So you’re gathering sales leads, making the phone calls and building relationships. Work should follow – at least that’s the theory. But what if you’re a small company, and you’re not really sure if those sales leads providers are working for you? Especially when times are tight, you might be tempted to ask if those subscriptions are actually good value for money.
At CMS we’d suggest that they certainly should be. Let’s look at a few ways to squeeze more value out of sales leads.
First, use market intelligence to find clients, not just jobs. A good future client may not have the right project for you right at this moment, but if you can see that they’d be a good company to know, use the lead to get in touch. If they’re regularly looking for builders like you, then make sure you’re on their radar. When something comes up that’s better suited to your capacities, you’ll have laid some of the groundwork and have a better chance.
One of the reasons why market intelligence can be hard to use is that there’s just so much data. The providers are usually going to turn up far more leads than you can ever productively act on, so you will need to focus and prioritise. Sort your leads and grade them. A*, the most desirable, are the ones you should follow up in person. Those on the B list are still worth following, but maybe someone else can make those calls if you’re short on time. Perhaps those secondary leads could approached with an email or a mailshot instead of a call.
Give leads away! Perhaps that’s counter-intuitive if you’re paying for something to give you an edge on the competition, but it pays to be generous with leads. If you’re following the market, you’ll be getting to know the area and will have a good view of current and upcoming projects. Where there’s a great project that’s not quite right for you, tip off your contacts about it instead. It creates goodwill, and they’ll be keen to return the favour when they get a chance.
Be on the lookout for new entrants to the market – either new firms, or companies that are expanding and moving into your area. New players won’t have many contacts in the region, and that’s an opportunity for you to get in touch. Get in early and prove yourself useful while there’s still a good chance of standing out. You may end up forming a long term business partnership.
Similarly, keep an eye out for architects working outside of their normal area. If they’re doing a project that’s further from home for them, they probably won’t have such an established network. They won’t know your competitors, and less competition can make them particularly productive contacts.
Give that intelligence provider another go, and try some of those strategies. We think you’ll find it well worthwhile.