10 things I do every week to get tons of sales and clients
Article by Michael Mapes from LinkedIn
One of the things I'm truly exceptional at in my business is generating an ongoing stream of steady leads making it much easier to fill my programs, sell my products, and ensure I get to work with a wonderful group of amazing clients. Creating a great string of leads for their business is also one of the biggest challenges my clients face, and one I want to help you solve if you struggle with it as well in this post.
If you don't have a steady stream of ideal client leads in your business than running a business probably feels really hard. It might feel like no one is interested in what you do, or like you can't charge what you're worth, or you may even have an artificially high close ratio because you aren't talking to enough people, and so the cash projections for your business are seriously off.
I realize it's not that getting leads comes any easier to me, it's just I understand a few essentials, and have some great systems in place to ensure no matter what else is going on in my business, or my personal life, new energy, new clients, and new cash continues to flow into my business.
Here are the 10 things I do every week to ensure I have a steady stream of new sales and clients.
1. Turn my attention to it. This sounds basic, but if you don't begin your week with a clear picture of when you will focus on generating new leads, and how you are going to generate those new leads, you WILL get distracted by other things. It's amazing how many times we get wrapped up in creating, in admin, or other tasks that are more comfortable to us. Begin each week by dedicating some attention to charting your lead generation strategy for that week.
2. Meet with my team. Make it clear that everyone on your team is in the sales and marketing game. You are all responsible for generating new leads. Whether it's through delivering great service, asking for up sells, or referring people to the business, get your team invested in the goal of enrolling new clients. Even when I only had a virtual assistant for a few hours a week, I made sure that she was also focusing on high-value tasks, or handling all of the low-value tasks so that I could focus on bringing in clients.
3. Dedicate appropriate time. In the beginning of running my business I spent 4-6 hours a day on generating new leads. As you begin to build your business this shifts and evolves, but most people just aren't spending enough time asking people to pay them money or buy their programs, products, or services. Schedule out time on your calendar to work on lead generation, and break it down by the specific high-value activities you will take each day.
Hint: if you don't know the activities that's the 1st problem you have to solve...and you should be solving it...right now!
4. Follow-up with old leads. Every week I have a list of prospects whom I've talked with before. I follow-up, check-in, see where they are at, and ask them how I may be of service to them. I get sales every week from following-up with this list of contacts. Just because someone says "No" it usually just means "no not right now." If you're serious about helping people, reach back out, and see how you can be of value to you.
5. High touch, high technology follow-up system. I don't care if you've been in business a week or you've been in business a month, you need to have a good CRM (customer relationship management) system in place. A CRM is a database of your contacts where you keep notes on previous interactions, as well as create tasks for what the next action you need to take with each lead.
You can automate follow-up steps like sending an email, or a snail mail card, or create tasks that remind you to call someone or email them directly. This is the absolute future - using the best of technology - with the best of personal touches - to create a seamless experience that shows potential customers you care. If you're new to business find a free system or use a basic excel spreadsheet.
6. Major lead trigger. I plan on at least one major lead trigger per month, combined with smaller efforts to reach clients. This means I either want one sponsorship, one webinar (with hundreds of attendees), one partnership (with someone who has a sizable list), one speaking gig (15-20 people), one telesummit interview, one paid email blast. In short, one event that I know without a doubt is going to get highly qualified prospects directly into a conversation with me.
7. Multiple smaller lead triggers. I make sure to supplement my major lead trigger with a series of smaller, ongoing outreach efforts. These include a combination of using LinkedIn, email marketing, attending networking meetings, asking for referrals, up selling current clients, and smaller partnerships and speaking gigs. The key here is you must stay consistent (and start to automate) week after week or you'll notice a massive roller coaster in your income.
8. Clear goals. I know exactly how many conversations I need to have in a week in order to meet my goals. I review these goals and my calendar weekly to make sure I'm on track. This way I am never in the dark about exactly where I stand in my business. I also know if I need to add additional lead generating activities to my calendar. Remember: action is the antidote to fear.
9. No excuses. In the beginning, before you have a list, there is a bit more heavy lifting involved. But this is actually the FUN part! Because you get to refine your message, figure out exactly what works for you, discover the marketing tactics that are going to make up your overall strategy, and really connect, on a deep level, with your ideal customers. Too many people resent this step, and ultimately avoid it, because it puts you face-to-face with your fears. Most of which you need to talk through to get to the next level of success in business.
Even though it's a bit harder in the beginning, you have to apply the same standard a highly successful person would apply: absolutely no excuses. If you need to have 3-5 conversations a week to meet your goal, then you don't stop until you've created those conversations. When you calibrate your business and your life to this standard, you start to get incredibly creative about the things you can do to get new leads. You also start to notice that leads come in from all kinds of places, even sources you weren't directly working!
Getting leads in your business needs to be something you are willing to go the extra mile for...because you if you aren't...someone else will.
10. Referrals. There are people out there who share your mission and your vision and they are happy to refer clients to you. Creating a referral program that is fun for people to take part in is easy, and gets results quickly. Then each week reach back out to your contacts and ask who they would like to refer to you this week. Referrals are much more likely to become clients, and you start to establish very profitable win-win relationships with your partners.