In today’s business world, we often hear the word ‘disruption’. This relates to how the business world is changing and affects the way we will do business in the future. Digital technology represents the biggest recent disruption to traditional business operations, and companies will need to look for innovative to generate new and ongoing business from their clientele.
What hasn’t changed in this digital age is the power of referrals. A customer-centric culture will assist you in generating referrals for new business. The way our customers endorse us remains so important, particularly since they can do so with greater ease and visibility than ever before through online forums and social media.
Digital marketing (particularly through social media) is now the cornerstone through which many businesses reach out to their clientele; something which is perhaps best understood by the new generation entering our workforce. It’s amazing to think how ‘Googling’ a company, product or item has become the benchmark by which to research that particular thing.
The digital transition has had a huge impact on businesses, because if you let a customer down in today’s market, it is so easy for them to google one of your competitors and leave you. Your professional sales people need to be sure that they are educating your clientele about all of your products and services. As we know, it’s easier to cross sell and up sell to existing clients rather than trying to find new ones. Cold calling is becoming harder and harder every day because the business world is so fast paced. Our future clientele are more educated on what they want, and they know how to search for it.
Businesses will need to look at new ways on how to effect better lead generation and quicker output to be sure that they survive over the coming years. So get ready for the journey of change to make this happen in your business.
Let’s take a look at the kinds of expectations customers place on businesses:
- They want to deal with people who aren’t too pushy.
- They want to be educated and not sold to.
- They are wanting to engage with someone who knows what they are talking about.
- They want to talk to someone who is willing to ask questions and listen.
- They will pay based on the value of what has been demonstrated to them.
- If they have a problem or issue, they want it resolved and someone to take ownership of their concern.
- If they are still not satisfied, they want a prompt resolution.
All of the above help to create referrals, which is the greatest form of lead generation. Anyone in your company that deals with your customers must be positive and have the passion to want to help. Your staff have to believe and stand by your company and the brand. Sometimes it’s not the salesperson who loses good clientele, it’s another part of the business that lets them down or someone else who says the wrong thing. If you lose a customer it’s very hard to win them back, and what goes with it is what they can to say to others, or put out on social media. So get your whole company on board to focus on your biggest asset – your customer!
The Professional Sales Person
I believe that anyone in your company who talks to customers needs professional sales training. Considering what has been written above, how good are your professional sales staff? Your sales professionals need to have great product and industry knowledge. They need to be able to sell themselves, engage with and educate your customers, and be 100% committed to helping and serving them, as this is what builds future referrals. Being too pushy or trying to win a new client by the old hard-closing techniques may not bring future business, especially if the customer has been over promised things.
Let’s look at the sales results every business needs in order to survive. You have great products and services but margins are getting tighter so you need your sales staff to have more output. You have set higher KPI’s to meet your targets and make the best profit possible.
The fundamentals of good sales techniques have not changed in 100 years – the more customers we get in touch with, the more we can engage and educate them about our services, and the more likely we are to achieve targets and generate profits.
Some tips for better lead generation in your business:
- Many businesses have existing databases, but are they up to date and accurate, with the correct client information? This needs be a focus in your business for all staff – missing information means missed opportunities.
- Your Website – is your website current and easy to navigate? Your future customers are searching for you or if they have been referred, they will research your company first before they enter into a conversation with you.
- Social Media, Blogs and Newsletter – What are you telling your current and future clients through these media? Are the messages that you’re sending out attracting their attention, and making them want to engage with you?
- Do you have the right marketing material – brochures, presentations, digital media and images that best represent your company, products and services?
- Do all of your staff advocate for your company? Do they have good product knowledge of what you offer? Can they explain things in simple terms? Are they customer focused in wanting to help and make suggestions or recommendations to ensure the best outcome for your customers?
- Similarly, are your customers advocates for your business? Are they prepared to refer your company and staff to others?
- Does every staff member ensure your customers are always happy?
To survive in today’s world, you need to be reaching out to your clients and not taking them for granted. To be a good lead generator, your business needs to be succeeding in all of the areas listed above. The transparency offered by the digital world can greatly enhance your business’ success, or conversely, hurt it significantly.
Should you require more information or want to discuss any of these issues further, please contact us at Key Business Advisors. We can provide tailored advice and train business owners, sales professionals and staff on the importance of lead generation.