As a rule, professional services organizations all go through the same cycle. They hunt, they kill, and they eat. All metaphorical, of course. (Not to say that I don’t periodically have killing on my mind.)
Searching for potential leads, converting leads into clients, and completing work for clients – while not as catchy – is a vitally important cycle for any professional services business owner to understand. Managing this cycle ensures a steady stream of work – avoiding the extreme busy periods or lulls that keep business owners up at night.
The good news is that business owners get better at both hunting and killing with time and effort. The bad news is that it can be tricky to remember to hunt when you’re in the middle of eating a veritable feast. (Plus, it never feels like you have time for a hunting session when you are busy gnawing on some lovely work.) And, yet, that’s when the hunt matters the most.
So, how can a business owner manage lead generation while still reserving time for the occasional fun activity – like sleeping? They make an effort to hunt purposefully and efficiently while taking advantage of the many tools that exist to search for leads in the background while the business owner focuses on the tasks at hand. In my quest to simplify my hunting process, I’ve found these three lead generation tools to be particularly useful.
You need a CRM. The end. And, on the off chance you’re not convinced by that ironclad argument, let’s see if this works:
You need a CRM because it will pick up all the balls that keep dropping. Your CRM can track and analyze client communications – identifying trends, sending automated responses, and tracing the effectiveness of your existing campaigns. Of course, you can try to do this all on your own, but why? Let your CRM do the work for you and take back control of your most valuable finite resource – your time.
I recommend: In the sea of CRM options, I find myself recommending Insightly and Contactually time and time again. Both are great options that can handle everything a small business owner needs from a CRM.
2. Retargeting Campaigns
Deciding to work with a professional services organization involves quite a bit of research on the potential client’s part. They’ll poke around an organization’s website, search for reviews, and then shove it all onto the back burner while they attend to their day-to-day business operations. If only a business could stay in a potential client’s mind even after the client navigates away from the business’s website!
Oh, wait! There is. A retargeting campaign is a great, not too complicated, way to stay in front of potential clients’ minds while they make their decisions.
Admittedly, setting up a retargeting campaign requires a bit of web literacy, so you may need to bring in an expert (like Spring Insight, wink, wink). But it’s well worth it in all the time and brainpower you’ll save.
3. Paid Directories
It might seem counterintuitive to pay to list your business in a directory. Aren’t there about a billion free places for potential clients to find your business information? There are. But you know what else they can find there? Everyone else.
A paid directory is a way to get your business’s information on a short(er) list populated with other professional organizations – not spammy clickbait links. Those are pretty solid returns for a relatively minor expense.
While you should do your due diligence and look for a paid directory specific to your industry or target market, there are certain characteristics all paid directories have in common. Look for one that’s well-established and has clear standards that all sites must meet to merit inclusion. Check out Family Friendly Sites for an example of a legitimate paid directory. You will obviously want to find a paid directory representing your industry.
4. Outsource Your Lead Generation
The irony is that if you’re already in the middle of a feast, you might not even have the time to implement any of the suggestions on this list – even if you’re convinced you need them. If that’s the case, it might be time to bring in professional help. In this case, we recommend, well, ourselves!
The marketing experts at Spring Insight are here to implement the systems you need while you focus on your day-to-day operations. All you have to do is reach out.