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How to Generate New Sales Leads for Your Business

Aug 17, 2007
Before landing that big sale, a business must first generate high quality leads. However, lead generation is a tricky procedure that requires research and one of the most precious business assets: time. New business professionals, and even veteran ones, may have trouble generating business leads simply because they are not taking the time to talk with each potential customer or are not approaching potential customers in the right way. Various business websites and articles can be quite helpful in finding the correct way to go about generating business leads.

A popular method for acquiring new lead is to compose an e-mail list of prospective buyers and send out an e-mail informing them about your business and its benefits. In order to obtain such a list of buyers it would be helpful to visit a site containing lists of contact information for a number of private and public businesses such as Thomson Gale's goliath.ecnext.com. Another way to spread the world about your business is to visit a site that compiles lists of prospective buyers for you and alerts them about your business and its product. Sites such as Yesmail.com and Hoovers.com offer the ability to do this through a "self-serve" or a "full-serve" process.

One of the best and most cost effective ways to gain new leads is to search out websites, blogs, newspapers, etc. that will reach the target audience for your business. After such places have been acquired, the next step is to contact the owners of such places and ask if they would be willing to mention your business in one of their public areas. The best way to go about this is to call or e-mail each place personally. Experienced link builder Eric Ward and his website offer helpful information on how to write such e-mails in order to make them polite, personal and generate positive feedback. If your business does not need to be so frugal, you could contact a site such as advertising.com to generate such a list and e-mail for you. This certainly saves time and these businesses have experience in the marketing field. Also, such sites usually allow for the ability to track the effectiveness of different sales tactics so you can personally decide which are best to use.

Another affective tactic is "cold calling" prospective leads. This is something most people do not want to do, but it is very affective because of its personal touch. It's much more difficult to say no to someone on the phone than it is to delete an e-mail.

To go beyond these tactics, visit a webinar or networking functions for lead generation. Webinars can be found on a variety of business marketing sites and can double as networking functions. Networking functions give you a chance to reach out to experienced businesses for advice or help with generating leads. Also, it may be helpful to read business articles such as the ones found on Goliath pertaining to lead acquisition to generate ideas. Such sites may additionally offer sample business plans that could help generate new ideas. Also, these sites may contain information about consultants. Consultants can help bring new ideas to your business and re-vamp it so that it is more pleasing to customers.

Besides hiring a consultant, you could decide to re-vamp your business's image on your own. Writing a newsletter with information that would be helpful to your customers is a great way to get your name out there without implementing "in your face" advertising. Watch the current trends in your market and try to find other ways for your business to stand out. Re-new web pages or give a special offer on your product. This will capture leads initially, and then the content of your website should draw them in.

Implementing these tactics will ensure a rise in leads and customers for your business. Along with applying the above practices, your business should remember to think like a customer. If you put yourself in the customer's shoes, or simply leave a place on your site for customer advice, you'll find that new business leads will pop up all over in response. Also, it is vital to realize that each new lead is important, no matter the time taken to gain it. With each new lead, your business is opened up to a new world of potential customers who in turn will open you to another group of potential leads. Each new lead is fundamental to the growth of your business.
About the Author
Sarah Deak is a contributing business writer for http://goliath.ecnext.com. Goliath is one of the Internet's largest collections of business research, news and information.
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