Outbound Prospecting: How to Identify a Quality Lead
Inbound marketing is a lovely thing, but it’s typically slow to yield results. This is particularly true if your company provides a service that potential clients may not fully understand, and therefore not realize they want.
Web design is one of those things that potential clients often don’t really understand. They may think it’s as simple as cobbling together a web page or two and then waiting for the money to roll in.
They have no real idea why business is dragging and their website conversions are terrible, but a good web design and media company knows why, and how to fix it. If the potential client doesn’t know that they’re a potential client, how can you find them and let them know?
Choose a Target Industry
When looking for quality leads, you don’t want to cast your net too wide. The more specific you are when looking for leads, the less time and resources you’ll waste sifting through a mass of options for the good stuff.
Say I’m looking for law offices in need of web design help; if I search for “ law offices” it will take ages to locate a good lead. If I search for “ employment lawyer in Ohio”, however, I’m much more likely to find a prospective client that wants what I’m providing.
Of course, you would do a smaller scale search like this for each of the verticals you’re interested in working with. You don’t want to limit yourself too much.
Don’t Start at the Top
So now that you’ve got your starter list of prospects, you may be tempted to start at the top and work your way down. While you are looking for credible leads with recognizable affiliations, you don’t want to go after a company that doesn’t need your services.
Most people never look past the first page of search results when seeking a product or service provider. A law office that shows up on the first page of my targeted search doesn’t need my help anywhere near as much as a law office that shows up at the top of page two.
Look for Holes
By this point I know that my potential client needs my SEO services, but what else can I help them with? Do they have a blog, and if so what is the content quality and how often is it updated?
Here is an example of a blog post from a website I found on the second page of my search. The website overall seems to have all of the right things, so why isn’t it on the first page of search results? It’s possibly due to overuse of keywords and content that, though informative, is too full of legal lingo to engage their target audience. Even when I search using the exact keywords in the post, it still shows up on the second page.
They don’t know that’s a problem, but I do and I can help fix it. They have just become a potential lead.
Envision what the website could look like and identify specific areas you could improve. This will help the prospect see why choosing your product or service would be beneficial for them.
It’s not enough to just tell a potential client that I can improve their web visibility. If I want their business I need them to be able to visualize the results I’m offering.
Keep Thorough Records
Keeping clear and complete records of quality leads is important, especially if you will be passing your findings on to a sales team. Your research doesn’t help anyone if there’s no comprehensible record of it.
At minimum include the company’s name and location, URL, review date, contact information and product or services offered. It’s also helpful to include information on current domain authority, age and number of indexed pages (which can both influence the ranking of a website), the company’s preferred conversion method and notes on suggested improvements.
Don’t Forget Your True Purpose
It’s important to remember throughout all of this that you are hoping to do more than simply sell something to your prospective client. You are hoping to build a lasting relationship that will
benefit the client, and your company.
The bit of extra effort you put into finding quality leads is what makes them quality!