Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  10 Aug 2012

MARKETING: Seal the Deal


Recent Gauteng Business News

Whether you are a singleton looking for a romantic partner, or a company angling for clients, it is all about two things: marketing and selling. Your company could boast the greatest service or product in the world, but that will not matter if no one is aware of it. According to Louise Robinson, Sales Director at specialist outsourced database provider and lead generation company GC Consulting, you could use the most sophisticated marketing techniques in the world to spread the word about it, but that will also not make an iota of a difference in helping you to seal that deal and clinch that contract if the promotional campaign doesn’t reach the consumers who are – or potentially could be – interested in what you have to offer.

“There is an easy and efficient way for you to prevent your offering from languishing away in complete obscurity – or your product remaining forlornly on the shelf – and help you to home in on the market segment you want to reach,” says Robinson. “It is called lead generation, and it is more than just the marketing buzz term de jour.”

Although it certainly is trendy right now, it is not actually even a new way of finding business, but a proven process by which a company can track down prospective customers for its products or services. It saves you time and money by identifying your company’s target market and reaching out to them. Robinson says there are different ways to accomplish this, depending on – among other aspects – what kind of industry you are in.

“Although lead generation can be effectively used by any type of business, it is especially employed by the IT sector, insurance agencies, educational institutions and other kinds of service industries. Companies that lack the manpower or time needed to identify viable business leads can outsource the job to agencies and consultancy firms that specialise in lead generation.” By paying them a fee, these agencies will act almost like a virtual matchmaker between you and your potential clients.

Before it is passed on to you, the agency will first verify the potential buyer’s information to see if it checks out as a legitimate sales lead. Then, as if by magic, these leads will appear in your mailbox from where they can then be turned into successful sales.

Another means of reaching out to clients is by picking up the phone, phoning the clients that are potentially interested in a product, talking to them and securing appointments that way. If the idea of making cold calls leaves you cold with trepidation, or you simply don’t have time to phone around, you can outsource that to an agency too.

Whichever approach is followed, lead generation is more likely to turn into successful sales for your company, because clients will be more open to buying from you if they have given you permission to pitch to them, or if they have approached you for information first. “Lead generation is great for business, because it lets you choose the product or service you wish to offer your customers, determine the pricing on a per lead basis, and target the correct the demographic and geographical area you wish to sell to,” Robinson adds. “If you want to keep track of new as well as existing clients, you need to build, manage and maintain accurate databases with not only their correct contact information, but also information such as their preferences, whether they are making repeat purchases, etc. A well-maintained database will ensure that you have that information at your fingertips whenever you need it to make that important sale.”

A database is also a way to gather and process information about how your business is performing and which of your product lines are profitable. This way, you will also be able to identify and fix any operational problems your business may encounter.

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