B2B lead generation is one of those things that everyone seems to do, but don’t really know that they are actually doing it. It’s a basic concept: identity problems that need to be addressed, then address them and show how a business can profit from it. When problems can be fixed at the right time and for the right price, then you’re going to make a sale.
How can this message be effectively communicated out to the B2B contacts you already have? Is it possible to create new prospects under this basic formula? Here are some proven ways that anyone can improve their B2B messages right now.
1. Provide the Answer
Just deciding to blog today isn’t good enough. You need to provide real value within your blogging presence. By focusing on the answers with a strong intention to provide the B2B value that is needed, you’ll be able to find plenty of inspiration. There’s a good chance you’ve been answering questions about what you represent all week anyway. Go through your emails, get the questions you’ve been asked, and blog about them. That’s how you can provide an answer to people every day through blogging and increase your B2B lead gen.
2. Avoid the Social Trap
The social trap online is to get thousands of followers and likes from your community, but zero sales. Real B2B prospects aren’t just going to pop out of a follower count that exceeds 10,000. It comes from your ability to forge real relationships through your social network efforts. If one business only has 200 followers and has created 10 sales because real B2B engagement and the other business has 10 sales from 10,000 followers from sheer luck, which is better? 20 sales or 10 sales? Don’t look at the follower counts. Look at the actual sales.
3. Show Your Hand
What makes you different is what makes you better. One of the best ways to show how different you happen to be is through the advice that you can give others in webinars or an old-fashioned seminar. It’s an instant expertise building experience where you can engage on a 1:1 level. If your expertise can solve problems for someone and you’ve shared that expertise directly, then business will line up to enter your sales funnel.
4. Create a Sponsorship Network
Sponsorships are what will create the right kind of referrals. Just having someone stop by your business doesn’t mean they are a referral. You’ve got to work with your network to have your information sponsored to their customer base to drive in the traffic that you want. How do you get sponsorships through your network? By offering sponsorships in return. If you’ve got a customer who could benefit from something another business has, then refer that customer to the other business. Together you’ll be able to capture leads more efficiently than if you work independently from each other.
5. Value Multiplies
The average B2B prospect isn’t going to bite on the first offer you make to them. You’ll need to keep providing value to those prospects to keep them engaged. Providing the same video links, similar blog posts, or asking the same questions shows that you’re just one dimensional and that will cause prospects to leave your sales funnel. Value multiplies upon itself, so don’t worry about setting up a string of sequential opportunities for people to see how good you really are. Each exposure will multiply the desire to do business with you.
6. Go Warm, Not Cold
Cold calling has its place when trying to expand a network, but expanding sales always comes from warm calling. Your inside sales talents are what will build your B2B lead gen more than anything else. Most people aren’t going to be sold with a direct conversation, so you’ve got to be subtle about it. Ask about setting up a business with a free webinar. Don’t push the hard sale. Just call up your contact and make yourself useful. Usefulness speaks volumes about the value you have to offer and shows how confident you are that your stuff works.
7. Stop the Bulk Mail
Nobody is buying the idea that you wrote them a personal letter of contact when there’s a bulk mail stamp on the envelope. Even if they did, how much business are you really going to get from someone gullible enough to fall for the format before they wise up to the fact that you really don’t care about them beyond the B2B metrics they can meet for you? Stick to small marketing mailing attempts and actually create personal letters. You’ll often get more sales from 50 personal letters per month than in 5,000 bulk mail letters.
8. Don’t Network in Prime Time
There’s nothing wrong with the meet and greet networking events that many businesses invest time into. The issue is that the timing on these networking events is extraordinarily bad. Most of the B2B networking that occurs in a community is arranged for after business hours, usually on a Thursday or a Friday, when the average person would rather be at home. The average attendee will put down a drink or two, shake a hand or two, and then leave. Change up the networking to occur during the morning, when everyone is fresh, and do it at your place of business. Not only can you then shake some hands and offer some drinks [non-alcoholic before lunch, of course!], but you can take people on a tour that proves first hand the value that you’re claiming.
9. Do the Interview
Interviewing key people in your industry is a classic method of building value and expertise that still works. Most people want to be reporters or podcasters about as much as they want someone constantly placing staples into their forehead. If you can interview key industry personnel, however, and get some of their expertise out into the general public’s world, then you’ll be able to show two things: you can network effectively and being in your network is a valuable place to be. That’s why this is a great B2B lead gen tip.
B2B lead gen seems like it can be difficult some days, but it doesn’t have to be. Use these tips to improve your lead gen today and your sales might just start taking off by this time tomorrow.