Set-up a 2 step lead machine and you can say goodbye to cold calling while generating all of the qualified, permission based leads you can handle.
The basic idea behind the 2 step technique is to create one or more valuable reports, workshops, evaluations, trial products, checklists, newsletters, courses or tip sheets. You know, something like, “How to pick the right bed” or “What every marketer needs to know about online advertising” or “101 More Things You Can Do With Your iPod”.
Now that you have your value packed written report or audio CD, every bit of your advertising – that’s Yellow Pages, direct mail, back of your business card, letterhead, email signature, web site – should focus on getting people to pick up, request or download that report. Don’t try to do anything else with your advertising, let the report sell you. See, that’s step 1.
There are several reasons that this approach is so much more effective for the small business owner than the traditional “image” type advertising.
First off, if you only buy a 2 x 3 ad or send a 4 x 6 postcard, can you really tell your story very well?
Secondly, this approach allows you to demonstrate your expertise in a non-threatening, on the prospect’s own terms, way. Nobody likes to be sold to, but if they take the time to read your report, understand what you do that has value, have an 8-10 page conversation with you, the relationship and trust has begun.
A person who has requested your free information is officially a hot lead. When a prospect visits your web site they are effectively raising their hand and identifying themselves as someone who is very interested in what you do. Half of your sales job is done!
If your advertising is focused on gathering the lead into the free report funnel, then your sales efforts are focused on taking that group and only that group that raised their hands and taking them to the next step in the process. That may be an appointment or just a series of more advanced mailings. By the way that’s step 2.
So let’s recap.
Create a free information product that your target market would see as a valuable read or listen.
Advertise the free report in everything you do.
Capture the names and emails of those who request the report.
Cold calling doesn’t work, it’s no fun and often you end up with leads, or worse yet, clients, that don’t really value what you do.
Having said that, leads are the lifeblood of growth, without a lead, there is no client.
If you take this technique to heart, everything about how you market your business will change. Finding new business will become a much more rewarding and valuable experience.
A couple bonus ideas:
Once you create your free report you will find other uses for it.
Referrals – Give the report or the web page where the report is found to your referral sources and tell them to introduce you by way of your free report or newsletter. This makes it easy for them to refer you and assures that your story is told.
Cold-calling – I know, I know, you shouldn’t ever need to cold call but, if you do, do it this way. Call up those prospects on your list and instead of trying to convince them to give you 5 minutes of their time a week from Tuesday, offer them the address of your power packed free info and then shut-up. Your prospecting time will be much more productive if you can use it to turn cold calling into 2-step prospecting.