Looking for Leads
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Leads are like quarters you find on the sidewalk – rare, but full of potential in a slot machine kind of way. Haven’t come across one in a while? Your luck is about to change as we share our two bits’ worth.
Eleven sure-fire places to find leads
1. The Clubs
No, not the night clubs, although you can’t rule them out if you sell bar supplies. We’re talking service clubs like Lions, Rotary and Kiwanis, where like-minded individuals gather to talk about business. Yes, they’ve seen a decline in membership over the years, but they’re still a viable place to find leads. This piece in USA Today discusses how they’re adjusting to attract new members.
2. Your Business Banker
You probably owe him or her money (assuming you have a business loan), so why not get something back in return? Your business banker is one degree of separation away from hundreds of possible prospects and has a vested interest in your success. Ask, and you likely will receive.
3. Your Accountant
See “Your Business Banker” above, and disregard the loan part.
Search engines like Google and Bing exist to steer leads in your direction. If your business website includes the right keywords, you can turn the web into a lean, mean lead machine. For insights into how to find the right keywords, check out this article on Hubspot.
Also known as “business bling” and “tchotchkes,” these loss leaders may cost you a little, but can yield a lot when they end up in the right hands. So don’t skimp on the key fobs with your logo on them. They could open the door to opportunity.
6. The Streets
Navigating your way in business is far more purposeful in a car or truck wrapped in your brand. If you can swing a complete vehicle wrap with your logo, colors and contact points, it can pay off big when you get stuck in traffic next to someone in desperate need of your services. Some of the coolest vehicle wraps you’ll ever see are here on Pinterest.
You already have something in common with the Civil War re-enactor charging Gettysburg next to you. So why not reach out to your fellow hobbyist? People who share common interests, like marathon running, photography or kayaking, are more likely to listen to your pitch.
Pee-wee soccer players are even more adorable when you turn them into pint-sized billboards for your business. Team and event sponsorships are simple yet effective ways to get your name in front of potential leads. Just make sure the demographic is right for your business. For more insights into how sponsorships can generate leads, see this post on The Wire. (The Wire Sponsorship Blog Post: /the-wire/marketing/tactics-strategy/word-your-sponsorship)
You’re not losing a daughter, you’re gaining a prospect – and his family. We’re not suggesting arranged marriages for the sake of business, but it’s been known to happen. The point is, if you manufacture organic pet food and your future son-in-law is a holistic veterinarian, the pitter-patter of leads may not be far behind.
Let’s say a web page designer with furnace problems reaches out to a repairman who needs a website for his business. When mutual needs overlap, new leads are born, so don’t be shy about asking to trade work. While no cash exchanges hands, it might the next time, and you may even win yourself a lead-generating advocate. For more insights into bartering, see this piece in Forbes.
11. Place of Worship
First, let’s be clear that this is sacred ground, so no networking during the service. However, few venues offer more chances to meet qualified potential leads than your neighborhood church, temple or mosque. It’s not the main reason to attend services, but it is a good reason to mingle afterward.