Every week, we answer a common question about marketing or an aspect of business. This week, our question comes from a fan who entered our giveaway for an Amazon Fire Stick and Echo Dot bundle. Today, we will answer the following question: “how do I capture leads for my small business?”

You have a great product or service. The hard work of turning an idea into a reality is over, and you are ready to sell! The only problem: “who are you selling that product or service to?”

According to Investopedia, a sales lead is “a person or business who may eventually become a client. Sales lead also refers to the data that identifies an entity as a potential buyer of a product or service. Businesses gain access to sales leads through advertising, trade shows, direct mailings, third parties, and other marketing efforts.”

Put more simply, the people who show interest in your products are your leads, and you capture them by turning them into customers. Capturing leads can be one of the trickiest and most frustrating aspects of a business. With a million ways to successfully generate leads, the natural next question is “which ways are right for me?”

Understand Your Audience, Their Needs, and How You Can Meet Them

Before you can capture leads, you need to have a deep understanding of your small business. One of the very first necessary steps in this process is understanding who your target market is. (Read more here).

To make a long story short, your target audience is made up of people who are most likely to buy your products or services. Having a clear picture of your target audience is critical. You need to structure your business around your target audience. You must understand what they care about, what they want, and how they behave.

First, research the people who are actively engaging with your website. Pay attention to which products are selling and which channels people are finding you through. Find what’s not working and either start fixing it or stop doing it.

When you begin to understand who your target audience is and how they are finding you, you can figure out how to turn leads into sales. If you’re having a tough time capturing leads, then odds are good that you are doing one of three things:

  1. Marketing to the wrong people.
  2. Not meeting your audience’s needs.
  3. Not effectively communicating your ability to meet their needs.

Use What You Have Available 

Looking for a specific way to figure out why leads aren’t converting? Look into Google Analytics. It’s a free and robust tool that allows you to track data for your website, which is very helpful for small businesses. You can see how people are finding you, which pages they’re viewing, and which pages cause them to exit the website. What you see in Google Analytics can help set you on the right track.

Are you running a brick-and-mortar store or not tracking data with Google Analytics? That’s okay. There are plenty of other ways to gather information, too.

Odds are you have at least some sense of who your target audience is and how you can meet their needs. Perhaps you can do a better job of meeting them, though. To find out how, start in your inner circle, and work your way out to other people in your life you know.

Chances are, there are people who are already in your life that might have interest in your product. By starting with your own social circle, you can both get your first few sales and, more importantly, learn how to improve your product/service or the experience around it. Think of it like marketing research!

When communicating with your leads, make sure that you clearly communicate the value of your product or service, and show why they need that in their life. Show them the value that your product will bring to their life. For that matter, confirm that your product or service will improve their life.

More important than anything else, be real with people. Honesty goes a very long way. 

Final Thoughts

Capturing leads for your business can be tough. Through all of the struggles you encounter, remember the reason you started your small business in the first place. You see the value that it brings to everyone else. All that’s left is making sure people understand the value you are bringing. Stay grounded, work hard to establish a good foundation, and the rest will follow.