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Seven Tried-And-Tested Ways To Convert More Leads To Boost Your Business Tried-and-tested tactics are even more vital if you are an SME with tight budgets, because such a lot can be achieved by going back to basics and creating cost-effective, memorable interactions that stand out.

By Lucy Bradley

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In an environment where so much energy (and budget) is spent on things like social media engagement, app development, virtual and augmented reality experiences, and even the metaverse, it's easy to forget the more straightforward strategies available for converting prospects into customers.

While grabbing attention and aiming for excellence in the digital space is an important part of any customer relationship management strategy, innovation doesn't have to be at the expense of traditional methods, which served us quite well before our physical and online realities became blurred.

Tried-and-tested tactics are even more vital if you are an SME with tight budgets, because such a lot can be achieved by going back to basics and creating cost-effective, memorable interactions that stand out. Here are seven such strategies that are worth recalling to the realm of business today:

1/ The lost art of the follow-up

We naturally rely on technology to communicate in a hyperconnected world, especially outside of 9-5 hours, and dealing with different time zones. The downside of this is that many companies have become dangerously lazy with their follow-ups. These days, a generic email or WhatsApp seems to be the norm. It might be tempting to fire off a quick message to check if a proposal has landed, but the personal touch almost always delivers a better result.

This is a crucial time to build relationships, and there's nothing more authentic than picking up the phone. It demonstrates to the client that their business is important to you, allows you to answer any questions or objections, and presents far more opportunities to connect than an email ever could. And while Zoom fatigue is a thing, video calls can also work well in the right circumstances. Either way, a personal follow-up is definitely preferable to a cookie-cutter digital one, hopefully heralding the start of a beautiful friendship with an engaged new client.

2/ Ask, and you shall receive

Marketing is meant to get you noticed, but instead of relying on being found, why not take the most direct route available, and ask for a company's business. If there's a brand you can do great things for, explain why you want to work with them, and show how you'll add value. Your enthusiasm and passion will more than justify the ask, and proactivity will keep you front-of-mind.

Related: 14 Lessons That I Have Learnt During My 14 Years Of Leading A Business

3/ Define and demonstrate your USPs

It's a jungle out there. In a crowded marketplace, you can't expect clients to see why you're different unless you tell them. Get clear about your USPs, and be prepared to communicate them succinctly. Your approach might not be right for everyone, and that's ok. But when you do identify a suitable prospect, explain why you are right for them, then bring out the evidence to back that up. A strong bank of work samples and testimonials helps to build credibility, and encourages people to sign with you.

4/ Price is what you pay, value is what you get

Avoid the all-too-common pitfall of price-based promotion and discounting your fees in a bid to close the deal. It not only cheapens what you offer, but it's a major annoyance among fellow suppliers who feel powerless to push back. There are several things you can do if a client piles on the pricing pressure. Keeping the conversation friendly, while asserting the positives, such as increased value, point of difference, and expected returns, will put you in a more credible position. A market flooded with cost cutting can be damaging all round; businesses need to educate buyers on the benefits, and not undermine their own and their industry's services.

5/ Data is king

We've all heard the phrase "content is king" coined by Bill Gates over two decades ago, and to a certain extent, it still holds true. Although, to create content that resonates, you need to know your customer- and that's why data takes the crown in the digital era. It's amazing how few companies are doing a proper job of collecting, maintaining, not to mention actually utilizing, customer data. A solid database is business gold. Make a point of collecting customer details during physical and digital interactions, then continue to use them by staying in touch, and targeting the right message to the right audience through tailored communication across multiple touchpoints.

6/ Team work makes the dream work

A cliché but, nonetheless, a no-brainer-collaborating with like-minded companies who have a similar target audience for joint marketing efforts provides multiple benefits. These include sharing costs, expanding your database, gaining new customers, generating engaging content, and driving brand awareness.

7/ It's the thought that counts

Sending something in real life is incredibly rare these days, but it's such an easy thing to do, and you'll definitely be remembered for it. Maybe it's sending a handwritten card to a prospective client thanking them for the meeting, a tray of cupcakes to brighten up the day of an old customer you want to win back, or a beautiful birthday bouquet for a supplier who frequently passes you leads. When we receive something physical, it's far more likely to leave a lasting impression than a virtual wave.

Related: How To Get More Sales Opportunities, Leads, And Clients

Lucy Bradley

Brand Commander, Plug

Lucy Bradley is Brand Commander at Plug, a Dubai-based branding agency that she established in 2007 with a mission to make companies more creative. With Bradley at the helm, the Plug team helps clients stand out from the competition and win more business by providing unique graphic design and branding solutions, creative marketing concepts, and targeted print and digital campaigns. Over the past 15 years, the company has helped a wide range of brands achieve victory in the market, including Hansgrohe, Sensasia Spas, Natura Bisse, Chanel, VShakes, Street Maniax, Pizza Di Rocco, and Wofl. 
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