Increasing Sales: Demand Generation and Conversion Made Easy
The term "demand generation" refers to your ability to generate and convert leads for your business. Demand generation is the lifeblood of your business. It directly determines the amount of cash available to fuel the business today and also impacts how long you can sustain being in business. In many ways demand generation is the "holy grail" of business. Get it right and you can almost dictate the terms of your business growth and success.
If demand generation is so important, why have so few businesses mastered it?
Few business owners have mastered demand generation because very few business owners understand really what's required. When you get a clear picture of what is required to create solid and consistent demand for your products and services you will be surprised how quickly you can begin mastering it.
Grow a "Fan Club" for Your Business
Any successful pop star provides you with a great example of the art of demand generation being put to work. Think about Kylie Minogue when she goes to sell a concert. Does she think, 'I want to sell a concert so I had better go get some fans now?' No, she works consistently at building a fan club so when she wants to sell a concert then they are ready and willing to buy. Think about the steps they have gone through to get to that point:
- They know exactly the people who are likely to be fans and what they like about the pop star.
- They regularly and consistently communicate the information people want to know in a format that is desirable.
- They create a sense of community and belonging, a true feeling of relationship, among the fans.
What other lessons can you draw from their example? You need to adopt the same approach and apply these principles to your business.
Build a System
The generation and conversion of new business needs to happen like clockwork. It's the methodical consistency with which you build a relationship with your 'fan club' that will determine your success. If you are intuitively good at building relationships then you already have the skills you need to be sensational at demand generation. What you need to work out is how to build relationships on a larger scale and how to do it systematically. To be systematic you need a system.
You know you have a system in place when you are able to hand a business colleague a folder that describes your system for generating and converting leads. That folder will be like an Operations Manual with processes, procedures, performance standards and templates. Your colleague should be able to pick up that folder, implement the system and get similar results. That's your end game. That's what we mean by a system.
So now you know you need a 'system' for building a 'fan club'. How do you decide what steps should be in that system?
Stop selling and help people buy
Imagine a friend of yours is going through the process of buying a car for the first time. This person is a good friend so you want them to succeed. What help and support might you offer to them to help them make a good decision? Perhaps you will:
- Tell them about your experiences
- Offer articles or websites about buying cars
- Recommend some particular models
- Offer a range of other people to talk to about it.
When we are helping friends our primary motivation is to look out for their interests and respect their needs as they move through their decision process. That is, you help them buy. You use exactly the same motivation and principles to decide what marketing tools to use to support your prospective clients as they get to know your company and consider their purchase. You need to ask the following questions:
- What are the different stages of their buying process?
- How can you use your resources to help them move from one stage to the next?
- What tools will most effectively transfer that knowledge from you to them?
Map each step into a flow chart. For each step designate what you are going to communicate, how you are going to communicate and the desired outcome. Can you see the foundations for your demand generation system being established? Get your system in place and you will discover demand generation can be one of the simplest tasks you'll ever do in business.
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