Want sales leads? Be a helping hand.
If there is one thing that gives the business world a bad reputation, it is the eagerness to sell rather than simply serve. This type of behavior has already been called out by many gurus, professionals, and experienced leaders. And yet, many outside this world still insist (sometimes unfairly) that anyone marketing a product is only out to make a buck.
Your Business Leads Should HELP Another Business
When you are getting in touch with a prospect for the first time, what do you do? Does the medium you use enable you to be of any help to this person or this person’s business? For example, when you are an accounting software vendor, do you see your accounting leads as an opportunity to help businesses keep track of things?
At the very least, is your marketing easy on the prospect’s mind? How readable is it? How accessible is it? How often do you even have an actual conversation with a prospect?
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Instead of focusing on just getting leads, why not start seeing those leads as an opportunity to be of help even when there is still a long way to go before they are qualified? At Search Engine Land, Erin Everhart suggests the same thing when it comes to link building:
“If I learned one thing from being a born and bred Southern belle, it’s that we should do things for people without expecting anything in return. Give away some free knowledge on your blog, grant an interview to a starving journalist through HARO, help someone just getting started in the industry, or offer to do a free chat to college students through our local university.
How do you think SEOmoz has garnered all the links they have? Because they’ve focused more on giving away good, free advice than how their anchor text looks.”
The best part is that this is obviously applicable to more than just SEO. You can take any strategy or tool for generating software sales leads and have it center around viewing those leads as a chance to help instead of just a chance to keep money flowing into your business.
Of course, that does not mean money is unimportant. Having it at the bottom-line is still quite understandable given that you need it to keep your business afloat. What you are forgetting though is that these go hand-in-hand. You want money in order to serve so your marketing should also strive to be of service (not just focus on looking pretty).
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Why else do you think companies give freebies or takeaways? Granted, these do not always work but that is when those things fail to express anything of your business’ real value. On the other hand, giving away tips and holding informative software conferences are more likely to improve the experience of both your prospects and your customers. So whether you are generating leads in-house or with the assistance of a lead generation company, any lead that you get should always be a chance to help people!