Lead Generation for Construction & the Built Environment

Generate Leads From Cold Calling & Emails

The Best Ways To Generate Sales & leads From Cold Calling & Emails

In the virtual world of the internet, getting customers and clients to your site can become a daily chore. After you have spent months building your brand and filling your site with interesting information ready to generate sales, it can be disheartening to spend a lot of time, money, and energy on your project for little to no returns.

Of course, SEO plays a huge part in generating traffic, which can then be converted into sales and leads, but SEO is not the be-all and end-all about getting customers on board. One method you can use to your advantage is cold calling and sending out emails. While you may not think that this is a good way to generate leads you would be highly mistaken. If you take a look at some of the world's largest businesses, part of their approach to generating sales is with the use of cold calling and email marketing strategies.

The proof is in the pudding when it comes to cold calling and sending emails to prospective leads. Of the 2 different strategies this article will discuss, one is slightly better than the other. The better choice for generating leads is by using email, especially as most telephone calls will be to people haven't actually logged on to a computer at the time of answering. An email can be sent to thousands of potential leads and contain all of the information they need to know to digest at their own time. You also have the fantastic option of adding in links to an email that will take the reader straight to the sales or SignUp page.

So, to begin with, we will discuss how cold calling can help generate leads for your business and what is the correct approach to cold calling for a successful outcome.

Cold Calling – Does It Really Work?

Cold calling is possibly one of the most frowned upon methods of generating sales and leads. For one reason, people are now very wary of people calling them to advertise or sell products, especially if it involves them giving out personal or sensitive information. Who can blame people for being wary? After all, there are now so many scammers and phishers out to garner peoples personal information with the intention of committing fraud or theft.

But cold calling doesn’t need to be quite as cold as it is commonly seen to be. There are several steps you can take to increase your chances of generating leads and not cause concern for the people you are calling. So, what methods can you take advantage of when placing a cold call?

Know Your Contact – If you are looking at generating leads from cold calling, then you need to know who it is you are selling. Forget a greeting with just ‘hello, sir/madam’ and use their full name if possible. Ensure that you target your cold calling to people who could benefit from your product or service. If you work as a content creator for medium sized insurance firms, why would you need to sell your service to florists or a company outside of your service sector? You don’t! Know who you are going to contact, the name of the person, and introduce yourself clearly and in a friendly yet professional manner.

Don’t Request Personal Or Sensitive Information – If you are cold calling you should never ask for someone's date of birth, home address, identity documents or numbers, or any financial information. If you are looking at taking sales, then ask for an email address at most to send a personalised email with a link to it. Any sales sites requesting financial or sensitive information should be encrypted with an SSL certificate. If you ask for any sensitive information, chances are you are going to be told where to go and you could end up receiving negative reviews online.

Get To The Point – Try not to spend too much time dithering on with a long introduction and friendly chit-chat. Many people do not have time to stand around talking to people they don’t know, so the sooner you can get to the point, the better. Watch the time of day that you make contact too. Keep calls between standard business hours of 9 am – 5 pm. Call before or after this time will cause irritation to people who are trying to get ready or wind down from work.

Keep It Friendly – Manners cost nothing, to ensure that you are polite and professional at all times. Don’t become irate or angry at people who are not responsive to your cold calling ... not everyone wants to be contacted. However, keeping it friendly yet professional helps build an element of friendship that helps build leads. Always address someone as Mr/Mrs/Ms followed by their last name, and if you want to use their first name ask for permission first.  Don’t come across as a jack the lad, arrogant, or overly confident and speak to people as if you were addressing someone of importance.

Prepare To Be Cut Off -  As stated several times in the previous sections, many people just don’t appreciate cold calls. Be prepared to be cut off often and learn to let it go and move on. It’s not that you are not a likeable or trustworthy person, it’s just that many people do not trust taking calls from people they don’t know. It is human nature. Have you ever received a call from an unknown or withheld number and then stood there with a look of horror on your face until it rings off? Yes? Well, that is a common reaction from most people.

There are several things you can do to further increase your chances with cold calling and these are to write a script and practice, practice, Practice.  You should always start off with a good morning / good afternoon / good evening, followed by their name and then followed by your name, job title, and company. Then follow on with something along the lines of: ‘I am calling you today to discuss ****, do you have a spare 5 minutes to talk with me?’ Ensure you know your product or service and don’t spend time umming and erring as this makes you sound unprofessional.

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Email Marketing Campaigns And Social Media

Email Marketing – Along with social media marketing, Email marketing is a fantastic way to generate leads and potential custom and the whole process can be pretty much automated. There are several programs online which you can use to your advantage for creating email marketing campaigns. The main thing to note is that you should target your emails to businesses or people who could potentially be interested in your product or service. Forget about buying a list of emails from a supplier, the majority of these email accounts are closed down or mail is diverted to the spam folder due to the immense amount of junk they receive each and every day.

The best way to generate leads from emails is by firstly performing a search for companies and businesses who may be interested in your product or service. Next, as you make your way through the search results, take a moment to go to the ‘contact us’ page and then copy the email address shown and add it to your email contacts. Try to really tailor your emails to the people you are contacting and don’t ask for any personal or sensitive information.

