As pet business owners it’s obvious if you don’t generate new leads and continue to cultivate new clients you won’t have a business. When you’re busy in the day-to-day of running your business though it may be difficult to find the time, the bandwith or even have the knowledge necessary to continually generate new leads. Lead generation and nurturing those leads is crucial to your business success and the bottom line.

Working with clients in the pet industry, I talk with them many times about why it’s important to alway be generating new leads and I offer them methods by which to attract them.

How And Why To Generate New Leads

If lead generation and lead nurturing aren’t something you’re comfortable with, I have a few different suggestion on ways you can (because if you want your business to thrive you have to bring in the income!):

  1. Generate new leads
  2. Methods to attract leads
  3. How to turn leads into customers

Some of the ways in which you can generate new leads include: 

  1. Run a contest
  2. Create an on-line sweepstakes
  3. Generate product sampling opportunities
  4. Host events like Yappy Hours and Adoption Events
  5. Go to industry trade shows
  6. Exhibit at industry trade shows
  7. Exhibit at pet-focused events
  8. Run Facebook or other types of advertising (check local newspapers and radio stations for advertising opportunities)
  9. Provide an “ethical bribe” to get a potential lead to opt-in to your newsletter
  10. Cultivate referral partnerships
  11. Create, industry specific Facebook and/or LinkedIn groups

Now that I’ve given you a few ideas on unique ways in which to reach out and connect with potential new customers, here are some steps you need to take to nurture the lead. If you and the lead are a good fit, a business relationship may blossom. If you and the new lead aren’t quite right for one another, you can still nurture the relationship and turn the lead into a referral partner (as mentioned in #10)

One of the most important parts about lead nurturing is getting the leads’ contact information onto your “list.” Your list is as valuable as gold as it indicates the individuals with whom you have met who were interested enough in what you had to say, intrigued enough to sign up on your website and are willing to receive your emails in their inbox.

You may be wondering why you need to “chase” leads when you have more than enough business right now. Every business has churn and when you need to replace a client or you have the space to grow your business by bringing on another client, your leads are the source for starting to do just that.

Here are steps to take to make the new lead feel valued, share your expertise, show you want to build a relationship and potentially become businsess partners. Remember, a business partnership could mean a long-term relationship or your making a sale to the new lead. Have you ever met someone or signed up for a newsletter based on the “ethical bribe” that was offered and have heard nothing but crickets from the business owner? Sadly that happens all too often and that business owner who has obtained your name, but is not nurturing a relationship with you is missing out on an opportunity. Don’t be that business owner who connects, but never follows up with a potential lead.

Consider these ideas to build a connection with your new lead(s):

Send a newsletter. You don’t have to send a newsletter a week if you simply don’t have the time or bandwidth to do so. I do urge you to at least reach out with a newsletter on a monthly basis. Share interesting information. Link to blog posts you’ve written. Let your subscribers in on “insider” deals or give them coupons. Ask them for their input on a new product or the design of a new product label. Make them feel they are part of your tribe.

Write a blog post. Your blog and your website should be the hub of all of your marketing activities. When you drive a lead or a current client to your website and blog you have a captive audience who is interested in what you have to say! When you start blogging make certain you have a strategy for the content you share, a schedule for posting and that you’re using keywords that help your blog and business be found online. Your blog is the showcase of your products and your expertise.
Host webinars. Put together a webinar and send a special invitation to the leads on your list. The webinar should be a way to highlight your expertise, but don’t let it simply become a way to tell who you are, what you do and why people should hire you and with an offer tossed in. Make sure your webinars offer useful information to your leads. Hint: You won’t have to say, “buy my goods/services” because those on the webinar will be receiving your unique information and expertise and will know when they’re in the market for what you’re selling they will reach out. One of the main reasons they will reach out is because you’ve stayed front of mind.
Offer immediate value. Send them how-to guides. Offer them information on your industry that they may not otherwise know. Ask for their opinion. Share insights. Answer questions. Make your arrival in their inbox something they look forward to, not something they potentially ignore.
Ask for their business. Sometimes all you have to do is ask. People on your email list will expect the ask so don’t be afraid to do just that.

Want to transform your sales and marketing and increase awareness and profits? Contact us. Let’s talk. 

Next up: We’ll discuss Customer Segmentation: The How. The Why. The Importance Of.

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