Have you come across the term 'silver bullet'? It originates from folklore and refers to a bullet cast from silver which was often regarded as the only weapon effective against a werewolf, witch, or other monsters. But how does it relate to the rather more down to earth business of generating leads?
So many channels to choose from
The fact is that many people, when they review their market and scan their target audience, hope that there is a single approach that will 'knock them all dead' (figuratively speaking, of course!). Sadly this is not the case. For starters you have to decide on a way to reach them.
The choice is confusingly broad and includes everything from advertising on what is known as 'Above the line media' (TV, radio, press, posters) to 'Below the line' (sales letters, leaflet distribution, exhibitions, networking), as well as PR (articles in newspapers and magazines), direct sales (telesales, door-to-door) and digital (generating leads from websites and emails as well as driving traffic and creating engagement though social media).
Now get a head
However, even before you decide on which combination of channels to use, you have to decide which head to wear. This may conjure up a few strange mental picture (to go alongside that or werewolves and witches) but it refers to the fact that you have different types of people who make up your target market â and you need to adopt a very different mental attitude with each one.
There are four to choose from:
Farmer. This is the kind of mentality we need to adopt with existing customers. We need to tend to these people regularly and nurture our relationship with them. Then they may buy more from us, and recommend us to others. Perhaps there are other products in our range that we can draw to their attention? Maybe we can offer them some kind of reward for giving us referrals? Or will they at least give us a testimonial?
Poacher. We need a somewhat different mindset with those people who are aware of our products and service but currently purchase from another supplier. Here we need to find ways of informing them of the ways we differ from the rest of the marketplace and how our offering is superior to the one their current provider supplies.
Hunter. This is how we need to think when going out to find people who are unaware of our existence and of the value of our offering. They may not even be buying from our competitors, so here the job is an educational one â to inform them of what our whole sector can offer them and how, within that, how we are different and what value we can offer.
Trader. Instead of thinking 'customers' you sometimes need to think 'introducers'. It's smart to make connections with people who may not be in the market for your products and services...but know those who could be. It pays to educate these individuals about your offering and its value they may then become advocates who spread the word for you.
You need to put on each of these heads at different times otherwise you are going to be neglecting an important source of leads. And as you do you will utilise a variety of channels to get your message across to the right people. A silver bullet would be easier but so far nobody has found one!