One of the most common questions I get asked is; how do I improve my lead generation? It's not surprising; I can't think of any business who would turn down receiving more leads. But there's a big difference between being happy to have more, and those who have not nearly enough. This article is about the latter.
If you don't have a system for generating and nurturing qualified leads, then you're going to keep spinning your wheels, spending time effort and money designing and running ads that don't fill your sales pipeline. Sure, you get students, competitors with fake email addresses and tyre kickers downloading your content, but good-fit prospects, not so much.
So, instead of relying on ads, you write content, post on social, and send emails, but your lead volume is still a trickle at best.
This all means you're stuck relying on referrals and word of mouth to fill your sales pipeline and with no clear solution, you either stop marketing or continue to repeat the same mistakes, but in a slightly different form.
That's not good. So let's fix it...
Fixing Your Lead Generation
When you have a system to generate new leads and nurture them through their buying process to a point where you are positioned as the expert, the trusted resource that can help them solve their problems and achieve their goals, then you aren't stuck doing cold outreach. You don't have to justify your price, and the sales process isn't awkward or 'salesy', it's simply a continuation of you helping them.
They buy, you don't sell. And because you have a system it's not hopeful, it's predictable, like a factory production line churning out qualified leads. That level of transformation doesn't happen overnight, but that's where you want to be, so let's make sure we start that process now.
We make sure our clients set the right foundations before they start content marketing, and before they start running ads. Often businesses start marketing by jumping right to either of those 2 places and for obvious reasons. But when they do, they run through all the problems we've been discussing.
Instead, what we do, is make sure our clients get ultra clear on who their ideal client is. Not notionally – specifically. This is the foundation for generating demand.
If you're going to effectively market to someone you need to know everything from their fears, frustrations, wants and aspirations right through to how they make buying decisions for services like yours. Who is involved in their buying process? What barriers exist along the way? These are the insights that shape your marketing.
There is a very particular process to getting this right. Real success lies in the insights that most businesses never collect, which means most marketers produce content that is only relevant at a general level. I'm willing to bet this is why your content and ads don't appeal to your ideal client - they're already bombarded with ads and emails for 'general' resources. We need to avoid adding noise to their world.
The exciting thing is that this situation creates enormous opportunities for businesses who do it properly.
And, yes, you have to be more sophisticated than downloading a buyer persona worksheet and filling it in over lunch and using that as the basis of your strategy.
Once you've defined your buyer persona and gathered all the critical insights and buying triggers, we then develop what's called a buying process map. This is where the real lead generation benefits come from and is the step so many businesses miss or don't know how to do properly.
Be There For Every Step of Their Buying Process
We map out the 3 steps that every buyer goes through in making buying decisions. It doesn’t matter if you’re buying a car, choosing an accountant or picking where to go for dinner, every buying process goes through 3 distinct phases.
(Note: If you want some training on this watch our online workshop: "The Winning Marketing Plan")
Your job is to orient your marketing to the stage that your target prospect is in, and then pull them through the rest of the process. Before your buyers can even formulate the right questions, you have the answers.
And because you’ve demonstrated to them you know what their problem is, and you’ve been able to describe it even better than they could, they credit you with having the solution to their problem.
The best part is because you're ultra clear on the needs, wants, fears, frustrations of your ideal buyer, your marketing gets ultra-specific, and the wrong-fit prospects fall away because they know you aren't for them. The ideal-fit prospects, however, will be eager to keep learning and engaging with your content (as long as you avoid common email marketing pitfalls).
Like I said before, the eventual sales process isn't awkward or 'salesy', it's simply a continuation of you helping them. They're the patient; you're the doctor.
There are methodical steps to getting this all done correctly, to make sure it actually works. The online workshop I mentioned above is a great place to get some more help.
But for now, I want to share one of the buyer persona frameworks we teach in our Marketing Compass Accelerator program. It’s not the first step in the buyer persona development process, so I’m jumping ahead a bit. But it’s an easy to remember framework and I want you to use it when assessing whether you are pursuing the right marketing segment.
Persona Picker 4 P's
Our Persona Picker 4 P's™ is a logic check you can use to make sure your business pursues the right audience.
I often see businesses chasing their tale and creating as many problems as they solve in their marketing because they are attracting the wrong people. This is why you want to make sure your target client meets each of these 4 elements.
Profitability – does this persona support your financial growth objectives. You need to consider elements such as whether there is enough of these prospective clients in your market, whether you can generate repeat purchases over time, whether they will happily pay what your service is worth, and whether the market they are in saturated with commoditised services.
Promise – can you deliver the outcomes they need and are your services the right solution for their goals and problems.
Passion – do you enjoy working with them, is there a good alignment of values.
Purpose – are the services you deliver to this buyer persona in-line with your business purpose. Ensure you are not deviating from your core service offering and core competencies to provide other services because you like this persona and want to help, or because it provides some extra revenue.
Getting Further Lead Generation Support
I mentioned before that if you wanted some 1 on 1 help improving your lead generation, we would be happy to brainstorm a game plan with you. Feel free to book a game plan call.
Otherwise, to see the full Marketing Compass strategy in action, complete the online workshop below.