Two Rules of your Lead Generation System
Just to recap, your Lead Generation System is the first of three foundational systems in your business. It allows leads and prospective customers to raise their hand and indicate their interest in what you offer.
Your Lead Generation System also allows you to identify those who have raised their hands.
Rule 1 – Your Lead Generation System should never stop
Once you find a lead generation process that works, you should do everything you can to keep it running.
Keep in mind that a successful Lead Generation System does not simply generate new leads for your business, like downloads from a website or phone calls. Correctly implemented, a Lead Generation System is linked to an outcome e.g. an increase in sales and profit.
So, turning off the Lead Generation System will have a negative impact on that desired outcome.
Imagine a car production line that runs out of parts, because the owners thought the factory was really busy, so they stopped ordering more parts.
You can clearly see that at some point the production line will grind to a halt and no more cars will be produced. The work required to then restart production and get everything running smoothly will be plagued by friction and delay.
You can’t always see the impact right away
A good friend of mine runs a business with a 10-week delay between customer orders and delivery/installation.
As with many businesses, they are extremely busy leading up to Christmas, ensuring installations are completed in time for the holiday break – from orders placed in early October.
In the past, they used to turn off their lead generation in December, just to cope. This caused a delayed reaction that rippled throughout the business.
Any deposits paid in early December, would result in balance payments late January. But, with the lead generation turned off in December, there were no deposits in December.
This was not an obvious problem, as there were plenty of balance payments in December, so cashflow was good. The delayed problem hit them in late January though, when cash dried up, as did the installation work for the team.
This caused them to believe that ‘January is just a slow month in our business’.
Once the link between this cashflow drought and the Lead Generation System was identified, things changed dramatically.
Keeping the Lead Generation System running at full steam during December ensured that January and early February quickly became some of the busiest and most profitable times of their year.
Rule 2 – Your Lead Generation System must be integrated into your business
The first point of integration should be with your Client Acquisition System.
If your Lead Generation System allows people to raise their hand and show their interest in what you offer, it is critical that you don’t waste the opportunity.
I see this in so many businesses, where they generate enough leads to help sustain and even grow the business, but there is no process in place to turn those leads into customers.
Going back to our production line, this is like ordering all the parts, but not having anyone in charge of the production line, then wondering why you aren’t producing enough cars.
At this stage, the default reaction is to blame the Lead Generation System (not the right parts for the cars), when in fact, the Lead Generation System is working just fine, but you have a hole in your bucket.
You are generating leads, but there is no follow-up and no sales, so they just fall through the cracks and end up buying elsewhere.
At a minimum, you should have some automated follow-up
A very simple and cost-effective way to ensure all leads are followed up with, is to make sure you have some automated email follow-up in place.
Yes, your Client Acquisition System can and should be much more sophisticated than that, but unless you have a basic foundation in place, you’ll fail at doing the high-tech fancy stuff.
A friend of mine describes it this way:
‘Lots of people are distracted by the latest shiny object. It is as if they are building a house and obsessing over the roof, but they have yet to put foundations in the ground’.
Once you have a foundation, you can start improving your systems and processes.
Full integration of your Lead Generation System will allow you to maximise the return on investment you get from all that your Lead Generation System produces, which will in turn allow you to ramp up and increase the output of all aspects of your business.