Council Post: Want To Generate More Leads? Try These 15 Expert-Recommended Strategies

One of the most difficult parts of being an entrepreneur is constantly trying to generate more leads for your business. It’s important to diversify your client portfolio and try different approaches to be sure that you’re constantly innovating.

Getting creative with your lead generation strategies will both help to reach new potential customers and grow your business. From personalizing your connections to trying guerilla marketing, 15 Forbes Business Council members shared their most unconventional (but effective) strategies for finding new prospects. 

1. Focus On Building A Self-Sourced Pipeline

It’s proven that a self-sourced high-quality pipeline and leads result in better win-rates. Enable your teams with training and coaching focused on territory planning, messaging, email writing, communications and relationship-building. Train your teams to prospect with empathy. – Elay Cohen, Saleshood

2. Personalize Your Connections

When looking at particular buyer personas, especially within the c-suite, I would advise using a one-minute video and showing something of value that makes sense for them to spend more time on down the road in the background during that minute. Make it cheap and cheerful, but personal and to the point. Show the real you outside of an email and not in a bulk outreach message to make every lead count. – Bram Weerts, Kea | Analyst Relations

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3. Curate A Sophisticated Customer Profile

Investing heavily into professional coaching, consulting and membership programs. The more sophisticated your customer profile, the higher the mastermind or program you’ll have to join, as these are the circles that contain your ideal customers. Couple that with joint venture opportunities, cross-promotions or strategic alliances and you’ll have more leads than you can handle. – Sidhartha Peddinti, Social Impact Ventures LLC

4. Get Uncomfortable In Your Approach

Want to get unconventional? Get uncomfortable. When leaders of Fortune 1000s come to us, we often ask them how much of themselves and their mission they are really willing to put on display. When companies are willing to get uncomfortable, which is far easier said than done, the results are continuously massive. – Sabrina Shafer, Transformation Continuum

5. Try Guerilla Marketing

There’s an interesting example of a real estate company in Toronto that riffed off of the recent hype over the Netflix show Squid Game. The owner dressed up in one of the costumes from the show and tied this into the theme of real estate affordability. He’s targeting his market by tying into trending media. – Taha Elraaid, Lamah Technologies

6. Invest In A Highly Responsive Live Chat

Consumers are more demanding than ever and want to be recognized as individuals, not ticket numbers. Investing in a highly responsive live chat may be costly but it can generate very high customer satisfaction and increased sales turnover. Avoid automation bots and long waiting times. There is no better way than being there for your customer than the moment they land on your site. – Mazen Khanafer, Shift Electronics

7. Maintain A High Quality Of Work

Business development and expansion can come from a variety of sources–advertising, digital marketing, networking, pitching and referrals. However, at a base level, the quality of work or that of a product or service is paramount and speaks volumes, which will either sell itself or allow for introductions and leads in the future. – Veronica H. Speck, VHS Ventures

8. Connect With A New Network

Join a group or attend events where you can connect with a new circle of friends with common interests. People will often ask what you do for a living in the natural course of a conversation. This provides an opportunity to share and serve as a resource as opposed to just being a sales pitch. For example, you can easily search for local dog, foodie or fitness groups to join on Facebook or Meetup. – Catherine Kuo, Elite Commercial Real Estate

9. Think Outside The Box

There are various creative ways to generate leads for a business in every industry. For example, I am in the real estate business and reside in a very competitive market. I have come up with the idea of having my associate approach estate sale managers to contact the homeowners of properties that have owners looking to sell. This has given me a major boost in my real estate acquisition process. – Johnny Marines, Johnny Marines Enterprises

10. Add Social Proof To Landing Pages

Social proof is a powerful tool for lead generation. The more tangible the evidence, the less you have to rely on things like testimonials or guarantees in your ad copy! Consider adding social proof into landing pages so buyers can see firsthand what other people think of your product before deciding. This way everything will be laid out neatly at their fingertips. – Bhaskar Ahuja , Originscale Corp

11. Cross-Pollinate Within Your Organization

When a client is receiving good value from you in one area, think about the ways you can meet more of their needs in other areas. This can help you serve your clients more completely and open up your business for a new line of growth in other areas. – Kevin Coker, Proxima Clinical Research, Inc.

12. Exhibit The Right Way At A Trade Show

There’s never been a better time to leverage the joy of face-to-face contact and stand out on the show floor. It might sound like a “conventional” idea but 80 to 90% of all trade show leads are never followed up on. Partner with a trade show professional to show you how to get the greatest return on objective before, during and after the show. – Joan McKinney, Aurora Exhibit Solutions, Inc.

13. Create A Unique Voice For Your Company

Ask yourself one simple question: “Do I have something unique to say and offer in my industry?” If the answer is yes, then focus on that to create thought leadership and a unique voice in the marketplace. It will take time and require an immense amount of focus and consistency, but the results will follow. – Ujwal Arkalgud, MotivBase

14. Emphasize Your Values

We’ve all heard that people buy from people, but what is perhaps less obvious is that what sits behind this is the desire to buy from someone who shares our values or a brand we can align with, trust and support. We know consumers are prepared to pay more and buy more to support individuals and brands they trust. – Marian Evans, Elevate BC Ltd

15. Empower Your Clients

Equipping your clients with the tools and resources to solve their most basic problems empowers them and engenders trust. Clients who trust your brand and motives will refer you more frequently and will bring you the kind of work that generates greater ROI. By providing access to replicable and transferable solutions you expand your client base. – Christopher White, Eques, Inc.