Sales lead generation is one of the most important marketing activities for any B2B business. Unfortunately, the marketing strategies on how to grow a business, increase sales and get new customers are more available to B2C companies.
Honestly speaking, I also more often write about B2C marketing, even though my day-to-day work is all about B2B. B2B might be forgotten because it’s perceived as less “sexy”, less creative, and too corporate.
It’s not true though!
So, I’d like to share with you how I manage to generate up to 1K B2B leads every month to pitch and bring my brand forward in front of the eyes of my potential customers.
Frankly speaking, businesses will seldom Google to find a provider to solve their problems. They’ll either hire internal staff to do so, delay the solution by blaming lack of resources, or won’t even realize how certain solutions can help scale their business.
B2B is a totally different ball game compared to B2C. Consumers are naturally inclined to Google for answers or to find the best solutions, thus giving your brand a great chance to be discovered.
What’s my secret to generating up to 1,000 sales leads each month?
I’ll be upfront and share that I cannot do it alone. If you want to reach this or an even greater number, you’re likely to have to hire an intern or a virtual assistant as an extra pair of hands. However, even if you choose not to hire anyone and do it alone, you can still achieve great results. But then, keep the goals more realistic.
The Internet is full of information. No brainer here. This publicly available information is the goldmine for your business. However, how do you find the business information of the prospective clients?
Head to eBay. Yes, eBay.
eBay has 19 million sellers registered and is one of the biggest B2B databases that you can find online. It also has all types of sellers that fall in any business category, niche, or size.
I use eBay to discover businesses because if they sell on eBay, they are likely to do some sort of e-commerce. The solutions that I offer (digital marketing) are indeed needed for e-commerce businesses. However, even if you offer something else (for example, web development, accounting, virtual assistance, payroll, consulting, etc.) chances are high that these businesses will still need you.
The tricky part with eBay sellers is that they are often micro and small SMEs that may have limited resources (capital and human), but one thing is certain — they are hungry to grow!
That’s why you’ll need to create a very strong proposal showcasing how you can help them grow exponentially at a minimal cost in the quickest way possible.
So, how do I find these businesses on eBay?
It’s simple. Head to eBay and in the search bar type any product that you’d like to purchase. I’ll use “coffee grinder” as an example. My search gave me over 9600 results. It doesn’t mean that there’ll be 9600 potential businesses to approach as some businesses may have multiple coffee grinders, but it’s still a good result.
From here, I’ll visit as many product pages as possible and try to gather business information. Choose any product and open the product page. The product page will contain the seller’s information, which is essential for us to gather the seller’s contact details, website, PIC name, etc.
Based on the example, I am able to get a lot of valuable information, such as business name, first and last name, address, and even e-mail. This information can be used to contact the business and pitch your solutions.
However, I notice that the e-mail address may not be real. Maybe it is, but we can also try checking if we can get better contact details online. It’s great that we have the business name, so we can Google the business and see whether it has a website, LinkedIn, or other social media accounts. These can be used as initial platforms to contact and get the right e-mail address.
By Googling the company name, I am able to find that the company is indeed legit and registered with the UK Government. I can also confirm the name of the person in charge.
Although I cannot confirm the e-mail address, by knowing the company name and the PIC name, I can look for the information on LinkedIn. If LinkedIn isn’t available, you can search for information on B2B competitive intelligence platforms such as hunter.io.
In some cases, the contact information cannot be found as the seller may be only selling on eBay. It’s still fine — you can use eBay messaging tools to approach the business and introduce yourself.
Millions of sales leads are readily available online
Can you believe that it’s that easy?
eBay is just one of the platforms — you can use a similar approach on any online marketplace (Amazon, Etsy, Shopee, Lazada, and others). There are millions of local and international sellers that might become your customers.
Remember, the conversion rate might not be as high as compared to the leads generated via ads but keeping in mind that you’re spending less money on acquiring them is a very viable marketing strategy.
How can you convert these leads?
As a bonus, I’ll share a strategy that I use to engage with all these contacts. Chances are low that they’ll suddenly get your service after you contact them and pitch your solutions. Instead, I treat them as “cold leads” that require time to become “warm” and “hot”.
Upon introducing your business and sending your pitch, make sure to add these contacts to your e-mail marketing database. Send periodic educational content to them to inform them how their business can grow by working together with you. Avoid hard-selling, as in most cases it won’t bring good results, instead remain patient and keep nurturing them.
It often takes 6–10 months of nurturing to actually start converting them into your customers. However, the ROI of such leads is super high — as it cost barely anything to acquire them.
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