Two Steps To Great Leads Without Cold Calling - InformationWeek
IT Leadership // IT Strategy
03:25 PM
[Ransomware] Taking the Mystery out of Ransomware
Dec 07, 2016
Lost data. Systems locked down. Whole companies coming to a grinding halt. When it comes to ransom ...Read More>>

Two Steps To Great Leads Without Cold Calling

Every business needs leads, but not how to establish a steady flow of leads without cold calling. By creating a two-step lead machine, business owners can generate a wealth of qualified, permission-based leads.

John Jantsch

Every business needs leads; they're the lifeblood of your marketing machine. The trick is to set up a marketing system that lets you create a steady flow of leads without having to subject yourself to the torture of cold calling.

Create a two-step lead machine, and you can say goodbye to cold calling while still generating all the qualified, permission-based leads you can handle.

The basic idea behind the two-step approach is to create a free information product that your target market will see as a valuable read or listen, such as a workshop, evaluation, checklist, newsletter, course, or tip sheet. It should have a catchy title that's related to your business, like, "How To Tell If Your Roofing Contractor Is Lying," or "101 Things You Can Do With Your iPod." This is sometimes referred to as bait.

Don't Miss: The 411 on Web 2.0 Marketing

Now that you have your value-packed information product, every bit of your advertising -- Yellow Pages, magazine ads, direct mail, business cards, letterhead, e-mail signature, Web site -- should focus on getting people to request, pick up, or download that report. Don't try to do anything else with your advertising; let the report sell for you. That's Step One. For startups, this approach is so much more effective than traditional advertising for several reasons. First, this tactic allows you to draw interest without having to tell your entire story -- something that's tough to do in a small ad. Second, it allows you to demonstrate your expertise in a nonthreatening way: on the prospect's terms. Nobody likes to be sold to, but if they take the time to read your report and understand that what you do has value, the relationship can begin.

A prospect who has requested your free information is officially a hot lead. When prospects visit your Web site, they're effectively raising their hand and identifying themselves as being interested in what you do. When that happens, the hardest part of your sales job is done. Capture all the names and e-mails of those who request the report. Then your sales efforts can focus on taking that group -- and only that group -- to the next step in the process. That may mean following up with an appointment or simply a series of more advanced mailings. That's Step Two.

If you take this advice to heart, everything about how you market your business will change. And finding new business will become a much more rewarding and valuable experience.

You'll probably find other uses for your free report as well, including:

  • Referrals: Ask your sources to introduce your business to others by way of your free report, Web page or newsletter. This makes referrals easy for them and assures that your story is told.
  • Cold calling: I know, I know. You should never need to cold call. But if you do, do it this way: Call those prospects on your list and, instead of trying to convince them to give you five minutes of their time next Tuesday, offer them the address for your power-packed free info, then shut up. Your prospecting time will be much more productive.

See more stories from

John Jantsch is a marketing and digital technology coach, award-winning social media publisher, and author of Duct Tape Marketing: The World's Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial Services
IT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll