Converting contacts to leads

In today's highly competitive markets, most small businesses work very hard to find contacts and identify new customer leads. The key is to find people who fit your 'ideal lead profile'. Remember that only those contacts who need your products and match your ideal lead profile are likely to become prospects for sales. Don't waste your valuable time and money on contacts who are unlikely to buy from you.

Start by finding contacts, and then use your ideal lead profile to turn those contacts into leads and new prospects. A lead doesn't become a customer until you have made the sale.

Finding contacts

Finding new contacts takes careful planning. Make time to think about how you'll find and engage contacts and research new customer opportunities. For example, you might meet contacts at a trade show, through a business network, or through a customer mailing list. Contacts could be anyone who visits, browses through your store, reads your advertising or are referred to you by others.

Developing your ideal lead profile

Leads are contacts who match the profile of your target customers. Once you have met and engaged with a new contact, you should determine whether they have a need for your products and services. When you have established that a new contact fits your 'ideal lead profile', they become a lead.

Based on your market research, your ideal lead profile will define characteristics such as:

  • geographic traits - where the people or businesses likely to buy from you are located
  • demographics - the age, gender, income, occupation type, education level, cultural background, and household type (e.g. single, married, families) of people likely to buy from you
  • psychographics - social factors such as lifestyle, interests and activities, opinions, self-image and social group memberships.

Make sure you include your ideal lead profile in your marketing plan.

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