You need more customers if you want to grow your business. Your existing customers already know who you are. It’s why they’re your customers. Then there are those who know who you are but choose not to do business with you.

Remove both groups and you’re left with a much larger one. These people don’t know you, and they might become your customer. It’s in your best interest to find out if they’re interested in your service before you engage them because otherwise you’ve wasted your money…not to mention that you’ve probably annoyed these people.

How do you figure out who might be interested? Bingo. You’ve just trimmed away all the mumbo jumbo around the lead generation. It’s nothing more than the process of identifying people who are interested in you, so you can give them the information they need to decide to become a customer.

Leads

Let’s say someone hands you the phone number or email address for 1,000 people who are in your service area. Hey, that’s valuable!

Or is it?

These people don’t know you. They didn’t ask you to contact them. There’s no connection. And, one thing we’ve learned from the prevalence of social media is that we live in a world fueled by connectivity.

There’s a subset of those 1,000 nearby residents who are actively looking for your services. That percentage is actually what’s valuable about this list of people. They are who you want to invest the resources in to engage. But, how do you know which ones are interested. Even more important, how do you establish a connection that grants you permission to communicate with them?

In today’s world of permission-based marketing, names and contact information have little to no value. What you need is an introduction. This is your WHY.

Three key questions

Now that you’re clear on the key objective of, it’s time to go about the tactics of creating the environment that generates these introductions. It’s time to practice lead generation. It’s time to find a way to connect with these potential customers so they give you permission to answer three key questions:

1. Do you really understand my problem?

2. Why are you interested in my problem?

3. Why are you the best qualified to solve my problem?

Anyone who shows interest in getting an answer to these questions is a lead. They’re indicating an interest in starting a relationship with you. That’s powerful. It makes them the initiator. They provided you with contact information and give you permission to use it.

That sure beats making 1,000 phone calls or sending out 1,000 emails to people who probably don’t know you and certainly didn’t ask you to contact them. It’s also why lead generation is the most cost-effective way to grow your business. Nothing beats its efficiency.

Nuts and bolts

What makes a perfect stranger decide to give you permission to engage with them. From their perspective, it’s the desire to get answers to the three questions above. What do they need to get those answers?

They need to start finding ways to connect with you. They need to start hearing pieces of your story. It’s what all those blog posts, videos, podcasts, eBooks, webinars, social media posts and anything that falls under the definition of content is about.

Combined, it helps a stranger decide to visit your website or landing page. If they decided to deepen the connection from there, they’ll give you permission and the information you need to contact them. That’s crucial. They are the ones who decide to become a lead. From there, your sales efforts convert them into customers.

The value of a cultivated lead

No one argues this point: People who don’t know you are not interested in what you have to say. If you find a way to insert that message in front of them without their permission, you are an interrupting annoyance.

It’s why generating leads organically is truly the best way to identify new customers and grow your business. Keep in mind, however, that this is just the strategy. The traction happens when you apply the tactics.

The majority of these tactics are related to content and how you use it as part of your inbound marketing. Here’s an example.

  • Always create a dedicated landing page for an offer meant to convert a stranger into a qualified lead because they provide you with their contact information. An optimized landing page removes the rest of the distractions of your website, so the visitor is compelled to convert to a lead.

A DIY approach?

Even without the dissection and distillation, you probably already knew that online lead generation is a complicated process. It’s why there are so many companies offering automated software solutions. Many of these solutions are capable of doing an excellent job—but they still require you to take care of all the pieces making up the process.

You’re still responsible for creating the content. You have to know the answers to those three key questions you read about just a minute or so ago, and you have to be capable of presenting those answers in a way that will resonate with the people you want to become your customers.

Many PHCE residential service providers discover that it’s not the best use of their time and resources to take a DIY approach to this crucial step in growing their business—and it’s often after they spend the money on a software solution that was supposed to take care of this for them. Online lead generation is not an automatic process, and only some of the pieces can be automated.

Before you look for a software solution to take care of the HOW and the WHAT, talk to us about the WHY of your online lead generation approach. We’re experts at creating connections for successful permission marketing.