People in the business of sales know that they are really in the lead generation business. With the exception of very few businesses, clients don't just walk up to you and order up what you are selling. You are the pro-active member of the relationship who figures out where the Buyers are and how to contact them in order to let them know you have exactly what they need and want.
One interesting way of generating leads that has recently come to my attention is using Graig's List. Suppose you are a salesperson at XYZ Cars and Co. Why not get onto Craig's list and advertise what you've got? "Yes, You CAN Still Buy a Car For Under $2,000; and We Have 5 of Great Deals Waiting For You Here at XYZ!" Of course give your extension, email, or phone number. Or try an ad that shares data. "We've got 25 sedans under $10,000." Or, create some urgency, "It's Month End and We Are Slashing Prices Up to 30% to Move Them Out!" Or, give a special reduction, "Mention You Saw Us On Craig's List and Get 10% off of Sticker" or whatever.
Craig's List for advertising is the right price, for sure. (You know it's free right?) It doesn't cost you anything to go on there and get noticed. Why is it easy to get noticed with these ads? Because if you look at all the OTHER ads, they are all advertising to sell one particular car. That narrows the field too much, and besides if buyers are anything like me, they are looking for a "style" (4-door sedan, newer than 2004, etc.) Be there offering a large selection when that Buyer shows up!
Now, it's important to understand who is using Craig's List. We all know it is the Gen X's and Gen Y's who hang there. It is important that you adapt to their style of communication. In short, if you don't have a smart phone, get one. STAT. Texting with pictures is one definite way to build rapport with these groups. They want data from you before they ever want to talk with you on the phone. Success in today's markets means that you'll be ready to give your clients what they want in the way that they want it.
When on Craig's List, build yourself your own category that offers many similar items to what customers are looking for. Make sure you can back what you say in your ad. Leave your phone number, encourage texting, emailing, etc. Play around with different categories and headings and find out what works best.
You can NEVER have too many leads. Isn't the Internet amazing?
Peace out, Jennifer Bunker