I’m often asked about the latest marketing trends or new platforms.
But the truth is…
The sales process hasn’t changed much over the last 100 years.
Sure, there are new technologies to make communication easier and more effective.
But the fact is most people misuse the technology available out there.
They overlook the key constant to sales and because of that lose out on their best opportunities.
This means if you do things the right way, you have a massive opportunity.
Marketing has always been about:
- Getting your prospects aware of your business (cutting through the noise).
- Building a relationship with your ideal customer.
In today’s post, I’m going to walk you through the 4 pillars of a lead generation system that allows you to accomplish the above AND gives you an unfair advantage by doing what 90% of salespeople and your competitors are doing wrong.
What’s Wrong with Most Lead Generation Campaigns?
The idea of outbound lead generation is simple.
Most strategies can be boiled down to this:
Step 1: Find people that might buy your product or service.
Step 2: Ask if those people want to buy your product or service.
That approach is bound to fail from the get-go.
Without understanding the nuance of today’s marketing and sales landscape, it’s tough to know how to actually get results.
Let’s look at some of the hard truths around common marketing platforms (email and digital advertising).
Takeaway: Competition for your prospect’s attention online is fierce.
And worse yet, consumers don’t know whom to trust because they are being pitched constantly. Day in and day out. And often in the exact same way.
Takeaway: Your audience is jaded by how most vendors approach them.
There’s a well-known concept in marketing referred to as a Pattern Interrupt.
This concept essentially says that when everyone else zigs...you zag.
Or better yet...when your audience expects you to zig...you zag.
Takeaway: To stand out, you need to do the unexpected.
Mass marketing automation is often sold as the answer to every business large or small.
The nuance is lost for solutions that promise scale. It’s led to a heavy emphasis on salespeople I refer to as ‘Churn-and-Burners’.
Even if you are dealing with a large market or a large audience, your goal should be to create a relationship that feels unique to the person you are selling to.
There’s a study that Microsoft ran a few years back of over 13,000 sales reps and they found that nearly 50% of reps give up on contacting a prospect after one outreach attempt.
Even after all the advancements in technology.
If that makes you want to scream, you're not alone.
Those ‘Churn-and-Burners’ quickly move onto the next prospect on the list without another thought.
And they leave a lot on the table.
What if you could stand out and be different?
What if you could build relationships with your individual prospects in a systematic way that positions you as more interested, more engaged, and more trustworthy than those churn-and-burn vendors moving from prospect to prospect.
There is an easy way to do it.
But most don’t... because they don’t know-how.
Or they’ve bought into the same generic approach being used by the masses.
And as a result, their audience can’t tell the difference between them and every other vendor making a pitch for their business.
The L.E.A.D. blueprint is how you differentiate your outreach campaign from your competitors. It's how you stand out and get your message noticed.
In this article, I'm going to share the high-level overview of the blueprint, and if you'd like to learn more about how to implement each aspect of the blueprint, sign up for an upcoming workshop here.
The 4 Pillars of the L.E.A.D. Generator Blueprint
A proper lead generation system should be built upon a psychological approach that triggers interest based on doing the opposite of what pisses your prospects off about their typical interactions with salespeople.
By having a system designed to get you connected and engaged with your ideal customers on an individual basis, you’ll proactively start relationships with the people that will drive your business forward.
So let’s run through the 4 pillars of the system now.
L - Lay the Foundation
The first step to differentiating yourself from your competitors is getting laser-focused on the best prospects for you to target.
Others might call this an ‘Avatar’ or ‘Persona’, we prefer ‘Prospect Profile.’
And it’s critical to every other step of this lead generation system.
Most salespeople will create Customer Personas, but the majority fall short in positioning themselves as being uniquely situated to help that audience.
What demographic information defines an ideal customer?
Right now we aren’t listing the pain points you solve. Or a person’s need for what you offer.
But instead what are the basic details about the individuals you want to speak with.
Don’t make the mistake of trying to speak to everyone. Or worse...just the people that are in ‘buy-now’ mode.
Chet Holmes defines the ‘buy-now’ audience as being only 3% of your total audience at any given time.
Too many people only try and find this 3% of the audience that are making their decision today.
It’s a needle in the haystack situation.
As a result, they put a lot of time and effort (or money) into searching for the needle and and end up frustrated by the outcome.
You need to focus on building relationships with your larger audience.
While your competitors frustrate themselves burning themselves out for the 'quick wins.' You can build a system that makes you the long-term solution for your total audience.
Who are the types of people who will ultimately need your product or service?
How would you define this audience?
This will naturally include people who are looking for solutions today, as well as those that aren’t yet aware they need a solution or those who are just becoming aware of the problem you solve.
This is where we determine what will turn your business into a trusted authority in your space. You’ll be completing the work necessary to position yourself as a resource to your prospects, not just another vendor with something to sell.
The primary objective is to discover and understand exactly who your prime prospects are - what they struggle with, what their goals are, and what their desires are.
Armed with this information, we will use it to build instant authority and credibility with these people.
E - (be) Emphatic
This pillar is about putting your research into action and elevating how you are positioned online so that you can start more relationships and actually be heard.
This includes making a strong first impression and then reinforcing that impression by being a resource (not just another vendor) on a consistent basis.
The key to doing that is making it abundantly clear that you work with others just like those you are reaching out to. And that you are uniquely positioned to understand what they deal with and what they want to achieve.
Since we are primarily discussing a proactive approach to using social media and email. We'll use social media (LinkedIn) for the first impression.
To do so, you'll want to take your foundational research on your prospects and use it to optimize your LinkedIn profile to appeal directly to your prospects. Call them out by industry, or job title, or goals, or pain point.
This is key to making a strong first impression.
