As a digital marketer, the very first thing I hear during discovery meetings with prospects is “I need more leads”. And that, well, makes sense, otherwise they wouldn’t be talking to a marketing business. But more importantly, leads means clients and clients means revenue – the only way for a business to survive.
However, every time I hear that, I typically answer with “are you sure”?
Suddenly, the discussion takes an unexpected turn.
From their point of view, of course they need leads. From my point of view, my job as a digital marketer is to generate leads for them so why would I talk them out of hiring me?
The answer to that is not as complicated as many make it.
Firstly, way before business comes the human aspect. Telling businesses to purely focus of generating leads is unfair, purely because leads is possibly not what they need.
In that case, what do businesses need and why should leads not always be the priority?
1. What are you doing with all the current one’s?
When I hear a business saying they don’t get enough leads, I firstly enquire how many they are getting. Once I get a number, the next question is, how many of those are they closing.
This discussion is not put in place to make anybody feel bad and certainly not to name and shame the sales team, but let’s say a business is getting 8 leads per week and out of those 8 leads they are closing one or two of them. The issue isn’t necessarily the quantity. So, the question needs to be asked regarding those six out of eight missed opportunities. What is turning leads away from the business?
2. The process
Generating leads to a business is important, we know that. However, the lack of processes, planning, and execution are often the reason businesses end up losing many leads. So, prior to generating more leads, a business needs to have the right processes in place that would include how leads are handled, who in the business receives them, what are the follow-up steps, and what is the journey that leads are taken on. If team members are confused and the processes are not in place, needless to say, that needs fixing.
In point two we mentioned team members and the handling of leads. Accountability is key for everything in business but certainly for when and how leads are handled. The processes in place are crucial because it has all the business following the same methods and strategies and accountability is a major factor because it helps the business become more efficient and provides great indicators to where things are going right and where they need to be improved.
4. Branding in preparation for leads
Whether a business has been running for 12 years or two months, branding must remain front of mind. Business owners or marketing teams need to always ask themselves not only what is the solution they are offering but why people come to them. It is crucial that branding gets the attention it deserves, whether that means a modern design of logos and marketing materials or just consistency. Whichever it may be, it needs to be inviting and attractive.
We keep calling them leads but the most important thing we need to remember is that leads means people. Treating people with a personal and professional approach will help build relationships and ultimately will help grow the business. So, don’t treat leads as leads. Treat them the way you would want to be treated. Use your brand and solution to educate, solve a problem, and make someone’s life better.
So, leads. Yes, they are the oxygen of every business and they are required for a business to survive but they are not the first or only thing a business needs. In fact, focusing on the areas above first will have a positive impact on not only the quantity of future leads but certainly the quality.
And as for marketing. Yes, marketing is important and certainly valuable for businesses but should not be the only focus.
For more information about digital marketing and growing a brand, contact us at A Digital Marketer.
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