June 12, 2014
At some point, most of us have known someone who bounced around from relationship to relationship, never really investing enough of their time or energy into determining whether they were truly compatible with any one person.
Sometimes, that person’s transiency was the result of impatience or a lack of commitment. Other times, it had everything to do with unrealistic expectations or a false sense of perfection. Whatever the cause, the result was often the same—he or she never really gave their relationships enough time to blossom. And they often ended up alone because of it.
In my sales career, I’ve encountered many VARs that approach lead generation the same way.
Instead of viewing lead generation as a long-term engagement that requires commitment, focus and consistency, they jump from strategy to strategy, sampling a new approach every eight weeks and quickly discarding the ones that fail to live up to their unrealistic expectations.
They’ll try telemarketing, email prospecting, vendor-sponsored events, AdWords and social media—and they’ll try them all once. When they don’t see results, they’ll throw their hands up in disgust, declare the strategy a bust and move on to something else—only to make the same mistake again.
Why is that a bad lead generation strategy?
In today’s dynamic marketplace, consistency and persistence are critical. To fill your pipeline with high-quality prospects, you have to build a name for yourself in your target market, and doing that requires incredible focus and commitment. As you might expect, eight weeks isn’t nearly long enough to determine the viability of a lead generation strategy.
So, here’s the mantra I want you to commit to: Pick one. More specifically:
If you aren’t doing lead generation now, pick one lead generation approach and focus only on that approach until you’ve mastered it. For instance, if you’re executing an email campaign, be sure to invest the proper amount of time and energy into learning how to write effective emails, who to target, which offers to use, when to nurture, when to push for an appointment, how to score leads and how to follow up. Don’t give up until you’ve truly mastered the craft.
If you’re already doing lead generation but aren’t seeing the results you’d like, pick one approach to focus on and master it. Maybe you’ve been executing a social media prospecting strategy for several weeks but you’ve yet to generate a single worthwhile lead. Maybe you’ve tried email campaigns for two months, but you’re not getting click throughs. Stick with it. Examine what’s working, and what isn’t. Then make adjustments. You’re only just beginning to create awareness for yourself.
If you’re doing lead generation successfully today, pick one new activity and master it. You’ll multiply your results through diversification—but only when you’re ready to fully commit yourself to that lead generation approach. Choose another lead generation approach to add to what you’re already doing.
The bottom line is that, like anything worth doing, lead generation takes time.
If you believe the lead generation strategy you’re targeting possesses the potential to create pipeline and drive revenue, be patient and give it an opportunity to germinate. If, after you’ve invested enough time to truly master an approach it still isn’t yielding the number of quality contacts you expected, then you can consider moving on.
Kendra Lee is a top IT seller, prospect attraction expert, author of the award winning books “The Sales Magnet” and “Selling Against the Goal” and president of KLA Group. Specializing in the IT industry, KLA Group works with companies to break in and exceed revenue objectives in the Small and Midmarket Business (SMB) segment.
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