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“Giving” Is a Key to How to Increase Business

Posted by Helen Steidinger on Fri, Dec 23, 2011 @ 08:16 AM

This is a giving and joyous time of year…and there is excitement in the air … anticipating a New Year and what marketing will hold!

In this season of giving, it comes to mind that successful lead generation is also really about just that…GIVING.  Giving and helping our target audience is key to successfully generating leads.  Prospects are naturally attracted when they sense the spirit of giving.  They open up and listen.  Start giving…bits of helpful information, tidbits and tips, shortcuts and highlights…

But… rest assured… we want to make one quick statement… Do NOT give away your services… Prospects expect to pay for valuable services.  Not only will you hurt yourself by giving away services, but you will hurt your entire industry.  Just attract your prospects with gifts that help them.  This will help you in return!

May you and your family have a wonderful Christmas holiday!  We looking forward to connecting with you again after the first of the year!

In the meantime, if you need us, please feel free to email us.

Complimentary Assistance

Did you get our FREE e-paper – 10 Marketing Steps for 2012?!  Go here to get it:

10 Marketing Steps for 2012

10 B2B Lead Generation Marketing Tips for 2012

Posted by Helen Steidinger on Wed, Dec 21, 2011 @ 04:42 PM

We quickly wanted to offer you some tips as you plan your marketing for 2012.  Grab our e-paper titled 10 Marketing Tips for 2012.

Money Scale-resized-600Feel free to download our e-paper here:

10 Marketing Tips for 2012

Putting together a marketing plan for the year is critical in successful lead generation.  Hopefully these tips will help you jump-start your plan.

Download our e-paper

The e-paper will help you zero in on how to approach good prospects and turn them into clients.  Some of these tips have been detailed in our blog during the last few months.  However, there are many that have not yet been covered.

Hurry and download it and then jump in and get started!

FREE e-paper

As we near the holidays… we wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

Stay tuned for additional tips on successful lead generation!

As usual, feel free to email us with any questions…

Complimentary Assistance

Proper words are critical for successful lead generation surveys

Posted by Helen Steidinger on Fri, Dec 16, 2011 @ 04:08 PM

We were discussing the use of surveys for successful lead generation.  Wording your questions properly and putting them in a specific order is important.

Here are some hints on creating successful surveys (studies):

Money Scale-resized-6001.)  Keep the survey/study to 10 – 14 questions which take less than 3 minutes to answer.

2.)  The first question needs to be a “lead in question.”  It should be a natural progression to what was said or written before.  If possible, it is best if it is a “yes/no” question with the natural answer to be “yes.”  The prospect should not have to think long or hard to answer it.

3.)  The second, third and fourth questions should also be easy ones for the prospect to answer.  They should in no way seem “nosy” or “sales-y.”  If they require a “yes/no” answer, it is best if 90% of the time the answer is “yes.”  Starting a survey/study off with a “no” is not good.

If these questions are not ”yes/no” questions, it is best to make them multiple-choice.  This keeps the prospect from having to think too hard, but giving them choices will engage them.  Getting them engaged early in the survey is key.  Engagement happens when they feel “good” about answering the questions… so taking the “research” approach most often works best – with some general questions about the purpose of the study.

At least by the third or fourth question, you should begin to feel comfortable asking questions that directly relate to your need of finding out information that will help you determine whether or not this prospect is a good prospect for you.

4.)  The next five - seven questions should relate directly to uncovering pains, determining if/how you might be able to help the prospect.  But, they need to be worded in a way that you don’t seem like a salesperson.  TRULY, you are trying to determine if how you can help.

5.)  The final questions should help close in on level of interest… they might be:

- If there would be solution to ___________ – over the next two weeks – would you have 15 minutes to discuss this?

- Assuming there would be a system that would solve some or all of ________________, how much would it be worth to you?  Could you budget… (Give multiple choice ranges of $ amounts for budget)

- Ok, I’ll will pass this information along to the research team.  If they have a couple more quick questions or if someone sees there is a potential fit, in the next few days, would it be ok if they give you a quick jingle?

- Would you possibly be interested in taking 15 – 20 minutes to see a demo/webinar that shows how a system might benefit a _____________ such as yours?

These are some ideas… the important thing to remember is to be very careful not to come across as a salesperson.  Think about how you would like to be surveyed if you were in the prospects shoes.  The other important things is… get in the frame of mind that you truly are looking to help and to do that you are uncovering needs.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us!

Complimentary Assistance

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Problem Solving Key to Successful Lead Generation

Posted by Helen Steidinger on Fri, Dec 09, 2011 @ 12:52 PM

As I mentioned in my last blog post, surveying your target market can demonstrate that you are truly interested in the success of their industry.

Developing an appropriate survey is dependent on:

1.)  The needs of your target audience

2.)  How your product/service solves those needs

3.)  Developing the right approach to demonstrate the benefits you can provide

If you have a list of prospects with whom you are regularly emailing, doing an email survey might be the place to start.  As with any email, the subject line is critical.  It is important not to come across as if you are selling something.  Your subject line might be:

- Help solve (one of the noted pains in the industry you are targeting) OR
- Do you have a solution for (one of the noted pains) OR
- Solving (the pain) yields more profits

Then, if you can, in the body of your email immediately tie your “story line” to the subject line.  In this way, the reader will feel satisfied right away that you are truly continuing with what grabbed their attention.

