Finding sales leads or prospects is much easier today than when I began in sales. I literary had to use the Yellow Pages at one point in my career. Needless to say, I wasn’t very effective. Now with the internet, you have a much easier time finding leads. The real challenge is making sure you are using your time wisely to prospect and find the right leads to call on.
Below is a list of sources to help you –
1). Industry newsletters – subscribe to as many industry newsletters as you can. You can always find leads to contact. Most newsletters are free.
2). Live Chat – set up a Live Chat box on your website. Sometimes people are shy about calling you directly, so at a spur of the moment, they will send you a Live Chat to ask questions or obtain quotes.
3). Trade Shows – rent out an exhibit booth at a trade show. If you can’t afford a booth, consider speaking at a workshop or sign up as an attendee and make the rounds – both during the trade show and after hours at social events.
4). Customer Referrals – hey, if your clients like your products and services, it doesn’t hurt to ask them for a referral. You may want to consider offering a discount.
5). Good Marketing Content – providing useful content on your website will encourage prospects to visit your site, and hopefully, they will download your material and provide you with contact information, e.g., name, email address, phone number.
6). LinkedIn – since LinkedIn is a professional site, you should be able to find plenty of prospects to contact. Also, target discussion groups within your industry – there you should find a lot of potential buyers.
7). Twitter – you can find prospects by seeking buying signals. For example, if you sell bike accessories, type in “bike accessories” under search to see if someone is trying to buy those items. Or, look for a hashtag like #bike accessories.
8). Your Competitor’s website – believe it or not, many companies list their clients on their website. Big mistake. You may think you are impressing your clients and potential prospects, but all you are doing is giving your competitors a list of your clients to contact.
9). Paid Lead generating tools – Below is a list of the most popular ones:
Sales Genie (from Infogroup, Inc.)
InfoUSA (also from Infogroup, Inc.)
Hoover’s (from Dun & Bradstreet, Inc.)
Data.com (formerly Jigsaw from Salesforce.com)
RainKing (used in the IT industry)
DiscoverOrg (used in the IT and Finance industries)
10). Your old expired trials or clients – Just because you haven’t heard from your expired trials or clients for a while, doesn’t mean they may not be interested in ordering from you. Give them a call. Drop them an email. Who knows, they may be glad to hear from you. Maybe they now have a budget to make a purchase. Maybe new upper management came on board and now they are interested in speaking with you again. It can’t hurt you to swing back and see if they are interested again.
I hope the above list helps. Please let me know if you have any suggestions.