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Lead Generation Systems: 5 Easy Ways to Build a Steady Stream of Qualified "Ready to Buy" Prospects to Grow Your Business

How To Generate More Sales And Profits
With Lead Generation Systems

By Matt Hockin

Studies show that the number one issue facing small business owners today is not having enough qualified prospects. Every small business owner would like to have more high-quality prospects, but most either don’t have the time, or just do not have the expertise!

In any given industry, there are a myriad of potential lead sources that can be used to supply your business with highly-qualified sales leads. Some are very simple and inexpensive to set-up, others are more involved. Some will give you a trickle of leads, others will produce a flood.

In this article I’ll cover the best practices for lead generation that take the least amount of effort. You can choose which ones you want to use for your own unique business needs.

What would the “ultimate” lead generation system look like?

A great lead generation system should have the following elements…

  1. Require little manual effort to effectively run it with the ability to be put almost entirely on “autopilot.”
  2. Generates names, addresses, and even email addresses of people who respond and are interested in knowing more about your specific product or service.
  3. People who respond give you permission to contact them and give your best sales presentation about your specific product or service.
  4. Creates a positive relationship of trust and generates a perception that you are “the” authority in your industry about your product or service. (Tells your story.)
  5. Generates predictable results. The system works like a radio volume control that increases your business when turned up and maintains your business when turned down.

The Basics of Lead Generation

1) Target Best Buyers

If you look at a financial statement that shows income generated from all your clients, you’ll find that the “80/20 Rule” is working within your business. That is, just 20 percent of your clients are giving you 80 percent of the business and profitability. These are your “Best Buyers” or “Dream Clients.”

What does this mean to you? It means you should target and concentrate on these “Best Buyers” first, because this will be the easiest way to grow your business and profitability. So take a few minutes now to create a profile of who your most “Dream Client” is.

2) Being Proactive With Your Leads is Your Key to Success

Most companies spend an enormous amount of time, effort, and capital to get a few people from a big audience to “raise their hand” (respond) and become a new lead. Yet, most won’t invest the time or the attention to follow-up in a diligent, timely, and continuous manner.

Every day that a lead goes unattended you are eroding the viability of that opportunity by a huge amount. They would not have responded and become a lead if they were not interested in the benefit your product or service offers.

The key to success with handling leads is to have an aggressive and proactive system in place, even if it’s a simple as picking up the phone and calling your lead. Each new lead responded to you because they were interested, so pounce on each opportunity.

The Top 5 Lead Generation Systems

1) Direct Mail to your Best Buyers

The fastest way to build your business is to target the best customers with a “laser-focused” approach with direct mail to your “best buyers.” This strategy alone has helped many businesses literally double their revenues in just 12 to 18 months (or less). This disarmingly simple strategy is one of the most effective and least expensive ways to market and grow your business… fast!

Let me explain how. Every market has what we call: “Best buyers.” Those are the clients who will buy the most of what it is you offer. In essence, they are your “dream clients.” So identify and select a target group who will now hear from you at least once per month. Most of the people on your list will throw the letter away the first four or five times that they receive it, but remember that you are committed to building a great reputation in the market, AND gaining clients. It’s a numbers game.

The first thing you're going to do is to send them a letter introducing yourself in giving an offer they cannot refuse. Then, send something out to these people each and every month, even if it's only a letter or a flyer offering a free consultation or free service of some kind. Over the next 12 months, these people are going to hear from you each and every month. And that's how they’ll go from saying: "I’ve never heard of this company before”, to… “Who's this company I keep hearing about”, to… “Oh yeah, I've heard of (your company)”, to… “Yes, we buy from them.”

Remember, this easy and inexpensive strategy alone can double your revenues in just 12 to 18 months (or less). So, do it NOW, and do it consistently every single month!

2) Buy leads from lead brokers and leads companies

Another great way to generate hot “ready to buy” leads is to purchase them from lead brokers and lead companies. These company’s sole focus is to generate leads and them sell them to companies like you who want a great source of consistent new business.

For example, I have a client who is a very successful life insurance professional. His main source of business and income comes from buying leads from the leads companies. Since this is a “numbers game” with ebbs and flows, he always buys leads from 3 different sources to keep his leads and sales numbers consistent. In average, each lead costs about $25 and he closes about 20% of the leads that he buys. This strategy alone has makes him a top producer that makes a very nice living for himself and his family.