Your story might be an example of a client’s success.  It could be some statistics that show when (the pain) is solved what it yields.  It is important to be short and informative… don’t get off subject.  Your reader is busy and is reading to obtain some value or satisfaction.

Whatever your “story” might be, it should lead to prompting them to take the online survey.  Try to give them a compelling reason to do this.  Tell them how it can help them potentially solve a pain of their own.  Think about it from their perspective… So that even if they don’t know you, they will see benefit in taking the 1 – 2 minutes to complete the survey.

If you don’t already have an email list, your best next step might be to cold call a list of prospects.  You might be thinking… “no way!”  Stay tuned… It isn’t as hard as you think… especially if you truly care about helping your target audience…

Let us know if you have any questions or if we can help in any way!

 

Until next week!

Helen & Mary Beth

Secret to B2B Lead Generation: Authentically Surveying Prospects

Posted by Helen Steidinger on Sat, Dec 03, 2011 @ 11:12 AM

Once you have a good list of potential prospects, it is critical to learn as much as possible about them so that you can help them.

tele-marketing-resized-600[1]Think about it… If you know what their pains, problems, concerns, and issues are in the area of your expertise… how easy would it be to put together a plan to show them the value of your product or service.

The quickest and best way to get this information is to launch a B2B lead generation tele-marketing research campaign.  If you sell a product or service that can be sold nationally or regional, that is all the better.

Develop a survey that fits your target market and will provide valuable information… not only to you but also to your target audience.

In developing the survey questions, your first few questions should be a very easy-answer (preferably a “yes”).  It should be something non-threatening, almost a “no-brainer,” and it should allow you to establish a good rapport with the prospect.

Next, ask some questions that will help you “segment” the prospect into areas so that you know which level/tier of your product/service that might best fit them.

Next, outline 3 – 4 benefits/solutions that your product/service provides and zero in on the specific “pains” it solves.

Then, ask a question for each pain, maybe have them rate their pain on a scale of 1 – 5.  If possible create questions that are easily understood and use the “jargon” of your target audience.

Finally, the last question should ask their level of interest in a solution to some or all of these pains.  Wording is critical here…

In my next few posts, I plan to delve into ways to get the survey to your prospects, the wording of the survey questions, and the script.  Ultimately, though, you want to have 14 or less questions in the survey.  It should only take 1 to 2 1/2 minutes if possible, unless you have a way for them to interact visually.

Being authentic and genuinely interested in helping them find solutions to their problems is very key.  Surveying them can help accomplish this!

Any questions?!  Email us!

Complimentary Assistance

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Get a Quality List for B2B Lead Generation

Posted by Helen Steidinger on Fri, Nov 18, 2011 @ 05:40 PM

Once you have specifically defined your target audience for your lead generation program it is critical that you have a good quality, electronic list.

There are many, many list companies out that that wish to sell lists.  Be careful that you don’t just buy the cheapest list and get a bunch of contacts who are no longer in business.

It isn’t unusual to have some “bad contacts” on the list but they should be minimal.  If the list company can’t provide a 90% deliverability rate, then you should probably search for another provider.

Be sure to ask about the available criteria to select your list.  Being as selective as possible to your target audience, the better chance you have of reaching good leads.

Some criteria which may be helpful to ask for – depending on your target audience:

Geographic
Industry (SIC code)
Sales volume
# of employees
# of PC’s
Home based business/not
Contact title (ie CEO, Vice President Operations, IT Manager, etc.)

Depending on your product or service, the contact title can be very critical.  Being specific can make your campaign much more productive and profitable.

Also, request for the list in electronic format (ie .csv or .xls).  Getting it in .csv format will allow you to import the contacts into pretty much any spreadsheet or contact management software which will make for a much easier campaign.

The software system you use can also be very important to the success of your lead generation program.  We can help you with some of the pros and cons of many systems.

Complimentary Assistance

Important: Know Your Target for B2B Lead Generation

Posted by Helen Steidinger on Sat, Nov 05, 2011 @ 01:40 PM

For any B2B Lead Generation program, it is critical to know the specific person or company type that you need.  Think in terms of industry type, company size, position(s) within the company, personality type, annual sales volume of the company, and multi or single locations.

Ask yourself these questions:

1.)  Who needs my product/service?

2.)  Who knows they need what I am offering?

3.)  Who realizes the value in hiring an expert for my service?

The answer to these questions might be a perfect fit for your particular product or service.  Try to build a “persona” around the ideal prospect you want.

Then, take that persona and create a list.  Your list can come from companies you already know, from online searches, and/or from a list company.

In today’s market, it is not difficult to get a list created around your “persona” or criteria.  You can search online for “mailing list” and you will get thousands of results.

