Generating New Leads – You Are Your Message

The eight marketing fundamentals for greater profits

In every industry, and given identical market conditions, there are always 10% of companies that seem to substantially outperform their competition. Ever wonder what they know that you don’t?

Every business, regardless of size, has to be able to land new clients and deliver its product or service. Whether you offer engineering, financial planning, accounting, legal work, insurance or interior design, you sell service, first and foremost. Anyone can give lip service to a company’s commitment to the S-word in any number of meetings and internal memos. However, marketing is the means to communicate your brand to the public. Does your marketing walk match your internal talk? It’s time for a small checkup. Does your marketing messaging position service as a top priority to:

  1. Differentiate you from your competition?
  2. Cause potential buyers to take action?
  3. Grab prospects’ attention?

To substantially increase your marketing/lead-generation effectiveness, consider these eight components:

  1. Lead Tracking – Institute a system to track daily which marketing strategies are making customers email you or call your business. This will tell you which strategies you should enhance, which you should drop and which are producing the most new leads.
  2. Ideal Customer – You must take the time to strategically analyze who your ideal prospects / customers are. What cars do they drive, how old are they, where do they hang out, are they male of female? Once you really have clarity of their profile, it becomes easier to communicate to them by selecting the right messaging channels.
  3. Operational Effectiveness – Make doing business with you an awesome experience. Remember the customer experience starts when the potential new customer first hears or sees your marketing message.
  4. Holistic Approach – Make sure your approach to reach your ideal client includes some combination of traditional marketing strategies plus proper use of the many opportunities you have to leverage the Internet.
  5. Service – Make sure it is easy to do business with you. Consider the simple power of having someone answer the phone or electronically reply in a meaningful way when a customer attempts to contact your business.
  6. Internal Systems – Most business owners or executives do not really leverage the opportunity to document and execute with proper systems or processes. Since most service organizations rely heavily on word of mouth marketing and referrals, how well your staff executes by following your systems on a daily basis will determine just how much you impress your current customers. How current customers talk about their experience with your company becomes your brand in the community.
  7. Differentiation – All of your approaches to market your message must consistently differentiate you from the rest of the pack. According to a recent study by Bob Pritchard, companies delivering outstanding service can charge between 5 and 13 percent more than their competitors. If your brand messages in fact do differentiate your company, how much new revenue would be added to your top line if every new client’s invoices reflected a 10-percent increase?
  8. Measurement – Do you ever wonder why people buy from you? We recommend that all our clients find a way to survey their current customers to collect data on why people buy from you. When a survey is designed properly, more than half of CEOs are surprised to learn the #1 reason people buy from them. How powerful would it be to have exact clarity on why people buy from you? You could then adjust your marketing accordingly for future messages, now that you know what is important to them.

Research shows that 62% of people do not repurchase from the same place they bought the original purchase. Youngme Moon of Harvard Business School said, “There is no formula to be different. If in a crowded space, you should be obsessed with being the best or being different. Remember different and crazy can look the same at first.”

There are four principles of strategic marketing:

  1. Have something powerful to say, include testimonials
  2. Say it well
  3. Say it to the right audience
  4. Say it often

Is your current approach to lead generation the same or similar to what it looked like three or four years ago? How does your approach fare against these best practices, and where do you start? The answer is simple: let us help you conduct an assessment of your entire approach to generating new leads. Take a hard look in the mirror – sometimes a 10- to 20-percent improvement in your marketing effectiveness can reduce your budget and increase your revenues. But there is one caveat: make sure your sales system and staff are truly the best. When you substantially increase your quality and quantity of new leads, they could all be diminished if you only convert 20 to 30 percent of them to new clients. Remember a new lead generation approach and an improved sales system produce increased revenues, but both systems must be designed to complement each other. Do yours?

How many millions of dollars of revenues and profits are being left on the table because YOU have allowed it? Are you ready for change?

John Lankford

John Lankford was recognized as the 2007-2010 Associate Business Advisor of the Year in North America and brings proven executive experience and best practices to select companies every year. He served 18 years at the Executive Education Center at Ford Motor Company and is former Senior Director of Ascension Health Learning Institute. John has developed top leaders around the world in partnership with the University of Michigan Business School, the Center for Creative Leadership, Comcast University and GE University, to name a few. His business expertise has been tapped by prominent business media such as the New York Times, CBS and Dbusiness magazine and has been a syndicated business columnist. He is the author of The Answer is Leadership and Superstar for life…Career Transitions. John’s keynote speaking has landed him on the elite team that trains and certifies the new Executive Coaches joining the worldwide coaching community. John is also former Chief Executive Officer of the Innisbrook Leadership Institute. Lankford can be reached at [email protected] or call (888) 730-1950

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