As a business owner, you are always looking for leads that can turn into paying projects for your company. If you have the right strategy, you’ll be less likely to have a slow season or long periods between projects. But cultivating a good lead strategy takes work. Here are a few things you should plan to do.
Increase Lead Generation
Since you can never guarantee that you will always have as much work as you have right now, increasing your lead generation is always a good idea. Contracting businesses get leads from a variety of sources, including:
- Online advertising on websites, search engines and social media
- In-network connections, such as colleagues or subcontractors
- Print advertisements
- Word-of-mouth recommendations from former clients
Many business owners in this industry rely on recommendations, but this isn’t a replacement for an effective marketing strategy. If you haven’t paid much attention to your website or social media profiles, now is a good time to get started. All of these can become good sources for potential leads.
Track Sources of Leads
Making a website and paying for some ad space can help you create future leads. But they won’t all work in the same way. If you don’t track the efficacy of each one, you may waste your money on a marketing approach that isn’t producing. You can hire a marketing company to do this for you, but there are also free tools on Google and other sites to track engagement, site visitation, and more. For other types of leads, including personal recommendations, it’s not a bad idea to ask where your potential clients heard about your services. If nothing, you’ll get a sense for who is making the best pitch for your business.
Improve Your Follow-Up
Once you get the lead, you need to make sure that you have an effective plan to follow through with it. Too many contractors lose out on business because they never responded to somebody asking for information. In a lot of cases, you don’t know which leads are most likely to turn into a reliable client for you. As such, you should assume that every lead could become a paying project. Set goals to respond to leads within a certain amount of time, preferably one or two business days. If necessary, consider hiring an administrative employee or outsourcing your communications, to ensure that the initial contact happens on schedule.
Don’t Force the Conversion
Potential clients come to you at different stages of the sales funnel. You might have some people who approach you when they aren’t sure about which services they need, or if they need services at all. Others may contact you when they are absolutely certain of their goals and ready to get started. In either case, the way that you respond can have a heavy effect on your success rate. If you can sense that the customer is tentative, avoid the urge to pressure them into making a choice. It’s better to provide the information that they need, answer the questions that they have, and leave them to make the decision.
Keep the Door Open
Good business owners understand that a lead that doesn’t turn into a project isn’t necessarily a failure. Sometimes, clients realize that you aren’t the right fit for one project, but you could work well for another. It’s tempting to get frustrated or burn the bridge, especially if you feel like you invested a lot of time toward a conversion that didn’t happen. Instead, do your best to keep the communication lines open. Someone who had a good experience exploring possible services with your company is more willing to consider hiring you in the future, especially if they end up being unhappy with the business they chose originally.
Generating leads is one of the most important things you will do as a business owner. Getting the right kind of education is another. To learn more about our course offerings, contact CSLS today!