However, be careful as some of these companies are not reputable.  Find out if they keep their lists current and clean and/or if they have statistics on their “return” rates.  Look for reviews online and see what others are saying about them.

Knowing your target and then getting a good list is critical to any B2B lead generation campaign.

If you need help creating your “persona” or finding a list, feel free to call us at (815) 692-3710 or email us here.

Complimentary Assistance

The Business Connection

Lead Generation Techniques – Know Your Product (or Service)

Posted by Helen Steidinger on Sat, Oct 29, 2011 @ 12:52 PM

In my previous blog article, I said that one of the basic steps in successful lead generation is “Identify the specific product/service that you are marketing.”

This may seem like an obvious thing.  But, it isn’t.

You may think you know exactly what you are marketing.  The key is can you explain it in 30-seconds or less?  AND, do others correctly interpret what you are saying?

If someone asks you, “What is it that you do?”  Or, “What are you selling?”  Do you have a powerful message that explicitly states the benefits to anyone remotely interested in a short amount of time?  Some call this your “unique selling proposition” (USP) or “value proposition.”

Take the time to write out your USP and ask 10 people (preferably people who don’t know you on a professional level) if you could rehearse to them and see if they could tell you in their own words what you do or what you sell.  If you are satisfied with their response, then you are well on your way to generating quality leads!

Click here if you would like some help developing your USP.

If you really want to test your USP, approach 10 strangers (who might be in your target audience) who have no idea what you do and ask them the same thing.  It is critical that you have a pretty good start to developing your USP before you attempt this.

Just realize… if it goes well, you may win some new clients!

As a rainbow is a symbol of promise… a well-developed USP is a good start to a promising business!

rainbow

Email us for more tips!

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7 Steps to Profitable Lead Generation

Posted by Helen Steidinger on Sat, Oct 22, 2011 @ 04:21 PM

Profitable lead generation is a critical part of growing a B2B business.  It is often considered the most difficult.

It seems like common-sense that when you start a lead generation campaign that you know what you are “marketing.”  But, do you really know… or is it a broad service?

What specifically are your marketing?  Can you explain it in 30 seconds or less?

Here are seven steps to successful lead generation:

1.)  Identify the specific product/service that you are marketing (in your mind, be able to explain this in 30 seconds or less)

2.)  Identify the specific target audience that needs this product/service.

3.)  Obtain an electronic list

4.)  Develop ten questions to survey the prospects on this list.

5.)  Using the survey, launch a study of the target audience… Learn more about what they need and want

6.)  Develop a script with the mindset of doing research to complete the study

7.)  Call these prospects, complete the survey, get their email addresses to stay in touch with them to send them the results of the study AND nurture them as leads!

Email us for more tips!

3 Tips For Using HubSpot’s Blogging Application

Posted by Blog Tipster on Sat, Oct 22, 2011 @ 03:54 PM

Tip 1: Embedding Video into Your Blog

  1. Most video sites like YouTube have an “embed” source code that you can copy and paste. For YouTube, this code is listed just to the right of the video itself, under a person’s username.
  2. Open up the HTML Editor in HubSpot by clicking the “HTML” button in the toolbar. Then, paste in the source code at that point of the article you’d like the video to show up.
  3. Save! This tip will work on the rest of the CMS as well, not just in the blog. Just click on “Add Module”, and add an HTML module. You’ll be able to paste in the source code directly, and the video will exist as a stand alone module on your site.

Tip 2: Automate Your Social Media Publishing

If you use the HubSpot blogging platform, then we’ll be able to automatically publish your content for you.  To set up Social Media Publishing, complete the following steps:

  1. We need to add your social media credentials before we can automate your blog publishing to their feeds. Under the Promote tab, open up HubSpot’s Social Media application.
  2. Click the “Social Media Accounts” button. When prompted, add your credentials for the social media sites you’d like to publish to.
  3. Once your credentials are entered, head back to your blog’s homepage and click on the “Options” link (to the right of the “Create Article” link).Your blog options will appear.
  4. Click on the Social Media Publishing tab. Under Social Media accounts, check off the boxes of the social media feeds you’d like your blog to publish to automatically. Remember to click “Update” at the bottom of the screen.
  5. When publishing content to your networks, you’ll need a line of explanatory text to let people know what they’re seeing. To write this line, write your slug in the “publishing slug” field, directly above the list of your social media acccounts. This is the text that will appear in Facebook and Twitter along with a link to the blog article.  For example, you might write “Check out my new blog post!”

Tip 3: Text Formatting 101

You can edit the fonts of your website by going to Settings > Template Configuration in HubSpot, and then click on “Advanced Configuration”. Throughout this list, you’ll see places where you can change the font of your different headers.

One caveat to this, however: The fonts you can use on a website are dependent on the fonts that are available on a visitor’s machine. If you try to name a font that the user does not have on their computer, it will default back to something standard (usually Arial or Helvetica).

Most machines are preinstalled with dozens of fonts, so the trick is knowing which fonts are likely to be installed on which computers. For a list of the fonts supported on most browsers, view this article on Success.

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