Which method works best when it comes to generating the most leads? Would LinkedIn Sales Navigator make all the difference to your diminishing pipeline? I hear this kind of conversation and it always makes me think about our comfort zone and how it affects so many of our choices.
As I often do, I found an interesting quote to share by the motivational speaker Ogwo Davis Emenike:
‘It is better to explore a gainful uncertainty than to sit in a painful certainty’
As much as I agree with Ogwo, I also know that often it is much easier to stay in my comfort zone and do what I know. As I already alluded to, I think that the need to stay in our comfort zone dictates a lot of the choices we make. This means more than you might think when it comes to choosing lead generation methods.
Many Sales Managers and business owners I meet focus on methods and tactics when it comes to lead generation and sales. I think that this is largely due to the fact that many of us are doers and find taking action the most natural place to start. I agree that actions are key to achieving results but actions which lack focus are often a waste of time. Add to this the fact that our comfort zone often leads to choices we feel comfortable with and you begin to understand why so many new business campaigns don’t work.
I have written before and will probably write again about the frustration I feel when people put a lot of effort, money and thought into starting a new campaign, only to abandon it after two months as it did not provide them with the easy sales they were after. If you examine most of these attempts to find a magic bullet, you will find that many were based on a bad combination of focusing on actions first and making comfort zone-based choices.
The thing to remember is that any development of new markets takes time and patience. However, if you develop a strategy first, based on analysing your target market and then choose your methods and tactics accordingly, you stand a much better chance of having sources eventually. Now, I may have not told you anything new so far but maybe this idea will be one you have not considered yet: the key to engaging new target markets is to understand how they work and where they go to find the information they are after. This understanding should dominate your choice of content, platform and campaigns rather than your own preference.
Having said that, it is also important to remember that we all have so many choices in terms of consuming information that considering a number of different touches is key. Sounds a bit like an oxymoron? Watch our new video to see how it might be done.
Despite the news overload, it does not feel like there is much progress in our national affairs. Not sure about you, but I have been finding the whole think a little depressing. When I feel like this, I use a trick I learned in the Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor which is a great book about positive psychology. The trick is to take 5 minutes in the evening and write three things which made you happy during that day. There are lots of versions of this, with some people finding it easy to write in the morning, others using it to express gratitude. Whatever works for you; the point is to spend some time on thinking positive thus training your brain to prioritise positive over negative and contributing to your overall happiness.
Here are a few things that made it onto my ‘Happy List’ last week:
- My beautiful Mothers’ Day present from my daughter which included 10 reasons why she loves me with a few lovely surprises beyond ‘because you cook nice food’
- Achieving real clarity on a client’s service proposition which means they are nearly there with going to market
- A great referral from my BNI colleague which is exactly the kind of business I am looking for
- A client wanting us to increase our work for them as they feel they are getting results
I am sure you can see how doing this might help maintaining focus and keeping you going. I must admit that I did choose my ‘best’ ones for the Blog and often I have to think hard and come up with things like, ‘the sun shone’ or ‘dinner was tasty.’ The point is that it does not matter as long as you practice seeing the positive because I really believe that mindset is everything. Here is an example:
Following up from a very busy start to the year, we experienced a quiet March where we got very little enquiries. The move from too busy, to sort of twiddling my thumbs ,was hard and I found myself holding on to a mindset of blaming overall market conditions which was not helpful to say the least. Once I realised this, I decided I had to change my mindset and work out what opportunities I had, despite, and as a result of, the situation. Here is what I did:
- My assumption is that due to uncertain market conditions, companies need to focus on developing new business and growing their pipeline. This provides us with an opportunity to win new work.
- Initially we put a lot of effort into drumming this message to our target markets to develop new business though our efforts were met with little appetite.
- It felt like many companies wanted to see what direction the UK market will take before thinking of new business
- Still, I think that companies need to make a move on their new business sales but rather then hitting our head against a brick wall we chose to get in touch with people who already knew us. This meant contacting all of our ex-clients who we felt might be more open to a conversation at this stage.
- This approach was more effective though we have not stopped our new business development activity which is on-going.
The moral of my story is that even people whose job it is to develop new business can find themselves at a dead end sometimes. The point is to not let it last for long, take stock and try something else. If you need some help evaluating your new business development approach, take our questionnaire here.