Grow Your Small Business With Lead Generation Advertising

I used to advertise my brand everywhere, get my logo out there and people will see it and then come and buy my products. I nearly went bust; I was acting like Virgin or B.T. Brand advertising is for the big boys, not for small business. You should include your logo or brand in your advertising but the main focus for small business advertising has got to be lead generation.

What do I mean by lead generation? Lead generation is simply to get people who are interested in your service to contact you.

What is the best way to get interested customers to contact you? Offer them something free.

Here is how to really make the most of all of your advertising:

  • Come up with some freebies you can give away to your potential customers like a free report, survey, sample products, CD, DVD. The key here is to come up with something of perceived value relating to your products or services. E.g. If you are a builder and your target audience are home owners you could write a free report 10 ways to increase the value of your home or Top 10 D.I.Y. tips for DAD the information to go in these reports is already out there on the internet, you just need to go online and get it.
  • You then need to offer this free product in all of your advertising as follows: call today for your free report – 10 ways to increase the value of your home or email today for your free report – Top 10 D.I.Y tips for DAD. What we are doing here is getting interested leads to give you their contact details in return for a free product. You can contact them shortly after to ask them if they received your information and to ask them if they would like to buy from you.

I recently increased my response to an e-mail out by 3000% just by offering something free. It really does work.

Small Business Marketing Strategy – Website Structure

Getting Rid Of The Brochure Mentality: Many business owners and entrepreneurs build a website without understanding the fundamental reasons for doing so. As such, they create what I call a ‘brochure’ website. You may have done this already.

Well don’t be upset, it’s a pretty natural thing to do. For some reason we decide to follow the lead of the majority, thinking if everybody is doing it, it must be the right thing to do… WRONG!

So, going against all conventional wisdom, why do we put up a website? What is the best way to use it?

The Fundamental Reason for Being

Why do you need or want a website? The answer is LEAD GENERATION. Lead generation will lead to small business sales! How is your web site structure important when it comes to lead generation and marketing for small business?

Landing Pages

Well, in order to generate leads you will need to make offers. Offers need to be tweakable. Therefore, you need to be able to update your content easily and quickly. More importantly though you must have a specific page for your offer. These pages are called ‘Landing Pages’.

Let me explain…

Lets say you have a website where you are selling weight loss products. One of your supply companies is running a marketing campaign and you think you can make more sales while the campaign is running. Would you send your visitor to the home page of your website, hoping that they find the specific information about the sales campaign? That’s not going to going to be a very effective marketing campaign!

Or would you send them directly to the promotion?

You’d send them directly to it and make the offer very clear, being very specific about that offer and nothing else.

No matter what you do online, you must be able to make clear offers to visitors in order to generate leads and sales for your small business. You do that by sending them to specific pages, which we call landing pages.

Hopefully, you will be able to edit these quickly and easily, so you can tweak your offers and get the best response possible.

Search Engines Want Content

They love to suck it up! The more content you have the better! There’s a saying ‘Content is King!’. Its true.

The more pages you have the better. The more often you add and update content the better.

Did you know that the way your pages are linked together is very important? Your internal page linking strategy is as important as your external links strategy. I can hear you thinking ‘strategy, shhhhhmategy! this is getting technical, I don’t want to know about this’. That’s fair enough, it is technical. And while you can put a website up and link it together any way you please, if you want a good search engine ranking, it pays to have your site built by a professional who knows about this stuff.

By the way, what you call your pages and the physical directory or folder structure of your website is petty important too! So if you’ve got a site that has pages named page1.html, page5.html etc, you should start thinking about keywords for your page names! That’s an important strategy too.

Your small business marketing strategy must start by getting rid of the brochure mentality. You must start thinking lead generation. Everything starts with lead generation!

Why is Selling So Difficult For Small Business Owners? Use These 3 Sales Management Strategies

Why is selling so difficult for small business owners? The ability to sell is necessary for every business yet it is often a neglected activity. To simplify the selling process, you need to build a sales approach into your marketing mix program. (Your marketing mix includes product, price, promotion and place – the sales activities belong in the promotion category.)

First, it is important to understand the marketing mix promotion category. Marketing promotion includes personal selling (face to face), direct mail marketing (one-to-one and via email or mail), and use of telemarketing campaigns (one-to-one and via telephone). Additionally, marketing promotion includes the advertising (for example, radio, newspapers, internet, magazines, storefront, and more), promotions (for example, trade shows, coupons, contests, point of purchase displays and more), and public relations (for example, press releases, community involvement, and more) activities.

Second, it is important to build a sales plan targeted to each product or service category, and also focused on each type of customer. If you are entering new markets, use sales contact management and sales leads software to focus your efforts. This software will also provide good sales service maintenance and follow-up support. Business process management tools help you to focus your sales activities and provide you with valuable time saving tactics. You can track and manage your activity and results for leads, prospects, and customers. You can also integrate your sales leads software with your sales management software to develop reports on customer purchases, service or product launches, price change impacts, service or product change impacts, and more.

Third, develop strong negotiating and closing skills. Always look for a win/win solution both for you and your customer. Make sure you focus on the unique value and benefits of your products and/or services and how that value will benefit your customer (solving their needs or problems). To negotiate a sale and to close a sale effectively requires a specific skill set. You need to be a very good listener and really hear what your customer is saying. You also need to be sincere – how many times have you heard pre-rehearsed closes that just turn you off? You can practice your close but when you are in front of a potential customer make sure that you can close based on what your customer just told you, what you heard, and what you believe you can deliver – in effect, how will you fulfill your customer’s needs more effectively than other suppliers?

To be successful in business, you need to either be successful at selling or be able to hire a great sales person because no matter what you have to sell (product, service, idea or something else), you will have to sell it to someone. Learning how to sell effectively is possible but you need to enjoy it. If you dread the idea of selling, don’t do it (your customers can perceive your discomfort and you will find it even harder to make the sale). Hire someone who loves to sell to do it for you (you can hire an employee, or sales agent, or contract worker, or broker but it is likely that employees will be most committed to you and your business). Customers and potential customers will resist buying from someone who isn’t comfortable with the sales process, and while you might get some orders, hiring someone who is good at selling will free you up to do what you’re good at… a much more effective use of your time and resources.

Overcome the challenge of developing small business sales skills:

  • learn to focus on developing a marketing mix promotion that includes building service or product differentiation and positioning features and benefits that help you to increase sales successfully;
  • learn to build an effective sales plan and use software and business process tools to help you manage the plan;
  • make sure you develop strong negotiating and closing skills and
  • learn how to manage your own efforts, or the efforts of others.

Learning how to sell effectively is of critical importance to your small business sales growth; and just as important is recognizing when to hire someone to do the selling for you.