The following is excerpted from How to Keep Your Sales Pipeline Filled with Qualified Leads,
Copyright © 2009 The Kern Organization. All rights reserved. www.thekernorg.com Telephone: 800-335-4244.
The primary objective of a business-to-business lead generation campaign is to is to get prospects to raise their hands and identify themselves as someone interested in your product and/or service.
To accomplish this, you must convince business people with little time for unwelcomed interruptions to carve time out of their hectic schedules and speak with someone they really don’t want to meet: you.
You have to get them to indicate they have an interest in knowing more…without making a commitment to speak to a sales person—again, you.
How do you get their attention?
Successful lead generation campaigns need great offers
A great offer:
- Moves a prospect to action
- Overcomes inertia
- Imitates the persuasive power of a salesperson
- Moves the prospect along the buy cycle
- Attracts a profitable customer
Basically there are two types of offers: hard and soft.
The more an offer connects a buyer with a sales rep, the harder it is. Hard offers tend to stress the business value and require more effort on the respondent’s part. Asking prospects to respond today to a free consultation or free seminar, or inviting them to have a salesperson call are hard offers.
Soft offers require lower commitments. They combine high perceived value and broad appeal with a low risk of having to talk to a salesperson. Examples include educational pieces like white papers, free premiums like USB flash drives and T-shirts, or even a sweepstakes.
As a general rule, the harder the offer, the fewer the responses and the more qualified the leads.
However, don’t make the critical mistake of thinking your offer is about selling your product/service. The objective of lead generation is to motivate an initial response and warm up a prospect’s interest. Trying to motivate prospects to buy before they’re ready can dramatically reduce response rates.
5 characteristics of a great offer
A great offer that motivates prospects to respond is:
- Valuable to the prospect.
- Exclusive (something the prospect can’t get anywhere else).
- Tangible (something the prospect can visualize).
- Easy to deliver.
- Relevant to the prospect’s business or personal needs.
Ideally, of course, your offer also engages and entertains the prospect while delivering relevant information.
For more topics and in-depth how-tos on How to Keep Your Sales Pipeline Filled with Qualified Leads, download the complete report in pdf format here.
Next: Part 2: 6 steps to developing a superb offer
Image: Kevin Abbot
Alan Graner is Chief Creative Officer at Daly-Swartz Public Relations, an Orange County, CA marketing communications firm. For a great PR lead generation campaign, email Jeffrey Swartz at email@example.com.