John’s a freelance photographer in Ohio who called to tell me of his frustration with the advertising and promotional campaigns he has tried in the last couple of years. Each time he does a promotional mailing to his list of 10,000, he is lucky if he gets one or two inquiries.
I had a similar call from a corporation that was spending its time and money driving traffic to its website. With 6,000 visitors a day, they were only getting a couple of inquiries per week.
Both businesses were spending a lot of money to get attention but weren’t converting this attention to lead generation.
Are you having the same problem?
Marketing is a lot like farming. You can’t just head out to your fields and bring in a bountiful harvest. First, you buy seed from the money you’ve budgeted. Then you plant, your seeds and tend to them. Finally in the fall if you’ve done the right things to help your crop grow you’ll have a bountiful harvest.
You may not be interested in becoming a farmer, but if you want to see your business grow there are three ways thinking like a farmer can help you.
1. Learn How to Collect More Leads
A farmer needs seed and lots of it to bring in a bountiful harvest. You need a lot of quality leads to increase your clientele.
If your ads or mailings aren’t resulting in a steady stream of inquiries, find out what’s not working and change it. By changing a couple of sentences of your marketing copy or your offer, for example, you can increase response rates by a factor of ten or more.
2. Learn How to Increase Your Lead Conversion Rate
A farmer who had spent his savings on seed wouldn’t plant his field, then go on vacation and come back months later expecting to find a healthy crop. While you may be the exception, this is the way most people market their businesses.
According to The Yankee Group, between 40% to 80% of new business leads aren’t converted simply due to lack of follow-up.
Many businesses spend m0ney on getting attention and then don’t follow up on a prospect’s interest by giving them the information or contact opportunity they want. What you tell a prospect and how promptly you respond when they show an interest determines whether they continue to stay in touch.
Of the people who see your ads, what percentage respond?
Of the people who visit your web site, what percentage contact you?
Of the people who contact you, what percentage become clients and customers?
Could you increase your lead conversion rates by improving your Internet, phone and mail follow-up?
3. Learn to Use Systems that Generate Leads, Nurture Them and Increase Conversion Rates
Today’s farmers are as technologically and information savvy as any of us. Farmers use GPS in their tractors to plant their crops, the web to connect to weather forecasting and crop price information web sites to track their markets.
Using high tech information and machines to get the work done, today’s farmer has a system for buying seed and supplies, planting, maintaining and harvesting his or her crops. They make good use of systems and machines to increase their chances of bringing in a bountiful harvest.
Having the right lead generation system is equally important to your small business marketing. In the case of the corporation mentioned above, a simple change to their online lead generation system increased leads from 1 or 2 a week to 80 a week.