Business leads are just one of a range of options available to business owners interested in growing their business. It doesn’t matter how big the company is, the problem is the same in that all companies that wish to survive and grow need a constant supply of new customers.
So what are the options? Well I suppose the options are varied depending on the size of your business. For example, if you are a large company you probably have a marketing department whereas if you are a sole trader or a family business you will have times where you really need to be focusing on bringing in new customers for your business.
Larger companies that do have a marketing team tend to use most of the channels available to them to bring in work simply because they need higher volume. They also have larger budgets which is necessary for the higher marketing costs that are associated with different channels such as tv and radio. In many cases most of these options are not available to smaller businesses simply because the cost of operating will probably outweigh the benefits.
The good news however is that smaller business don’t require the same volume of new customers so they are in a position to chose the most cost-effective means of bringing in new clients.
If we look at the regular marketing options available to the small business or sole trader they tend to consist of:
Google PPC: In my opinion this has to be the most cost-effective option for any company to bring in new clients. The problem of course is that very few people know how to use it to create cost-efficient leads and those that attempt to use it without the skills waste 90% of their marketing budget.
SEO Marketing: The search engine marketing option can work very well for some businesses. The problem with this method of getting new clients is that you have to continually spend money marketing your site to the search engines to ensure you get 1st page ranking. In effect, you will be spending marketing budget on SEO all year on a strategy that may or may not give you any new customers. It also takes several months to get any results and of course we mustn’t forget that Google routinely makes changes to their algorithms which means your website exposure could dry up overnight.
Leaflet Drop: A conventional marketing effort that no longer works. The cost of printing and distribution is likely to be more than the profit from any business you bring in.
Newspaper Advertising: Using the classifieds to bring in new customers was an excellent way to bring in new customers but over the past decade or two this marketing channel has turned into a complete waste of time.
Email Marketing: The latest stats relating to email marketing confirms that 94% of all emails are effectively spam. The take up percentage has also gone through the floor which in effect means that by the time you pay for the time and effort in sending out the emails, plus the cost of the database hire, you are likely to be out of pocket. The one way you can make email marketing work is if you have your own database as once you are setup it is only a question of hitting send once a month which may well generate a few new enquiries.
Buying Business Leads: I spent my earlier career as an architect and up until 2006 I bought leads on a regular basis from most of the lead networks that were in operation at that time. Buying architect leads back then was a relatively new concept and one I was totally into simply because I could see how it was an extremely cost-effective way of reaching new customers. I also liked the flexibility which allowed us to get architect leads for the practice whenever things were getting a bit quite.
It is now a decade later and finding new customers through conventional marketing is now considered to be a complete waste of money whilst buying leads has become commonplace simply because it is the most cost effective method to get new customers and makes an excellent method for kick-starting small businesses and sole traders looking to expand their business.