If there is one constant in life, it’s change. Nothing stays the same forever. Nothing works forever. So it is your ability to quickly adapt to change that will determine your success. And make no mistake. When change comes, it can be very rapid and potentially catch you unawares.
And it’s the same in business. So how do you prepare? How will you not only survive, but prosper when all around you are scrambling just to cope?
There is a basic precept in Cybernetic Theory that states, “The entity with the greatest flexibility will control the system”.
Put another way, one choice or method of doing something is no choice at all. Two is binary – either/or. Three choices give you flexibility and the ability to choose the best path.
So the most dangerous number is one. One choice, one customer, one product, one method of lead generation.
Bringing this back to the real world, I’ve noticed this playing out with respect to lead generation in some businesses.
They have just one strategy, hoping it will pay off.
In one case relayed to me last week, the business relied purely on telemarketing to sell their service. They’d hired a bunch of telemarketers, set up a brand new office in an expensive area of town, took out a two year lease and hit the phones.
Two weeks later they closed up shop!
Why? The company relied on telemarketers being able to get through to business owners in their market. But the list was crappy, they couldn’t get through to the right people, and when they did, couldn’t demonstrate value or that their product had any chance of doing what they claimed it would.
They bet the farm on one strategy and within two weeks, they’d run out of money.
I’ll get to what I believe they should have done instead in a minute…
Case number two also uses telemarketing to sell their services in a consumer market.
Telemarketing for them has been a hit and miss affair. There have been times it worked well – seems to depend on the areas they were targeting, time of year etc. However, there have also been times when they didn’t get decent results.
They’ve gone from outsourced telemarketers to bringing it in-house. That worked well while they had one individual who was good and cutting through. But being good sowed the seeds of his own destruction as the organisation put more pressure on him to bring in more business. He burnt out and is no more.
Saw exactly the same scenario play out in a colleague’s business coaching organisation. They had one chap who was successful and a bunch of others who just dialled and got no results.
The chap burnt out and left, leaving them in a hole madly scrambling for other lead generation options.
Use online advertising instead?
For those of you who rely on being on the front page of Google to get all your traffic SEO changes frequently. You may be number one on Google today, but tomorrow you’re nowhere to be seen. End of traffic, end of business.
Or you may be running Google paid Adwords to funnel traffic. A couple of years ago Google banned hundreds of thousands of advertisers – for life! No reasons were given. People doing upwards of $20M per year went to the wall. Google can and does frequently change the rules – pulling the rug out from underneath, leaving you out in the cold.
And the same goes for Facebook or LinkedIn – or for that matter any other form of advertising.
And it may not be the advertising medium that changes the rules. Governments meddle more and more in business – stopping you from many traditional forms of advertising. Financial Planners and Insurance Brokers haven’t been able to cold call for years! Anti-spam legislation stops legitimate businesses from contacting qualified prospects.
So what’s the answer?
Diversity is the key. You must have multiple methods of lead generation so when one slows down, others can take up the slack.
No one channel should contribute more than 20% to 25% of your leads. You need to mix up online and offline advertising. Don’t rely solely on Google, Facebook or LinkedIn because one day they may stop working as effectively.
A great example is a client of ours who’s constantly looking to diversify and manage his risk.
He uses Facebook advertising, co-registration (people buying tickets through Ticketek get shown offers on the thank you page), banner ads, ads in newsletters targeting businesses, local shopping centre promotions and joint ventures.
While not all these methods might be applicable for you, there will be others like direct mail. Always have a backup plan. It’s only your livelihood at stake.
Which is where we can help you diversify.
We create multiple path lead generation systems for our clients – including online advertising with Google, Facebook and LinkedIn. We also create targeted sales promotions sent through direct mail or email. And if you insist on using telemarketing to consumers, we can train your sales staff to do it the right way.
So if you want to insure your business and keep the leads flowing, call us on (02) 9499-7958 to get the ball rolling.
Our 2 Heads Are Better Than One consultations are a good way to dip your toe in the water and see what we can produce for you.