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9 proven ways to generate sales leads

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff | Aug. 23, 2013
Sales and marketing experts share their lead-generation tips, including the best methods and media for finding prospective customers.

Just be careful not to lead with a hard sell. "Instead, focus on creating relevant content that is highly shareable and relevant to potential buyers," says Volpe. "Infographics, quick tips and examples of success from executives in their industry are all great examples of how to interact on LinkedIn Groups to drive leads and inspire engagement."

7. Using Twitter. Use Twitter "to promote sales, products or services... and utilize hashtags so that potential clients can find your sale or topic," suggests Kimberly Judd-Pennie, the founder and CEO of CyberMark International, an integrated marketing firm.

You can also use Twitter to find potential customers by tracking "buying signals," notes You Mon Tsang, vice president of Products and acting CMO at Vocus, which provides cloud-based marketing and public relations software and services. For example, if you sell skis, search for individuals looking for ski recommendations by typing in relevant search terms (e.g., "skis recommendation") or looking for the hashtag "#skis" or "#skiing." Or create your own hashtag.

8. Providing contact information on every website page. "With search engines being such an important driver of inbound website traffic, you can't always predict where people are going to enter your website," notes Jonathan Bentz, marketing manager, Netrepid, a provider of professional services. "Having your contact info on every page of your website increases the likelihood that people will contact you."

9. Live chat. "We added a live chat box to our website and generated a request for quote the very first night!" says Bentz. "I can't stress how important that was for a proof of concept, especially since most IT pros are looking for fast answers without possibly getting stuck on the phone with a pushy sales person."


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