If you want new customers, you need new leads. But do you know how to generate leads? After all, that’s why sales reps and office leaders buy leads to keep their sales pipeline full and sales commissions high.
But you don’t want to buy leads. You want to get out there and make an impact on your customer base. You’ve got the time to invest. You want free sales leads.
But free direct sales leads don’t come without hard work, and smart investments of your time.
If you have the money, and time is at a premium, you may consider buying leads from a service. But if you have time, getting leads yourself can be a huge value!
Let’s talk about 4 ways you can avoid paying for leads, and how to generate free direct sales leads effectively.
Free Sales Leads Tip #1: Find Customers Directly
Perhaps the most direct way to find new customers? Go directly to them, door-to-door.
If you’re a B2B business, that may mean going and paying prospective clients a visit at their office.
If you’re in B2C sales, it could mean finding resources at your library to determine where your ideal clients live and paying them a visit directly.
Either way, you take the guesswork out of making sure your offer gets in front of your potential new customers by meeting them where they’re at.
Of course, most salespeople are naturally averse to the idea of going door-to-door. Starting a sales conversation is tough. And overcoming face to face rejection is definitely a little scarier than getting an email.
BUT, if you’re targeting your ideal customer demographic correctly, it’s a method that can be super effective. After all, you’re bringing a solution directly to someone with a need. If you can connect those dots, and develop a good process for door to door sales, you will find a wealth of leads available to you.
Free Sales Leads Tip #2: Online Research
It may seem far-fetched. But one of the best resources for getting free sales leads starts with ‘G’ and ends with ‘oogle.’
With the internet, there’s a treasure trove of information out there when it comes to customer research and finding new leads. It’s just a matter of using that information effectively.
First off, develop a process that is efficient. As anyone who has been on the internet would know, it’s pretty easy to get sucked down rabbit trails and inadvertently waste a lot of precious time. Learn what it is you need to do to get your leads and get out.
Center your online search around your ideal customer profile. Look for your target demographic and then research your sales territory to determine contact information.
Google is a massive help, and even yellowpages.com can be a great resource in tracking down potential leads.
Free Sales Leads Tip #3: Develop Relationships With Your Target Market
Let’s say that you sell fitness products. A protein drink, or a piece of home gym equipment. Something relevant to the fitness community.
Now, you’ve clocked out for the day and it’s time to see to your own fitness regimen. You go to the gym and put your headphones in, work out, and leave.
Talk about a missed opportunity! You just spent your afternoon with all the members of your target market, and you just let it pass you by!
Build relationships with people at the places where your customers tend to frequent. If your target market is mostly single, get to know people at your local bar. If your product or service is primarily for young families, get to know people at church, or the park. Go fishing with the retired guys at the pier. Join a Rotary club. A garden club. A gun club.
What we’re not saying is to go places and hand out business cards and be fake and salesy. But go make friends and build genuine relationships where you can run into potential customers! It’s a great way to build connections with potential clients directly, and a great way to generate referral business.
Which leads us to the most effective free direct sales lead generator of them all:
Free Sales Leads Tip #4: Ask For Referrals
You have happy customers. Clients that are over the moon about your product, your level of service, your personal touch. You’ve helped them with a need, after all.
So why not ask them if they know anyone else with the same need that you can help?
A lot of companies approach referrals like bribes. “Here, I’ll give you 20 bucks if you slip me a name.” And while it works sometimes, it’s not usually super effective.
So what does motivate clients to give referrals? It’s pretty simple: people want to help.
They want to help their friends solve the same problem that you just solved for them. And they want to help you get more business.
Think of it this way: who doesn’t want to introduce someone to their future spouse? The idea of introducing two people who could be happier together than apart is pretty attractive to most people. We love to me matchmakers.
Most people would love to be corporate matchmakers, too… if they’re given the chance.
A lot of sales reps are afraid to ask for referrals because they don’t want to pester or annoy a happy customer. But if you approach the question from a basis of need, “By the way, do you know anyone else in a similar situation that I can help?” most folks won’t consider the request to be any sort of inconvenience.
Ask to be set up with your customers’ network. If you’ve maximized returns for your customer, and they’re satisfied with your product and service, they will be enthusiastic about making those connections.
Do You Have Support In Generating Free Direct Sales Leads?
Solcomm is a direct sales leader in the Telecom industry. Whether you’re just starting your career as a direct sales representative or whether you run your own direct sales office, we can partner with you to provide the support you need to thrive.
Check out how we build individual careers and partner with subdealers. We’d love to hear from you.