telephone when looking for potential leads. Indeed, even in today’s internet-centric world, having someone to talk to on the phone is an important thing for many business owners. Most of them wanted to be walked through the process of choosing or evaluating a service, so this is certainly an opportunity for you.
Others - Build your Own Email Database - according to past buyer persona.
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I truly think that referrals from existing clients are best. If you are not asking your existing clients for other companies they feel would benefit from your services then you are missing out. If they are not willing to give you referrals, then you probably haven't built that trust (eye opener in that case). Find ways to reach out to your existing clients and get them to help grow through a referral program.
It depends upon the market and the nature of business. If you venturing into a new business region, i would say Creating industry partnerships would really help you get a kick start. Social selling is the key these days - again it depends upon your target market. I presonally like to meet the propects in an industry event. There is a reason there are so many ways - because each has their own advantages over the other.
I agree with Jose - referrals are the best because they come with "instant credibility" for you. I always ask my clients for referrals as I see it as a Best Practice
There is nothing better than a happy client talking about you. I agree, referrals are definitely the best. Also very important to dare to ask your satisfied clients to give you a good review or refer you to other potential cliants.
Hi and Good day
You seem to have a tall order here. Instead of giving you the answer, I will suggest what you must not do here..business lead generation depends on the business/service/product that you are into..
for e.g. lets assume that you have a top mobile app which fits the consumer industry and can disrupt the way people connect with each other...you business model is to directly reach the consumer or an individual..so you need to focus on creating awareness at the first level..like carpet bombing, everyone needs to know there is an app here!!! then create some easy way for them to download it and possibly it should be free for life...every body like something which is free..they will give it a try..here the continuous online presence on network sites, releases, word of mouth, creating an interest is the primary need..rest is good product and good support/service..
Now lets assume that you are a business in designing and building large scale power plants..do you think the above approach will work..this is a niche space and people would definitely like to meet you and your team and understand the kind of work you have done and so on..
Business lead generation that too through online marketing and presence - according to me look too much of hype and great benefits are not reaped, especially the markets I know like Asia and ME..the maximum online presence needed here is an excellent website and easy navigation of web pages with some demo or video if possible..
At the end of the day, for any business which is new or starting to evolve, best option to go to your network of friends, family and their contacts...start working with these prospects and then start taking a reference from each prospect..this also works excellently well..even if the prospect does not become your client..they will surely remember you..don't forget the golden rule of marketing...follow up..follow up and follow up..and keep in touch on a regular basis with all the prospects!!!
If you can detail more about your business, can suggest the best options and way forward
All the best
If starting from zero, especially in an industry that is new to the business developer / consultant, cold calling is a first step. As one builds his/her network through industry events and referrals, partnerships or online presence become boosters. But all throughout, making sincere, good relationships do well to generate and maintain leads.
I guess, as always, "it depends". Referrals from clients is always very good but in some businesses industry events & networking websites might be appropriate. I would nix buying lists (usually they are overworked) as well as online marketing solutions. Cold calling & industry partnerships...again for some businesses they work well but "it depends"!
All of the above are good ways but think in a different direction too. How are you marketing your company to attract buyers. If you are doing this then the leads will come to you. You have to develop a good marketing structure and digital marketing is key. That's what my company does every day. We research the industry and competitors and provide a blueprint for digital marketing that will increase any company's revenue and brand awareness.
Referrals from existing clients. Any sort of referal actually. P.
It depends on your industry and business model. All of these methods could be highly successful for specific segments. For my business in online advertising, we succeed with attending industry events. In prior roles, I succeed more with referrals (restaurant) and industry partnerships (publishing). There is no one size fits all, rather what works best for your segment and industry.
The best way to get more leads is by referrals from existing clients, it is also the cheapest way. Further on make sure that your name sings around.
Attending Industry Events I'd say...nothing is better than meeting people face to face.
I've found a combination of referrals from existing clients (working their supply chain) and creating industry partnerships works well to win you credibility and gravitas in B2B selling. Building your profile as a regular commentator gets you noticed but works best if you are a consultant; otherwise any form of cold calling/emailing has a lot of wastage. You'd want anyone contacting you to have a personal message, wouldn't you, so treat clients the same and seek to offer a personal solution to their issues and problems!
All of these work in their own way. However to keep generating business leads, you must make sure you deliver what you promised your clients. If you do leads will follow. If you don't, the word will get out and leads will tail off.
The answer to this question depends on what kind of products and/or service you are offering. In marketing we have the concept of 4Ps (Marketing Mix), where two of the Ps are Promotion and Place.
Your 8 options can be best suited as follows:
- Attend Industry events = Capital goods, Pharmaceuticals, CRO, Advertising agencies, etc.
- Referrals from existing clients = Services (Most important)
- Industry Networking Websites = Services, Corporate products, secondary products, raw materials, etc.
- Creating industry partnerships = Integrating projects, Expanding business to international level, CRO, Distributions
- Cold Calling = Products and services (Credit Cards, Insurances, Offers, etc. mainly for promotions)
- Online Marketing solutions = Services, CRO, Capital goods, Brand Management, Etc.
- Purchasing email marketing lists = Products and services
- Other = In others you can have a list of clients based on your own market research, find out through google, your competitor, etc.
P.S. - All are free to let me know if there are any additions or deletions in the list. I would love to know more.
Justin, you must have got your answers from everyone who has replied. Try to use the best strategy to reach out to your customer. In my view retaining the existing customer is the golden rule for business development.
All method are good and important but time and sequence are too important in any business,according to my suggestion adopt following sequence:
1-Referrals from existing.
2-Purchasing e-mail marketing lists.
5-Attend Industry events.
6-Join group of marketing guru on social networks.