• Where do your new customers come from?
  • How much does it cost you to get a new customer?
  • What type of marketing works best for your business?
  • What is your best ROI to date?

These are all questions that you should be able to answer without looking it up, if you have a Lead Generation System.

A lead Generation System is the last piece of our puzzle, but it is the first one any potential new customers will get in contact with.

Most small businesses do their marketing in a very stop/start, random fashion:

“We need some more business this month, let’s get some flyers out!”

“Sales are down this week, let’s run a 10% off offer!”

Sounds familiar?

That is not a system!

What a Lead Generation System does for you is provide you with the best sleep you have ever experienced.

You know everything is in place, and everything is tested and providing a positive ROI (Return On Investment).

Let’s look at an example of what happens when you do not have a Lead Generation System in place.

Good friends of mine run a Window Shutter Company (Wooden Plantation Shutters, not metal security shutters).

The products they sell are designed in-house, but manufactured in China, which means there is a 10 Week Lag between orders and installations.

Ultimately if they have a slow sales week in January, they could still feel like they are very busy, but then 10 weeks later, in the middle of March, there are no installations for the team to carry out, and they could end up paying people for sitting around.

This also has an effect on cashflow, as no installations means no balance payments, but you don’t see that for 10 weeks after the slow sales week.

This is cured by having a Lead Generation System in place.

What does it look like?

It all starts with planning – Planning for the whole year.

Most businesses have a seasonal element to their sales cycles. Valentine’s comes round every year, as does Easter, summer, end of summer, Christmas and New Year. This means you can plan your marketing campaigns accordingly.

You should be working on your Valentine’s offer at the start of January, NOT the start of February. You New Year offers should be finalised by the first week in December, not scrambled together on Boxing day.

If you plan your year in advance and diarise all your annual campaigns, it makes it a lot easier to fill the gaps in-between, instead of being reactive when there is a bit of a sales slump.

Another aspect of the Lead Generation System is that it never stops! Let’s say you run a local MOT garage and leaflet dropping works well for you. Are you dropping leaflets every week? If not, why not? Think about the Rhythmic Acquisition of Customers. If I gave you a vending machine that gives you £1.50 for every £1.00 you put in, how many £1.00 coins would you put in?

The only answer is: Every £1.00 coin I can get my hands on!

The same goes for a properly designed Lead Generation System.

Going back to the leaflets example:

If you know that for every 5000 leaflets you have delivered, you get 10 new customers, paying you on average £85, that gives you an income of £850 for every 5000 leaflets delivered.

Now, a quick search online tells me I can have 5000 leaflets printed for £112 and delivered for £200. So, if I gave you £850 for every £312 you spent, how often would you spend £312?

In this example, why would you ever stop dropping leaflets?

The same goes for every marketing tool you have. You need to build it into a system that runs like a clock, constantly.

This will then give you a baseline of business, and you can develop specific campaigns on top of that for seasonal and special events.

From this example you can see why you need to develop a Lead Generation System, with multiple marketing campaigns and marketing media.

Think of the Lead Generation System as doors into your Client Acquisition System.

The more entry points you have, the easier it is for a lead to enter the Client Acquisition System, which then manages their unique universe and journey to the point where they become clients and then enter the Client Fulfilment System.

Obviously, there is a lot more detail you need to consider when developing your Client Fulfilment System, Client Acquisition System and Lead Generation System, but this should at least get you to start thinking about these things in the right way.

Pieter K de Villiers

Author: Pieter K de Villiers

Pieter K de Villiers is slightly obsessed with systems. The systems and process automation he builds for small businesses are transformative, to say the least. Pieter is a Co-Founder of Barefoot Digital and the Amazon best-selling author of “Barefoot Business: 3 key systems to attract more leads, win more sales and delight more customers without your business killing you”.