From the Center for Strategic Relations, a twice-monthly supplement to Applying Strategic Relations, mailed at your request

Guide business to business Leads

Have you ever had one of those dreams about work that days later you're not sure wasn't real?

In my dream, I was my own client. I woke up in a sweat wondering how this client could have missed so much.

What was the subject that invaded my dreams?

Lead generation. More specifically, converting leads into customers who become repeat buyers -- the subject of September's lessons.

You can receive all the leads in the world, thousands per day, but if not one becomes a customer then your efforts were meaningless, you time wasted, and your investment tossed out the door.

Quantity means nothing without quality. In the last lesson, you learned about tracking lead conversion, but only after you learned about the importance of lead quality.

Lead generation starts with interest, but lead quality is measured by a leads ability to purchase a specific solution and their desire to take action. This means lead generation must specifically help individuals make buying decisions.

For example, hundreds of people each month join this newsletter. For too many, it's the last step they take towards acquiring our services. For a larger majority of these "leads" there is an interest, but it's not clear if they have the ability or desire to take action.

You probably see the exact same thing in your business, prospects request volumes of literature, but a customer relationship never grows because their ability and desire to take action are never address.

Converting leads into buyers who purchase frequently might be something that keeps you up at night too. Just as you might, I turned my attention to an expert in business to business lead generation who you'll learn about later in this newsletter.

Before the lesson, I'd like to show you how I'm going to address my challenge of converting more newsletter readers into consulting clients or members. It will be an instructive lesson for you and a real-life example of these tested strategies in action.

When someone joins my newsletter, it is not always clear that this is just the first step in a journey to improve business relationships. When you receive a lead, is it clear to this individual that they are moving towards something of value?

Every lead that shares their information with your company has some challenge they are facing and that you might help them. They trust that either you'll provide them information, a solution, or the tools they need to make decisions necessary to eliminate those challenges.

Just receiving the lead creates an implied responsibility to serve that individual. It's your business to deliver solutions, so helping that lead to choose the solution right for them seems a logical completion of this initial interest.

In today's lesson, you'll learn how to pre-qualify leads to create profitable customers. This is the first step in lead conversion. I'll introduce to you Brian Carroll, the expert whose advice is helping me improve my own lead conversion.

Of course, I would be doing a disservice to you if I didn't implement what I teach about business relationships. Here are the four actions I am taking to implement what you're learning today.

  1. Make it clearer to readers that this newsletter is a first step to building business relationships and for a more complete solution, readers must become members.
  2. All lead generation forms, surveys, and information request sheets will require full complete contact details so that I can provide the appropriate follow up information.
  3. Leads will receive the information they requested plus instructions on how to take the clear next step that moves them closer to a solution.
  4. Make it easier for leads to experience being a client by inviting them to become site members instead of leaving them guessing about what to do next.

After you read this lesson, take a few minutes to discuss your own next steps to help more leads become repeat customers. If you aren't moving leads closer to a solution, you are doing them a great disservice -- lead satisfaction is your first step to lasting business relationships.

Next time, you'll learn how relationship value influences your ability to turn leads into frequent buyers. Until then, I'm wishing you health and prosperity.

Yours in service,

Justin Hitt
Consultant, Author & Speaker

Tested Strategies To Pre-Qualify Leads So That You Get Customers Who Are Profitable

By Justin Hitt, Strategic Relations Consultant,

Would you like to double the results of your sales efforts? Qualifying leads before they enter the sales process can significantly improve your ability to create profitable customers.

The following adjustments to your lead generation efforts are tested strategies shared by Brian Carroll, an expert in business to business lead generated, and from my own experience:

  1. Use pre-sale interactions to qualify leads for specific solutions. Your lead generation efforts should help prospects identify the solution they desire, how much they are willing to spend, and help establish the value in acting now. It should be clear which solution the individual is interested in purchasing before they reach the sales department.
  2. Generate new leads inside your current customer base.A strong response from existing customers is usually a good sign a campaign will produce the right time of prospects. Besides testing lead generation efforts, this strategy increases the revenue you generate from existing customers.
  3. Use monetary actions to guide leads towards specific solutions. Get suspects used to buying from you, even if it's very small transactions. It's easier to turn small customers into bigger customers, use small decisions to moves prospects towards big ones.
  4. Guild leads towards using your company as a decision-making resource. By helping prospects make the right buying decisions, you grow a sense of trust that lasts beyond a single transaction. Design marketing materials to hold as much value in educated the decision makers as they do talking about your benefits.
  5. Cultivate a dialog with leads that identify the solutions they desire. You may not offer the solution prospects want in the form they are willing to buy. Instead of selling what you sold someone else, learn enough about prospects to sell them what they want to buy.
  6. After a lead takes action, provide a point of reference that identifies their next step. Don't let leads stop for one minute; after you've captured their contact information offer them something else that moves them closer to a sale. Use collections of materials that help leads make better understand the decision you are asking them to make.
  7. Collect enough information to follow up in a reasonable manner. For business to business lead generation you must collect a valid name, company, address, phone, and fax number. Unfortunately, especially on-line, many leads enter just enough information to get what they want; not realizing it only limits their ability to get enough information to make a decision.
  8. Practice multiple channel response so you don't lose your lead. In a long sales cycle, it's possible your interested prospect could move or change addresses before they become a buying customers. Use more than one communications channel (i.e. direct mail, email, telephone ...) to catch change of address, decision maker, or role.
  9. Use lead generation to test your understanding of what customers want. Before you even seek leads, you should have a clear picture of what makes a profitable customer. Test these assumptions with low-cost lead generation efforts that identify specific challenges this group faces around your core expertise.
  10. Know why your best customers bought and work that into presales interactions. Prospects want to know they are in the right place. Stories about existing customers with similar challenges achieving positive results are necessary to provide this level of comfort.
  11. Measure micro-conversions as prospects move between steps in your sales process. Take each lead through your sales process with small deliberate steps that move them towards a sale. Test small actions along the way, keeping those that are most likely to produce an order.

Even with a complex product or a long sales cycle, guiding leads through a sequential process designed to extract qualified buyers creates powerful results. More importantly, it helps cultivate a relationship with future buyer that positions your sales team as a trusted resource. Test one of these strategies this week.

© 2004 JWH Consolidated LLC dba Center for Strategic Relations, All rights reserved.
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Do you want more effective business to business lead generation? Reserve your seat now for the upcoming business to business Lead Generation Summit for upper-level marketing professionals. Reserve your seat early to avoid disappointment

Justin Hitt is a strategic relations consultant with the Center for Strategic Relations. He is available for limited consultative support of professional organizations serving other businesses. Call +1 (877) 207-3798 or visit

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