Developing effective lead generation strategies: do your messages cut through the clutter of 3,000 marketing notices a day?

Author:Mangum, Kelly

At the core of every successful business is dead generation. It's no wonder most of us are obsessed with more effectively generating the right volume and quality of leads. The truth is, whether you are targeting consumers or franchisees, the basic strategy is the same: It is all about knowing what you are offering, who you want to offer it to, how to get in front of the right people, and how to close the deal. It's simple, right?

Know Your Value

Many companies that spend money on lead generation are not in touch with what their value proposition is. Some know how they compare to their fiercest competitor, but they're not sure what is uniquely special about their offer on a higher level. Make sure you do.

Let's face it, if you are selling franchises, you are not just competing against other franchise companies in your industry; you are competing against any business for sale or job opportunity. From your imagery, to messaging and color palette, make sure you stand out from anyone selling in your space.

Know Your Audience

Profiling your audience is one of the most important elements in successful marketing. Do you know who your audience is? If not, it's time to get to know them. There are endless ways to find out who your best customers or franchisees are.

Web site analytics programs allow you to see who is coming to your site, where they came from and what they are doing. You also have opportunities to get to know prospects at every stage of the sales cycle. Use each stage to learn about them as individuals. In franchising, the amount of phone and face-to-face contact your sales team should be having with prospects yields plenty of opportunity for personal conversations.

When anyone in your organization is in contact with a prospect, they have an opportunity to help you learn more about him. Where do they go to gather information? What do they do for hobbies? Do they frequent specific magazines, Web sites or newspapers? Where do they live? What do they do for work? Make sure you have a way to keep track of this information. When you learn about them, log it in a database. Put it in an excel spreadsheet. Whatever works for you, just keep track of it. Once you know about the individuals in your pipeline, you can define commonalities and then create a profile.

Now you know who you are targeting and you're ready to dig further, so let's talk about segmentation. This is where most of us drop off, thinking we've done our job because we know who we...

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