(Original post 10/30/12: Updated 12/9/18; Updated 2/22/20) In the last 30 days I had 256 submissions into my CRM from multiple lead magnets tied to unique web forms installed on various landing pages and squeeze pages on this site.
To obtain these leads I did NOT:
- Buy a list and SPAM them.
- Host forms on "weird" sites to harvest names.
- Run some cheap giveaway or contest or gimmick to drive extra traffic.
- Run expensive PPC, SEM, joint ventures, direct mail or other paid advertising or marketing campaigns.
SIDEBAR ON WEBSITE HOSTING: I used to have two hosting accounts: Media Temple for my main sites and HostGator for my development sites.
MediaTemple Website Hosting runs about $100 per month.
Those were and are fine for Wordpress sites but I moved The Sales Whisperer® to HubSpot in 2013 and in October of 2018 I upgraded to the HubSpot Enterprise plan, which I highly recommend. Go here to learn more a HubSpot vs Wordpress and click the link below to see which is the best CRM for you.
Back to creating inbound leads...
You might be thinking if I didn't spam people or buy ads or run complex funnels and Facebook campaigns, how did I create 256 well-qualified leads who came to me and asked for information, asked for me to reach out to them, and/or just bought without us even speaking?
Every day I speak to someone who tells me:
- "But Wes, we're different!"
- "We care."
- "We're family-owned and operated."
- "We have great service after the sale."
- "We treat our customers like family."
- "We're under new management."
If I can take your logo and tagline and swap out your logo with your customer's logo and nobody in the market for what you do could tell the difference, you have a crappy/non-existent value proposition/USP.
Your customers are couch potatoes, worried about making a mistake, bored, overwhelmed, over-worked, and under-paid.
If you don't have a compelling message that stops them in their tracks you're just wasting your time and their attention, which is the kiss of death for any business.
Know The Who
No, not those idiots at the Wold Health Organization and not The Who, but I do love this song.
When I say "know the who," I mean know who the heck you can help and who you can't.
The fancy term is called creating a Buyer Persona. (Check out this blog post on Copywriting 101 for more info on Buyer Personas.)
In a nutshell, a Buyer Persona is a detailed description of a fictional "perfect buyer" that includes gender, income, marital status, age, and a whole lot more.
Read Their Mind
Once you know who you can help you need to understand what they're thinking, which includes what they fear, what they aspire to and for, and what is going to get them to buy from you.
Robert Collier said
We must enter the conversation going on in the mind of the prospect."
As salespeople we must adjust how we sell to match how the buyer buys.
- Know Yourself So You Can Know How To Make Your Prospects Buy, Steven Sisler
- Be Bold and Persuade Your Way To Sales Success (Dave Lakhani)
- Dr Tony Alessandra, The Doctor of DISC
- Read People Like a Book & Tell a Story That Sells (Bill Stierle)
(Check out episode #172 of The Sales Podcast with Ian Rowland on "Use Mind Reading To Close Sales."
Put It All Together
Once you have you act together, serve it on an irresistible silver platter.
For me that means solid SEO with compelling CTAs and quality Lead Magnets.
(This could work for affiliate marketing as well, which pays me nicely each month on top of my courses and consulting. Those prospects completed a web form at their site and will be credited to me when they buy. Again, with no PPC, SEM, direct mail or other paid advertising.)
With a wife that stays home to raise our 7 kids and our big dog, along with 10 part time staff that need to provide for their families and needs it is imperative to have adequate lead generation so we can win new clients.
I am doing this while working from home with almost no paid advertising, no travel, and no cold calling.
Knowing what I know now to build my business, I will never have to cold call again.
But I did make cold calls when I got started in sales and if you don't have control over your company's website or blog or social media accounts and/or any other forms of marketing and advertising, you may have to make cold calls.
If you do, check out these episodes of The Sales Podcast with
- The Cold Calling Queen, Wendy Weiss on cold calling,
- Jia Jiang and his 100 Days of Rejection, and
- this post on how professional salespeople handle rejection.