There are many ways that entrepreneurs and small business owners can generate new leads for their business. But it is vital, that it be a consistent and constant activity. You need that type of flow of new leads coming to you. If you decide that you have enough business and stop your lead generating activities you run the risk of going out of business, should your current clients leave.

It is also vital to know where your leads did come from so that you can track which lead generating activities are working for you and which ones are not. You want to maximize the effective strategies and tweak the ones that aren't working as well or stop them altogether.

Evaluating your lead generation strategies should be a high priority. Know your numbers, how many leads you generate and how or where from.

Entrepreneurs should have a web presence. But is your website working for you. Many are not. Many websites sit on the Internet "looking pretty" but do very little for the business owner. Your website should be a resource for new leads for you.

Step one in your website evaluation is to look at your web traffic. This is a very important activity. There are usually web traffic statistics available with your web hosting account. If not, it is easy to set up Google Analytics on your site and it is a great resource for monitoring your traffic.

Here is what you want to look at in your web statistics:

• number of visitors;
• number of pages they visit;
• what actions they take on your site:
• subscribing to your newsletter,
• taking surveys,
• leaving feedback on your guestbook or forums

Content is one of the keys to traffic. And this is exactly where many business owners make a mistake. You need new, fresh content. Your site should be updated regularly. Your content needs to be valuable or informative, and should include your keywords.

Web Designers are often good at setting up your site so that it is well optimized. But, you need a strategy for the regular updates of content. When designing your site you must decide whether you want your web designer to be in charge of all of your content updates or whether you want to design a site that you are able to update yourself or your assistant can update.

However not all web designers are knowledgeable in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). As the entrepreneur, you need to know about SEO and know how to use different strategies for optimizing your site. When hiring your web designer you need enough knowledge so that you can assess their SEO abilities.

Track where your leads come from.

When you have new leads coming into your business it is great. Ask every single lead where they heard about you. If you are using online subscription forms add tracking tags to each form so that you know exactly where the lead is coming from. By doing this you will be able to identify which strategies are working and which ones aren't. When a strategy isn't working, don't just throw it away. Take the time to tweak it and see if there are changes that you can make to get it working for you. If after making strategic changes, it still doesn't work, then it is time to get rid of that strategy.

Knowing where your leads come from is an essential component of good business. You are able to evaluate your ROI or Return on Investment. When a strategy is not working then it is no longer cost effective to continue that strategy.

For instance, if you are paying top dollar to have an advertisement in a newspaper, and your tracking shows that you are receiving no new leads from that ad, then you must evaluate the effectiveness and the ROI. It does not make sense to continue paying a premium for ad space that doesn't work. Many entrepreneurs will justify this cost as a branding exercise. Branding is great, but again, if there is no ROI, then the ad should be discontinued.

Any strategy that you use can always be resurrected down the road as it might work at different times.

Here are a few strategies for generating new leads:

1. Your current clients. Your clients are one of your most valuable resources. When you focus on client service and client satisfaction, new leads come your way. You are able to ask your clients for new leads and referrals.

2. Always work to meet the needs of your clients. Good client care means delivering and then over delivering.

3. Appeal to your clients and prospects needs. What do they get from your product and service? So often, business owners are focused on the attributes of the product or service and not on the benefits to the client. You have to tell people what is in it for them.

4. All advertising both online and offline should answer the "What's in it for me?" question. It reinforces that your focus is on them, their needs and wants, not yours.

Once the person becomes a client be sure that you WOW them with your service. Over-Deliver. Some people over promise and over deliver. It is better to under promise and over deliver. When you over deliver then you most then likely you can add referrals as a lead generation strategy that feeds your business.

Listen and ask questions.

Asking questions shows that you have an interest in the person; that you care. It makes the person think and look at themselves. Your questions should be feeling oriented and not yes, no. To make a sale of any kind it is based on emotion.

Do your lead generation research:
Research is critical part of an effective lead generation strategy. The research should tell you exactly where to find your ideal clients or target market and exactly what your target market is buying. There are a few easy ways to do this research, so don't get bogged down by the word "research":

1. Look at the competition. Your competitors are a wealth of information for you.
2. Looking at your competitor’s blog, forums, or message boards can give you tremendous insights into what people are looking for. Remember, this is research. You are not there to copy the site, the products or services. You want to stand out from the competition so you want your site to be unique to you, your services/products and not look like your competitors.
3. Join forums, blogs and groups where your target market is. Listen to what they are talking about and figure out how your service meets their needs.

With all of the social media sites available today, there is probably a group that is all about your target market. That is where you want to be!

Use your content to pre-sell. Valuable content provides good information to your audience. It keeps them coming back. And include a strong call to action. Have a way to collect information on your website, name and email address at the minimum.

When you know your target market you are more easily able to build your business, generate new leads and convert those leads into clients or customers.

Lead generation needs to be a consistent activity within your business. Do not get comfortable with the number of clients that you have and stop generating new leads. It is a mistake that you do not want to make. Do not think that one big client is enough for your business. You need to be generating new leads constantly, tracking where those leads come from and refining your systems to maximize their effectiveness. Lead generation does not just happen. It is an intentional activity that has an intentional strategy and plan.

Author's Bio: 

Learn additional strategies for building a high profit business from Donna Price, Business Success Coach, Author, Facilitator and Speaker at: or contact at: Donna is the developer and author of "Bizology.Biz”.

Additional Resources on Strategic Planning can be found at:

Website Directory for Strategic Planning
Articles on Strategic Planning
Products for Strategic Planning
Discussion Board
Donna Price, The Official Guide to Strategic Planning