What small businesses need to know about lead generation

Posted by peterbaylis on October 1, 2017

Technology changes; human psychology doesn’t

The Reality of Lead Generation

Have you ever been in conversation with a business contact and either heard or used the phrase “Oh we tried that but it didn’t work” in relation to generating leads? The implication being that it was the channel or technology that was to blame. Well, I have news for you, your potential customer does not care about your business except insofar as you can take away the problem or issue that they don’t want by providing them with a solution that they don’t have. It is very easy as a business to be in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong message, to the wrong audience.

Think about what prompts you as an individual to start a buying process, particularly a larger more material transaction such as buying a car, a household appliance, a computer, a business service, etc. You have a need that may result from a problem or a desire but, either way, you are looking for fulfilment of that need. At this stage the nature of the supplier of that fulfilment is irrelevant – what you want to know first and foremost is “can they solve my problem”.

The Psychology of Lead Generation

When you are putting together marketing content for your business whose purpose is to generate leads you need to be able to state up front and without any equivocation that “yes, we can solve your problem”.

We are all bombarded with hundreds of marketing messages everyday so, you may well ask, how do we demonstrate that we can “solve their problem” and, in the process, generate a lead for our business. Well, consider the following four words:

  • Interrupt
  • Engage
  • Educate
  • Offer

Together these four words constitute what we at PEB Marketing Academy call the “Conversion Equation”.

  1. Interrupt – the first and by far the most important step in the conversion equation. The ‘Interrupt’ is your headline – which means it’s the first thing someone sees when they visit your website, read any of your marketing collateral… or hear you speak. When someone asks you what you do, it’s the first words out of your mouth. That’s your headline… and it MUST address the problem your prospects have that they don’t want. If it does not address their ‘hot button’ issue then what follows will be irrelevant since their conscious mind will not have been engaged (a process known as ‘reticular activation’) and they will subconsciously move on to the next thing.
  2. Engage – the ‘Engage’ is your sub-headline – which is the second thing your prospects see or hear. It MUST address the result your prospect wants but doesn’t have. This is where you encapsulate what you do to address their problem.
  3. Educate – the ‘Educate’ is the information you provide… either verbally or in writing… that presents evidence to your prospects that you and your product or service are superior in every way to your competition. This is where you typically include features and benefits information, social proof (e.g., testimonials, product reviews, etc)
  4. Offer – You MUST create a compelling ‘offer’ that makes it so irresistible your prospects can’t turn it down. Increasingly small business marketing is about demonstrating your expertise in what you do. One of the key ways to do this is to demonstrate to the prospect that you know your market. Information that you could offer in return for their contact details could for example be “Top 10 things you need to know before buying”.

For the purposes of brevity this article can do no more than skim the surface of a very broad subject area. The “conversion equation” is designed to give the hard-pressed small business owner a ‘rule of thumb’ when thinking about how best to generate leads for their products and services. If you would like to find out more please take a look at Chapter One of my e-book “How I find £10k in 45 minutes for any business”.

If you feel that the process that I outline in the book is one you might like to go through for your business then I am happy to carry out an online screen-share free of charge. All I ask in return is that you give me your permission to use your details in a case study (named or anonymously) and, if you are suitably impressed, a referral or two. To book your session please make an appointment in my online calendar system.