Here are several easy ways to generate sales leads without cold calling:
1. Seek Public Speaking Engagements
Speaking at events is one of the best ways to get prospects to approach you first. Think about it; when you speak at an event, you’re standing in front of room full of potential buyers that are intently listening to you share your expertise.
Although you’re not likely to walk out of the room with new opportunities in hand, you’ll have established your expertise and credibility, and once a need does arise, you’ll be the first they reach out to. To increase your chances, include a call-to-action to visit your website and download a related offer that’s exclusive to them. Now you have everyone’s email address, and a chance to nurture them after the event.
Don’t forget to include your Twitter handle and LinkedIn URL on your slides, and ask people to connect with you and share what they like most about the presentation on social throughout your talk.
2. Turn Offline Relationships Into Online Ones
Meet someone at a trade-show? Connect with them on LinkedIn. Someone downloaded an ebook on your company’s website? Follow them on Twitter.
You don’t want to be creepy or too pushy, so don’t use social to jump into a pitch. Read the content your prospects share. Comment on their posts, retweet them, and share their blog posts with your own network. Try to provide true value and perspective. Add to the conversation.
3. Engage With Your Prospects Online
Along the same lines as building social relationship, you need to be active online. Do you write blog posts for your company blog, or maintain your own blog? Do you comment on interesting articles? Are you aware of what content your prospects are reading, and the influencers they trust most?
You need to be engaged where your prospects are – whether that’s on social or other digital channels. Stay tuned in to the publications and sources of information that influence them and steer the industry. Create your own content or add additional value to the content others are creating to stay engaged.
4. Provide Incentives For Referrals
We’d all love for our current and past customers to be referring business to us left and right. The sad truth is that even your best customers may still need a little motivation. People are people, and the “what’s in it for me” factor is one you can’t ignore.
What are some ways you can encourage your customers to recommend you to their peers? Is it a discount? Referral commission? Free tickets to an upcoming event? Special recognition as a case study on your website?
Remember that you need to give a little to get something in return. Refer business to others, and they’ll likely return the favor at some point down the road.
5. Re-Engage Old Clients And Lost Opportunities
Remember that opportunity that stalled out a year ago? Maybe they couldn’t secure the funding, or had to fill an open position before they could move forward? It’s far too easy to forget about these opportunities in search for the next best thing, but in reality they could be your easiest source of new business.
Even if someone went with another competitor, there is a good chance they aren’t satisfied with their experience with that competitor, and may be open to switching. It’s worth finding out.
When an opportunity is lost or stalled, set yourself a reminder to follow-up every 6 or so months. Instead of “just checking in,” try to reference the specific reason the deal fell through. Ask how things have gone with your competitor, or if they filled the open role they needed to fill.
Look to your old clients as well. Find out how things have evolved since you last spoke. If there isn’t an opportunity for new business, you can always ask if they know someone else who might have a need.