A great example of a generic opening Email is along the lines of ‘Dear (name), I am writing to you as I feel that you would be the person to talk to about (what it is you're selling), or at least be able to point me in the right direction of who to talk to.’

Keeping your opening email personalised and friendly helps the reader connect with you, and the request for help is something that always seems to get the email to the correct place. After all, most people like to feel as if they are being helpful, so this is a great strategy to get your email to the place it needs to be.

An email marketing campaign should be performed often, but not too often. If you keep sending out email after email on a daily basis, your potential leads will see you as a spambot and most likely end up unsubscribing from your email marketing list. A great email marketing campaign provider is Mail Chimp. Using automated software is a great way to send out consistent and regular updates to all members at the same time.  Each and every email you send out should be as clear as possible, formatted correctly, and contain working links to your content that you are promoting. Forget the fluff! Most people don’t have the patience or attention span to sit there and try to dig out your key points, to simplify the process for them and highlight exactly what it is you are asking them to do.

Take It To Facebook, Twitter, And Instagram

Social Media – Over the past 10 years, the way that businesses generate leads has changed tremendously. In the past businesses relied on television, radio, and newspaper advertising to help connect potential customers to their products or services. Nowadays, new clients and leads can be just a click of the mouse away. There are several well known social media giants, such as Facebook and Twitter to name a few who will give you access to an audience of over 1 Billion people. Yes, more than a seventh of the entire world's population.

Facebook has several platforms which are designed to help businesses reach a larger audience and build on leads and has dedicated pages for businesses. There are also Facebook ads, which help target promotional adverts to potential leads. Lastly, the hashtag feature used across all social media platforms allows users to share and recommend your business via word of mouth. At the end of the day, there is still nothing more powerful than word of mouth recommendations for a business, so ensure you create a Facebook page, add an Email sign up button, and perform uploads of fresh content on a daily basis.

For those who prefer to promote with pictures rather than words, Instagram is the ideal platform to use. There are 2 types of account on IG, which are personal and business accounts. A business account allows you to link up to your actual website and use hashtags to target your posts to potential leads. If you can combine Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram into your marketing campaign then you open the door to unlimited potential lead generations. It is important to note that you should provide different content on each platform so that your followers don’t become bored seeing the same content time after time.

SEO Techniques For Generating Leads

As we touched upon at the start of the article, SEO can play a huge role in generating leads for your business. Think of SEO as the map that leads to your site. Keywords are always going to be important, no matter how many times search engines such as Google change their algorithms.  The very best type of keywords to use is long tail keywords. The reason long tail keywords are more likely to generate leads is that they provide a whole search term which people who have already decided to purchase a product or service use.

As an example, standard keywords for a content writing service could be ‘writing, articles, content, service’ whereas a long tail keyword would be more along the lines of ‘ Creative Custom Content Writing Services’ or ‘Hire Writers For My Business’. These more direct search terms help drive traffic to your site and target those who already know what they are looking for.

Another thing you can do is look to hire a creative writing company to provide you with custom content for your website and blog which will interest your customers. 90% of leads generated originate from an article or blog post linking back to the service area, so having someone provide you with regular and related content can be one of the very best things you can do. Hiring a company to write for you frees up your time so you can focus more on your email and cold calling campaigns and will be one of the best things you could do as part of your lead generation campaign.

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Things To Avoid Doing At All Costs

Lose Your Temper – Losing your temper because you are not getting the responses you want not only makes you look unprofessional, it also makes you come across as selfish and arrogant, and nobody wants to deal with people like that. Even if you get told no 300 times in a day, simply finish your call with a polite ‘thank you’ and move on to your next call.

Become Too Personal – While it is perfectly acceptable to be friendly and polite to people you are contacting, avoid using first names until you personally know them. This helps keep a level of professionalism between you both, and when the time is right, you can begin addressing them by their first name. You wouldn’t walk into a job interview and say ‘Hi Gloria, what’s up?’, you would address her as Mrs/Ms and her last name.

Beat Around The Bush – Get to the point and forget all of the small talk and fluff. If people had time for small talk, then they would probably spend it talking to family or friends. Be polite, be concise, and get to the point. Introduce yourself, introduce your product or service, make your request, finish the call. If you have their email address, ensure you follow up with a thank you and a link to the product or service.

Spam People – If you send out more than 3 emails a week many people will view you as a spammer. While email marketing is important, looking desperate by sending email after email will only put people off. Not only that, but you are likely to be placed in the spam folder if you overload their email account with your marketing emails. If possible, keep emails to once a week at the maximum and ensure that the content you are sending is relevant and in line with what the reader is interested in.

By following the information above, you should be able to put together a great cold calling, emailing, and social media marketing campaign in no time at all. While the above is just general advice which has been tried and tested over the years, the evolution of the internet will no doubt bring us more methods for generating leads. Of course, some methods will always work better than others, and cold calling should be performed after email contact has been made. That way the client or business you are contacting will already know who you are and what you are selling/providing.

The Crannull hypothesis – "The more people we speak to for you, the more opportunities we can create. The more opportunities we create, the greater the chance there is in you signing new clients."

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