I don’t know about you but I would rather have a tooth pulled without novocaine than make a cold call. Not only is it uncomfortable, this type of sales call has a very low rate of return. Yet, men and women in sales have done it for centuries, calling on businesses without an appointment.
Now, imagine a different scenario. You walk into your office on Monday morning and find ten hot leads piled up on your desk. What a great way to start the week. Fortunately, your company was smart enough to take advantage of today’s technology so you can stop beating the bushes and wearing out your shoes.
Prior to the internet, many companies relied on trade shows for lead generation. This was often costly, including travel expenses, the vendor fee, table top display, promotional giveaways, and having someone sit at a table for hours collecting business cards.
Fast forward to today. Just look on the internet and you will find agencies specializing in providing qualified leads to businesses by developing a website or partnerships with several websites to promote and advertise their product or service. A consumer finds these directories or informational sites and they are able to complete an online quote request form. The buyer’s information is verified and then sent via email to the prospective providers with full contact information and purchasing requirements. Sounds simple, right? It is and very cost affordable when you consider the average cost per lead ranges anywhere from $5 to $25. The price often depends on the measure of difficulty in getting the lead. The easier the lead is to get the lower the price.
Lead generation can work for just about any business, but insurance agencies, educational institutions, office supply chains, and furniture stores have made the most of this technique so far. Trends show that lead generation will become even more popular in the future, especially for service oriented businesses.
If your business is sluggish and needs a shot in the arm, lead generation is one way to get more business on your books quickly. If you are new to lead generation, approach it just like you would any other advertising endeavor and set aside a reasonable budget to test it first before you go all in. Also, before you try this approach, make sure you have a method of follow-up and a good sales team to close the deal.
Parts of this article taken from About.com