Business Development: Lead Generation
I was asked by one of my dearest blog readers to write about lead generation as it pertained to business development:
Generating Leads is a very integral part of business development. It is the corner stone of developing your opportunity funnel; it is the holy grail of revenue generation. Without this absolutely important step, the entire Business Development Process would definitely collapse and disintegrate.
Since you’re reading this blog, one would ascertain that you are interested in this topic and by now you would have established and recognized how important Generating Leads is. At this point you are anxious to find out how one would go about generating leads, and you are thinking just give me the “Coles notes” version. Not yet, don’t skip reading the next few paragraphs, they are equally important and we need to get few important common understandings, and set few ground rules.
As individuals when promoting ideas, products or services, we need to become the product, the service, and the enterprise we are in the process or about to promote: Pretty broad statement but let me elaborate. I need you to believe at the core of your individuality/being that you are the product, the service and the company, I need you to believe at the core of your being that your company is called: http://www.firstname-lastname.com (or whatever name you want to come up with), the single most important thing is that you are the enterprise. You should treat your personal development the same way you would behave if you were the owner of the organization, the CEO the chairman of the board or whatever you decide to be. This is self confidence, this is determination, this is the absolute promise to yourself success in taking your enterprise to the peak of its performance.
Regardless of who you currently work for, first and foremost I want you to believe at the core of your sole, you work for yourself. Any success you achieve or failure you encounter it would be put on the shelves in YOUR enterprise to be marketed at a later date. Ideally you would want your enterprise to market an unblemished record of your successes and no room on your list of products/services for “Failures”. Let me explain a bit, as I stated earlier your career is your own enterprise, and the success/Failures are the products and services that your enterprise will be marketing or broadcasting to the world. Repeat after me these phrases and print them on the walls of your short and long term memory for ever:
1-Failure is not an option: I will never fail
2-Hope is not a strategy: I don’t wait for things to happen, I will make them happen
3-I am the best at what I do: (don’t be arrogant with this one, always be humble)
Self Confidence: Once a certain level of self confident has been established combined with a slight tone of humility you now are ready to face the world and seek to create business connections. All business people want to create successful business connections no one wants to create wasteful connection in another word “dud ones” that don’t produce value. Because you are a person full of self confidence, now you can reach out to anyone as an equal not because you need anyone. You are now in a different league of business; people want and need to seek you out, because you bring value, passion, and relentless will to make your connection’s business or personal life a better one.
1- Be a thought leader, you are the expert, you teach and you bring knowledge to others. How do you do this? You are reading this blog aren’t you? Hmmm…
A- Write blog
B- Speaking engagement
C- LinkedIn connections and Twitter…I’m not big on Facebook for business (we can save this topic for another discussion)
2- Shake hands: Attend events always out and about.
A- Business events
B- Charity events
C- Sporting events
Caution: don’t fall into or press “play” on the preprogrammed sales behavior right after you say “hello” to someone you just met. What do I mean? Extrovert=Business Dev. people generally are anxious when given the opportunity to start selling (again this is negative) as soon as they have ear open to the conversation. This is a killer for your credibility as a business connector. How I would handle a business intro? After the usual greeting, etc… Leave it for the other person to seek the info from you, and don’t give the answer as you memorized from your marketing brochure, give small intriguing answers that leaves others thirsty from more. No one want to be “sold to”, your job is to promote your cause without your audience noticing what just happened. Sounds complicated doesn’t it? Let me summarize it for you: Your sales process is hidden inside the Trojan horse of your business connector behavior (I hope this helps) if not, and you need to know more about this topic, email me.
Generating leads by being a thought leader/beacon/expert, I am convinced by using this technique you will be able to create lasting connections. Just remember this French saying: “Suit-la elle te fuit, fuit-la elle te suit” it means if you chase, she will run away, if you run away, she will chase you. This is very true in the business world. Once you established yourself as the source of knowledge in certain topic, then people will absolutely seek you out. Not just seek you out, they will become your advocates, your sales team, and you will notice they will enjoy talking about you to others.
Does this mean you do nothing and wait for someone to knock on your door? Absolutely NOT, your job is to build your personal credit in the market’s reputation bank, by attending seminars, meetings, conferences, writing articles, newsletters etc… Your job is much bigger in size than the traditional sales job where you used techniques like cold calling. Your job now is to “blanket the airwaves” on every possible level.
Obviously this is a large topic, and each point can be discussed in length on its own. For now I close by wishing everyone Happy New Year in 2012, I hope it’s a year where you make great things, filled with extra ordinary successes.
Until next time