When you start connecting with prospects through social media (next pillar), it makes sense that your profile will be one of the first places your prospects look for more information about you.
First impressions are important...but they don’t exist in a vacuum.
To stand out, you need to be more relevant than just a first impression. Or just a first contact attempt.
Otherwise, you’re all sizzle, with no steak.
That’s where the right social media marketing strategy can help differentiate your business.
A cohesive social media strategy should provide social media updates that are:
- Consistent - you shouldn’t expect every prospect to see every post you publish. You need to stack the deck in your favor by providing consistent material from your social media accounts daily.
- Relevant - your updates should be tailored to the prospects you are targeting as new connections. Provide updates that relate to what your prospects care about. Hint: that’s not just your company and your products. Share material that helps them make their job easier. Or provides insight to what others like them are having success with.
- Authoritative - more often this is meant to give credibility to why you are an expert in your market. This might be sharing blogs or content that you are publishing on your website. Or giving your analysis of important industry news.
The great thing about a social media marketing strategy that ties in with your direct outreach (through email) is that it gives you a leg up over your competitors.
It’s a less intrusive way to get in front of your prospects on a daily basis and provide a positive experience relevant to their business or life.
A daily phone call or text would be overkill. A daily email to new connections might be too forward.
But a daily social media update shared with your individual prospects creates better awareness and a better experience for your audience.
The combination of an optimized social media profile and an ongoing social media content strategy attracts more prospects to connect, engage, and keeps our client’s top-of-mind with their audience.
All of this leads to stronger results when you begin directly reaching out to individuals to book sales appointments.
A - Attract
This is where we implement the plan to get hundreds of your ideal prospects joining your network.
Specifically, this section is all about refining your prospect profile into filters we can utilize to turn prospects into connections on LinkedIn. And therefore earning the privilege to begin a relationship with them.
Having a clear understanding of exactly who your target is and exactly how and where to find them is the unsung hero of this entire process.
Because it isn’t enough to simply “get leads”... real transformation comes from finding the RIGHT leads. This is what we refer to as The Spear Fishing strategy.
Rather than throwing a net out into the ocean and hoping the right fish are there.
We are being precise.
We’ve located the fish we want.
We’ve tracked them to where they live.
And are directly putting a line in front of them.
Once you’ve positioned yourself as a leader and know exactly whom to target and how to find them, your next step is to connect with these high-ticket prospects. This isn’t about just turning and burning through prospects. If you are targeting high-level prospects and decision-makers, you can’t afford to miss your shot.
You need an approach that gets more of these prospects into your network so that you can begin to develop a relationship with them and open real business conversations.
Business has and will always be built around relationships and conversation. But too many overlook this in the prospecting and lead generation part of their approach.
Either it’s taken too long in the past...or they didn’t know-how.
We’ll share how you can create this process in a fraction of the time without sacrificing the personal nature of relationship-building.
And the right way to send a connection request to prospects on LinkedIn.
Which leads to the last pillar,
D - Develop Relationships
The key to attracting high-quality prospects and closing the types of accounts that will really move your business forward is trust. By developing relationships through strategic outreach and messaging processes, you build the trust required in order to nurture your prospects to the point where they accept an appointment request with you. This pillar supercharges your sales opportunities by generating dozens of appointments with ideal clients.
There is a secret to developing trust with prospects.
We've talked about how you need to stand out.
How you need to be different to get noticed.
And the messaging format and copy you use, is critical.
The L.E.A.D. Blueprint solves a very real problem facing business owners these days. Because the struggle to get quality leads is very real for the majority of businesses. We ran a survey of over 1300 small business owners recently and found that:
Over 66% of small businesses don't know where their next lead or opportunity will come from.
Not knowing where your next client or opportunity will come from causes significant stress. And with all the different responsibilities you have, it can often feel like there is just no time to fit everything in. This can result in lead generation efforts not getting the proper attention it requires. Because without leads, your revenue will never be predictable. You need a constant and consistent flow of opportunities.
How the L.E.A.D. Blueprint is different?
Most people approach lead generation as a one-dimensional strategy.
They’ll create a landing page for their new ebook. Or their new webinar.
And hope that people find it.
Or they’ll drive traffic through ads.
Or cold call.
Or try a little social media posting.
Rarely is there a cohesive approach across multiple channels to:
- Target the EXACT prospects within your audience,
- Create more awareness with this audience so they are pre-disposed to trust you,
- Make an initial connection without jumping straight to a sales pitch (further building trust),
- Amplify that awareness through non-obtrusive and relevant content that generates better engagement,
- Build consistent and direct outreach sequences that generate phone calls and sales opportunities.
They are often one-channel at most.
The L.E.A.D. Blueprint combines multiple channels through social media and email in a proactive way that will build instant awareness and allow you to engage your audience.
We combine connection requests, relevant social media updates, and proven email outreach campaigns through a process designed to save you time and get your message (actually) noticed by your prospects.
All of this is meant to create an unfair advantage so your business can stand out from your competitors and get through to your chosen prospects.
We’ve recently been putting together a brand-new workshop that dives deep on how to implement each of the 4 pillars of the L.E.A.D. Blueprint full of examples and playbooks to save time and money in the process.
In this workshop, we’ll be teaching:
- Exactly what an Authority Leadership Platform is and how you can leverage our Authority Amplifier process to position yourself above the competition, putting your business in an entirely different playing field
- How to target high-end prospects using online platforms (social media + email) in a unique way that builds instant trust by doing the polar opposite of what most ‘salespeople’ try
- How to develop real relationships online using a highly-personal Multi-Touchpoint Messaging Campaign to naturally guide the conversation towards an appointment
- The right way to automate processes that build trust, improve credibility and increase responsiveness in your campaigns.