In the 1961 novel Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, Captain John Yossarian is caught in a situation where he cannot win.
The novel was set in World War II. Aircrew were required to fly dangerous bombing missions over Nazi occupied Italy. Yossarian has had enough and wants to get out of flying more missions, but can't.
The reason he can't is Catch-22. The only way to get out of flying missions is to be proven insane.
But to have the presence of mind to request medical evaluation of your sanity proves you are not insane.
It was impossible to get out, other than to keep on flying and hope the war ended soon.
You may be stuck in a Catch-22 situation as well. A lot of small business owners are really stuck in it.
All because they haven't got their lead generation strategy right.
Do You Suffer From Lead Generation Catch-22?
The lead generation Catch-22 is that you want effort free leads, but you want to do it yourself to save money.
This is the logic fail most small business owners fall into. But it's impossible to have effort free lead generation if you are doing it yourself.
And even if you go down the “off the shelf” route, when someone sells you a system that will deliver effort free leads, they are selling you something you have to invest time and effort and money in setting up.
That's not effort free.
If you create and set-up a marketing sales funnel on your own, it takes lots of your own time away from running your daily business.
That's not effort free either.
Any path that means that you do it yourself cannot by definition be effort free. The clue is in the words “do it yourself”.
So let's take a look at the steps involved in setting up a lead generation funnel that may eventually become effort free...if you get it right.
Nail Your Landing Page
When a visitor hits your landing page you need them to take the right action, otherwise getting them there was pointless.
Landing pages that convert don't just happen. They take knowledge, work and they need to be tested and adjusted. Time and money you will have to spend if you do it on your own.
Create A Desirable Offer
Your product is red hot (isn't it?). But no matter how good it is, it needs to be positioned as the solution to the prospects problem.
This means offering a suitable free incentive to draw the prospect in. It could be a free report, ebook, guide or strategy. It could be a free membership, access to you, product trial or a video.
Whatever it is you give them for free, it needs to offer them great advice and position you as the solution to their problem in a balanced way, then lead them onto the next step.
Focus On The Follow-Up
Once someone has consumed the free content, they may need leading by the hand to a reach a buying decision.
This means crafting a series of email follow-ups that build trust and position you as an authority.
Through carefully constructed language your email autoresponder sequence will gently manoeuvre them into a position where they are ready to buy.
Your free giveaway content and your follow-up emails must seamlessly link to guide the prospect along the path to purchase. Any hint of a disjointed journey, or an imbalance in favour of sales pitch versus supplied information and your prospect will bail out on you.
The follow-up is vital and is incredibly difficult to do well. If you do it yourself it will certainly not be effort free getting it just right.
Make Your Sales Process Smooth
This is a killer for a lot of small businesses who do some or all of their business online.
Too many of you out there do not have a customer-friendly sales process. The hard work is done through convincing them to buy from you through your hard work on lead generation, only to lose them through a clunky sales process.
Abandoned shopping carts are a classic way sales are lost. Do you know what your abandonment percentage is? Why are people doing it and what can you do to simplify it?
What about if you have a lead generation funnel on site already? How many steps are there to get to a purchase?
If the prospect needs to speak to a live person to make the sale, does that always happen the way it should?
I have seen companies that rave about how good they are, but when you call them it is obviously just a one man band. And the one man in the band grunts down the phone at you.
Use Aftersale Care To Continually Nurture
Once the sale has been made, as long as that person receives a great deal or high level of service, you have gained a potential repeat customer.
What do most businesses do with existing customers?
They hammer them with a poorly defined newsletter each week. Or every day. Or sporadically. Or they just ignore them completely.
All that needs to happen is you push the right aftersales content to the right people and lead them down the right path to smooth them through subsequent purchases.
It's so simple it makes my want to scream when I see companies leaving money on the table when they incorrectly target existing customers.
Can Lead Generation Ever Be Effort Free?
The title of this post included the hot marketing term “without lifting a finger”. All I needed to do was include the word “autopilot” and I would have ticked every marketing cliché going.
But it's not a cliché in terms of the important point I'm making.
If you do lead generation yourself then you will have to lift all your fingers for a very long time.
All while doing your daily business tasks just to survive.
That's not good for your business or for you.
When you add up the time and money you will spend setting up a sales funnel to convert your leads more easily, it will be much more than you think. Factor in hourly rate, outsourcing of tasks, managing the process, tweaking, learning, redoing mistakes....it all adds up!
So don't do it yourself.
I know, that's so obvious it is silly. So why aren't more businesses outsourcing the whole lead generation job to specialists, who can really help them to grow their business by sending them more leads for less effort?
Fear of spending money? Fear of losing control? Fear of being conned?
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