So, if you don’t currently buy leads, adding this strategy alone can increase your business by 50-75% or more! It just doesn’t get any easier than this, so buy leads and grow your business.

3) Buy leads from the Internet Search Engines

One of the most effective online strategies for generating leads is by attracting targeted traffic to your Website with the "Pay-Per-Click" Search Engines (PPCSEs). PPCSEs can and should become an indispensable part of your lead generating arsenal.

PPCSEs allow you to tap into the searches occurring in your industry and put your site directly in front of customers who are actively searching for what you're selling. You set your budget, set the price you are willing to pay for each sales lead, and pay only when your customers click through to your site. You are guaranteed to receive "hot prospects" because you only pay for performance – pre-qualified clicks and visitors.

The 2 best PPCSEs are…

Here is an example of what can be accomplished with PPCSEs. The owner of a small, highly-profitable software firm has built his business success almost entirely with only 2 marketing tools.

  1. Having a Website where he offers a free 30-day trial version of his software.
  2. Purchasing traffic from PPCSEs like Google AdWords and

He spends up to $3.50 per click for precisely-targeted keywords and makes a high return on his investment. In fact, for every dollar he spends on keywords, he makes $5.00 to $7.00 back. This calculates out to being approximately a 500-700% return on investment. Not bad!

4) Advertise

Studies show that 50% of all purchasing is motivated by advertising. Advertising is also one of the best tactics for generating leads that a company can deploy. Plus, it’s also the great way to build name recognition in the market which can get you publicity, “word of mouth” advertising, and other great benefits.

Here are a few tips for running an advertising campaign that brings you a high return on investment…

  • Place ads in the most targeted publications that your target market reads.
  • Consider inexpensive ads in e-mail newsletters and Web Sites that your target market reads.
  • Use direct response ads - always ask the reader of your ad to respond for more information by phone, mail or via your Web Site.
  • Be proactive. Have a follow-up system in place to get maximum results from your advertising dollar.
  • Use a compelling headline that introduces the biggest benefits your product or service offers your client.
  • Make them an offer that they’d be crazy to refuse so they’ll respond and become a new long-term client.

5) Referrals

Referral marketing is one of the most effective techniques for creating steady streams of prospects and clients. Plus, according to a recent Jupiter Media Metrix survey, 70% of Internet users are compelled to visit new web sites through referrals.

Referral-generated customers are most cost efficient, profitable, and loyal source of new business leads you can generate. And, they tend to buy quicker, negotiate less, buy larger quantities, and refer more business to you.

I’m sure you get many referrals already, but the best way to get more referrals is with proactive referral systems that you add to your marketing and business procedures. You can easily set up these referral systems that are fool-proof strategies for increasing your profits. Here are a few tips…

  • Give your customers an incentive or additional products or services in return for referring others to you.
  • Use a “Give a Gift” referral system where you invite your clients to give a free sample of your product or service to others as a gift. Referral gift certificates are great tools for this.
  • Use a “Loss Leader” referral system. Here’s how it works… Advertise a free sample to get new clients to try out your product or service. This alone will get you more sales. Plus, you can build a perpetual referral generator by giving each person who tries your freebie 3 or more referral gift certificates to give away to their friends and family. Then, watch your new referral system take off and bring you a steady flow of new customers!
  • Along with your mailed or e-mailed invoices to clients, include surveys that ask for feedback about how to improve company’s product or service. Be sure to ask for referrals in the survey as well. This works!
  • Identify and create relationships with non-competitive companies and people who already serve your target market. Then partner with them and have them automatically refer you to their database of clients. Give them an incentive if possible and watch your business grow!


Adding new lead generation systems is the fastest way to build your business. The 5 I’ve listed in this article take the least amount of effort and will get you the biggest results in the shortest amount of time. Now take action and follow through and your business will thrive.

Matt Hockin is President of Interactive Marketing, Inc., a small business marketing consulting company and the editor of the Interactive Marketing newsletter, one of the Internet’s leading free small business marketing newsletters. Subscribe now at

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