Feeling like your sales quota is getting tough? Marketing efforts don’t help a lot? Only the luckiest of us always get all the leads from marketing, warmed up enough, the inbound qualified ones. All the rest have to roll up sleeves and go hunting themselves.
Let’s have a look at 4 classic ways of making leads without (or with a minimum) marketing support.
Magic of the Event networking
Roadshows usually are the toughest days in a sales calendar, yet they can be the most fruitful in a whole year. Face-to-face works best, so let’s define a quick checklist for the events’ networking:
1. Online calendars
Use the online calendars or make your own to be aware of all upcoming events of your interest. E.g., if we’re targeting tech and startup events in Boston, check this search request to find the local event data aggregators.
Check out several examples here:
2. Apps for networking
A new trend of digitalizing the networking process on the events appears. The bigger is the event, the higher is the opportunity this event would offer you to use a special-for-you developed tool for online networking.
The ‘editor’s best choice’ stands for Brella.io: a networking app that could be customized for almost every event. Using Brella means outreaching people who are ready for you to contact them. People in the app are waiting for some networking, and thus it’s a way too easier now to book several time slots with a certain person from a conference than before the existence of such an app.
3. Linkedin, Instagram, twitter hashtags
Sometimes being a good sales means going very-very close to your potential customers, but not selling yet. As the event is coming, certain hashtags are starting to appear more and more often in social networks.
To find a good lead here means starting to think like this person: where’d I go to get some good networking and/or spread my message for the community about me attending an event? Try several different keywords and hashtags and then scroll collecting from the feed people you think are your target. Being open to an event networking, they even could leave their emails in such posts. The next step is booking a meeting with them, good luck and be careful on this step!
You know me, and he knows you
Never forget to ask for referrals from your current customers. If always works best when your new lead is already warmed up by your customer.
Work with both active and passive references: don’t forget to ask your most loyal customers to share several contacts from their network, who might be interested in your product or services as well.
As for the passive reviews, it means working with traffic and profile optimization through some directories like Clutch.co and G2Crowd. People trust the reviews and references on Cutch as they are famous for interviewing people who leave the review, and checking if the review if real.
Go social, go personal, go wild
This approach requires a lot of time and resources spent per each lead, and this way is more about growing VIP customers than generating leads on the spot.
It works as follows: select 5–10 certain people — potential leads of very high quality (ability to pay, potential interest detected etc.) and start an investigation on each of the contacts. That means we have to find all the most interesting and relevant facts about our personas to generate several ideas of how to start a conversation with them and what kind of people they’d like to meet for a business lunch.
As soon as the investigation part ends, the chasing part of the hunt starts: we gently follow this person in social networks here and there, reply to their posts and comments, and then, ‘accidentally’ meet on the event or book a meeting in the advance. Now you got all the aces in your sleeve if you did the investigation part right.
Quick email & LinkedIn campaigns automated
A little party never kills nobody: though your marketing guys may help you with the outbound activities, there’s no big deal if you run several small automated emails or Linkedin campaigns by yourself. Please note that the word ‘automated’ is a keyword here, for you to not waste too much time on such activity.
There is an endless list of combinations of the tools for running such campaigns, and for you to not get tangled in this story we recommend the following list of questions to define which way suits you the most.
If you’d prefer email (if you use email outreach more actively):
- what CRM do you use? (this question stands for the tool which supports the necessary integration);
- which email provider do you use? (there are great solutions both for Gmail and other email providers);
- do you have the base of verified emails or you’d like to check them?
If you’d prefer Linkedin (if you use LinkedIn outreach more actively):
- what would you like to automate: invites, messaging, sequential messaging, making autoendorsments or something else?;
- do you have LinkedIn Premium?
As you define the answers to these questions for yourself, choosing among the tools would be much easier. Draft several nice and catchy templates, prepare and test your tools, and enjoy your little automation journey!