Monday, October 3, 2011

How do you generate leads?

Like any business, we are constantly talking at The Chamber about how we generate leads.  The topic came up again at a meeting earlier today, and it got me thinking: how do we generate leads?  Here are just some of the things that we do (and hopefully there are some ideas in here that you can use as well!):

  • Events:  Most Chamber events have a low-cost to attend, but we usually have five or six mixers each month that are free to members and future-members alike (we have two coming up this Thursday, for example - one at the Shoppes at 3900 Hamilton Street and at Pistachio's in Allentown).  These events give future-members a taste of what we have to offer, and if done right, leaves them wanting more.
  • Referrals:  The best advocates for the Chamber is not our staff, but its our members themselves.  Any business works the same way - the more referrals you can get, the better.  We also reward those who refer us via our Refer a Member program, whereby we give referring members $50 off their next invoice for every member they refer that joins the Chamber.
  • Marketing:  Broad-based marketing is crucial at building name recognition. You've probably seen Chamber billboards on Route 22.  We also do radio and television ads.
  • Website:  Our President & CEO, Tony Iannelli, likes to say that your front door isn't your storefront - its your website.  We have a website that syncs with our membership database to provide the most up-to-date information about our members and what membership entails.  We also have our website set up so you can join online - making it as easy as possible for someone to start their relationship with The Chamber!
  • New business outreach:  Whenever we hear about a new business, we reach out right away, saying welcome and providing them with information on The Chamber.  We try to wait a few weeks before a business gets up and running - new businesses are obviously insanely busy, plus they have been deluged with similar calls, so we want to give them some breathing room!
Like I said, these are just some of the methods by which we engage in lead generation - and there are so many more out there - seminars, cold calling, contests, Social Media, etc.  We try to use as many of these methods as we can, but at the end of the day, like every business, there is only so much that we can do.

Here's the real question though: of the leads listed above, what specifically do you do that has proven to be helpful?  Please let us know in the comments - we'd love to hear from you!

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