It’s tedious, a number game only works when you are working (or someone else is) and, to me, a draining exercise.
Maybe for some industry, cold calling may still be the only way, but for a small business with limited resources, we need to make lead sourcing more efficient and if possible at a minimal cost.
And… with the ability to scale it up when we need it and can afford it.
Imagine, setting up a system once, say, in 1 day. After that just take a few minutes a day just to find your ideal audience then copy and paste the message and wait for the response.
Or even better, with some basic investment from $5/day on advertisement over 10 days, get 10 warm leads, without lifting a finger after you have set it up?
The following ways can make your life easier getting warm leads, however, you will need to first invest in some time to set it up. You may need to be a little savvy with a webpage, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Or at least know someone who does.
After that, it’s mostly cut-and-paste with minor tweaking. The extra work comes when they respond to your message and want to learn more.
Wait. That’s out of the scope of this article! Let’s start!
1. FACEBOOK (Personal Message)
I have personally done this for my business, and it works.
This is the $0 effort.
The response rate is 50%, with a quarter of that wanting to learn more about my services.
And the main message was just asking to like the new Facebook page for my business.
Why it works: It’s my list to start off with. Just like many new businesses, we would let our friends know about it first, so why not use Facebook to do it?
How does it work: This is the interesting part. You have to write. Write like you are talking. Why you are starting this business or why you want more leads (who doesn’t?) and how you want your friend to help.
The keyword is honesty. Resist the temptation to sell in this first message. Best if you have something to give in return for responding.
Consider a Facebook contest tie up with your vendor/supplier.
Note: Once the message is drafted, go through a couple more times. Don’t rush it out, it’s dangerous! Here are some personal tips on writing for your audience.
Or if you want a free ebook from a more established voice on marketing, check out this link from Hubspot.
When was the last time you interacted with your friend? Add this as an introduction. It helps.
My previous message was around 350 words. If you can bring it down to a hundred, why not?
The main thing is, it has to be heartfelt and able to move the reader into action.
Important: At the end of the message, make sure there’s a strong call-to-action. What do you want the reader to do? Without that, your message would cause nothing but confusion.
What’s next? Just take the next hour (depending on your list) to send it out one at a time, making sure you get the name and intro right. And also resist the temptation to reply any immediate respondents. The conversation can take longer than expected.
2. LinkedIn (Getting connected)
This is the next step after you have reached out to your friends.
It is still a $0 exercise but requires a little more time to seek out your target audience.
How it works:
1. Know who you want to target.
(To be fair, I’ll choose an industry I’m clueless in.
Refrigeration solutions specialising in F&B industry)
2. Find groups that local F&B companies hang out in and go through who are the members of the group that is a 2nd-degree contact. Meaning you are connected by a common friend. (we’ll call this contact, The Chef.)
3. Drop a message to the common contact (Our Friend) and ask if you could connect to The Chef.
4. Send a message to The Chef via the interest group, mentioning about Our Friend, your reason for the message and if you could connect with The Chef. DO NOT send the invitation to connect with the introductory message via the interest group.
5. Once the conversation starts and you are linked to The Chef, you can begin to tell more about what you do, subsequently, make an appointment and so on.
If there are more than 3 shared connections (Friends) …
This would be slightly easier. You may directly send an invitation to connect. Mention that you have a bunch of common connections and thought it’d make sense to connect!
3. Registration form (Finding warm leads automatically)
This is on auto mode once it is set up. One of the best ways that work around the clock, however, monetary investments will be needed.
It is also called a landing page, squeeze page, lead page.
This is highly scalable once you have optimised the online advertisement (headline, copy, profile, Call-To-Action and etc).
Meaning, assuming $5/day on Facebook ads draws you 10 responses on the ad per day. If 1% of the audience who responded, fill in the form, that would mean 1 warm lead at $5 per day.
If you want to get more leads per day, increase your budget to $10 or more per day. The number of leads will also increase accordingly.
How it works:
1. You need an online advertisement (Facebook, Bing for small players like us).
Research on your intended target audience. (eg. A startup Japanese restaurant owner selling sashimi, at a shopping mall).
What they do, what kind of Facebook group or page or interest they have. Check out forums / LinkedIn groups on F&B refrigeration. Or if you already have such a contact, have a chat with him
2. Write headlines and copy that speaks to your intended target audience. Have a strong Call-To-Action (CTA) on the ad.
Is it for a free consultation or a short report on refrigeration selection Stick to one.
3. Based on the CTA above, create a registration form for the audience to fill their details. Meaning, once they click on the ad, they will be lead to this registration form.
Make sure that whatever imagery and headline you have used in the ad is reflected in the Registration form too. Such continuation is important to make sure no one gets lost looking at an entirely different visual from the ad.
There’s more to just a registration page!
The best part of this method is that you now have the contact details of all who have filled in the form. You have your list that you can update them periodically.
At least once a week if you want them to remember you.
Here you can give value to your potential clients (restaurant owners), keeping them updated and be at the top of their mind.
This is in preparation for future email marketing efforts to retain your warm leads and clients.
As your business grows and your budget too, this will be a crucial marketing initiative moving forward.
One of the apps that does this very well (registration form, email management, autoresponders, broadcast, opt-in option, auto unsubscribe, etc) is Aweber.
Unless your business works best with one-time off customers, you have to give this a try as part of your marketing efforts.
It has a free 30-day trial for you to test it out! No harm trying actually.
Hope you like the 3 alternative ways to cold calling that can bring you warm leads. If you need help in any of the above, feel free to contact me via email or messaging.
Or if you like to fill in forms, here’s my version of ‘Registration Form‘
Share with me what has been working well for you too!
P.S I just got to learn about getting traffic from Youtube. Once I get more details, I’ll talk about this too!