Benchmark Business Group

Lead Generation Your Competition Probably Isn't Doing

July 22, 2014

This month we've looked at lead generation methods that are tried and true and many using technology. This week we're discussing lead generation that is meant to be explosive and creative. Being creative isn't always unique, but can mean using an idea you've seen done successfully and figuring out how your business can do something similar. The ideas this week are meant to be a bit more creative and create a buzz. Like all of this month's articles, we encourage you to get this in the hands of your staff and start talking about what is possible and stop focusing on what is impossible.

  • Non Flat Snail Mail - A couple of weeks ago we discussed direct mail as a tried and true method, but don't be afraid to step out of the box regarding the type of materials that you send. Sure you can send a postcard for less, but imagine sending something that isn't flat. Why non flat? It stands out visually from the "junk" mail and immediately captures attention. If you make it a quality piece or even a funny piece then it's more likely to be kept. And who doesn't want a lead generator that's around to remind your leads of who you are?
  • Street Art - Whether you place it in front of your business, work with another business to use their location, or find somewhere in your town to place it (within code of course) street art can be an eye catcher. What type of street art? It could be a sidewalk chalk advertisement (check the weather forecast before trying this), a sculpture, stickers, or a sign, but it's meant to grab attention. Check out this article for some big name examples. Just don't think that this type of lead generation has to have a large budget to make a splash. For instance, imagine an insurance company that convinced a scrap metal business to borrow a car that had been in an accident (making sure it wasn't a local accident that people would remember) for a week. During that week the car with a sign saying something like, "This driver didn't know on Monday that someone would run a red light on Tuesday. If they had, they might have had an expert review their insurance Monday night. Let us be your expert." The following week you could easily have a sign thanking the scrap metal business for their help thereby promoting their business as well.
  • Mascots - A fun and creative way to get people talking. Plan out a mascot for your business (one that molds with your brand) and get out in the community. Have your mascot make trips around town, show up at events, and even have its own twitter page or hashtag for sightings.
  • Vehicle Wraps - You've probably seen bigger companies with their vehicles wrapped, but there's no reason that you can't employ this technique for your own business. It's a great way to take your branding on the road. Speak with companies like SpeedPro about your options! Don't be surprised when people not only start mentioning they've seen you, but actually stop you to talk. Remember those introductions per day we discussed in our Tried and True article? It's not a stretch to be able to meet one new person each day when you make a bold statement everywhere you go.
  • Scavenger hunts - Want people to remember you? Help them create a memory. And what better memory than a scavenger hunt. This can be done on your own or cross promote with a few other local businesses to hit more leads.
  • Be Known for (fill in blank here) - On I-80 outside of Des Moines there was a gas station that was known as the "free ice cream" stop. For years, they simply advertised to travelers to stop and get a free ice cream. Not surprisingly, people not only stopped but planned their route to stop there for their free treat leading to more sales for the gas station. And you better believe they told people that were traveling on I-80 to stop there. They were simply the "free ice cream" shop, but that sure added up to a lot of leads over the years. What you're known for doesn't have to be a product, but can be information as well. Shark Tank investor Barbara Corcoran's real estate business the Corcoran Group started off with $1,000 investment and grew to $66 million. Along the way they became known for their Corcoran Report which is still used today as a standard for information in the real estate industry.
  • 3-2 or 3-2-3 Campaign - We've seen this work for any type of business that works with homeowners. The idea is that your staff goes to the houses surrounding the home (3 across the street, two on the side, and sometimes the three behind the house) and introduces the business. If you're a construction company you'd want to do it before construction begins and let them know if they encounter any problems to give you a call. If you're an insurance agent, you give them your card and ask them to call if the home owner is on vacation and there's visible damage to the house. Always get permission from the home owner before visiting.  It's a great way to stand apart from your competition.
  • Use Your Space - Be inventive with the space your business uses. Look for cross promotions that would bring leads to you. This might be offering to "showcase" a local artist in your lobby or opening your restrooms to the public during a festival. You might consider allowing an organization with a similar target market to yours host an event or use space during your non business hours as well.
  • Join the crowd - Is there an event or festival happening nearby? If so get out there! Don't "hope" they come to you. Have staff out there inviting them in to visit. It might be something as simple as handing out business cards or fliers, but could also be handing out samples or bottled water with your logo on it (for free).
  • Sky Writing/Aerial Banners - We saved this one for last. You've probably seen these tactics used, but have you thought about using them for your own business? If not, that's the point of this article. Lead Generation doesn't have to be "new" it just needs to grab attention. Start dreaming NOW!
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