3 lead generation ideas for creative business developers

March 29, 2019
3 lead generation ideas for creative business developers

Lead generation ideas for creative business developers. Take inspiration from these 3 strategies to find the right leads!

Lead generation is one of the most daunting tasks of any business developer. On a daily basis, you have to look for contacts, which most likely have already been contacted by your competitors.

The result is that you end up being demotivated by repeating the same process over and over again. And by being rejected by people that are done being contacted by so many different people with similar value propositions.

However, lead generation doesn’t have to be such a boring and depressing process. In fact, as business developers, we can make it fun for ourselves, by simply deciding to be more creative in the way we look for leads.

Before going through the list, make sure you prepare yourself mentally.

Set your mind in a positive way. The whole point of this list is to inspire you to be more creative. But this is only possible if you remove your bias about lead generation.

Try to forget the techniques you used until now and instead make room for creativity. If you want to be faster than your competition, you need to think differently.

Now that we made this short intro and you’re all set, let’s check these 3 unusual lead generation ideas for creative business developers.

1. Hang out with your target audience

The first lead generation idea has to do with finding the human in your business world.

We assume you did your homework and you know precisely who your target is. Given that you did user research, you probably know a lot about your audience.

What is striking is that many business developers, even though they know these details, don’t really use them in an efficient way.

They actually fall into the trap of just going for popular techniques that proved to be successful. Typically googling, find lists, and start calling or emailing them. Repeat.

But ask yourself, what are you doing differently than all the other business developers in your same market? Not much.

This will change when you start looking closely at your user research, as you will spot a lot of details you ignored before.

Good user research puts your leads under a more human perspective. You will understand that they are not only cash cows waiting for your call.

They are actually very normal people who, just like you, do groceries, go to the gym, hang out in bars, attend events, and do a lot more stuff than work.

So why are you limiting yourself to the four walls of your office? Instead, identify the top places your leads love and make sure you’re there.

Put your brand in front of their face when they least expect it. Put up a poster in a supermarket; accidentally drop your business card in the gym; start hanging out in the right spot.

It’s a more subtle way to promote your business, but also very effective if combined with all the other efforts you make.

2. Become your own lead generation tool

The second lead generation idea is all about putting yourself under the spotlight.

Creative business developers are well aware of the power of social media. Most of you probably engage with your business's official pages, share content, and so on.

A game changer is to consider yourself as your company. If you do that, you will not only engage with what your social media manager decided to post, but you can make your profiles a lead generation machine.

However, most business developers fail to understand that this is not a one-shot game. If you want to benefit from social media, you need to be consistent and on top of your game.

Just like your social media manager has a content plan, assets, etc. you should do exactly the same.

Now, you can find a lot of articles already about social selling, and we are not going to bore you with that. Instead, we will give you some practical ideas you can start using immediately.

The first important thing you should do is make sure your social profiles speak about your company. Have branded banners and value propositions in your role descriptions or captions.

Once you identify the main pain points of your target audience, make sure the content you share or create appeals to that. The reason why this is so important is that by consistently sharing relevant content, you will start being seen as a thought leader.

At some point, people will reach out to you, because you know what you’re talking about. In this sense, don’t rush for a meeting when you first connect with someone.

Instead, use a more neutral message that intrigues people to accept your invitation, but doesn’t feel like you’re trying to sell them something. Your content will speak for itself and work for you.

Another important step you have to take is to join relevant communities. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your personal page is enough. It’s just not.

Be in all the relevant communities where your target audience is and don’t limit yourself to observing. Engage with them, comment on the posts, and congratulate people when they share an achievement.

Leads are more likely to buy from someone they consider closer to them (given you provide the value of course)! Be that person.

Last, send personal messages to your target sharing relevant content. A good way to know if it’s relevant or not is just by observing what they usually share. Then use this knowledge to know precisely what to share with who.

3. Take out your dark side

Ok...we probably need a disclaimer here! Whatever you will do with this information, we are not responsible if you get caught. Take them more as an inspiration, and if you try them, be cautious.

Now, the business world is ruthless. We are a lot and if we want to win, sometimes we have to be ready to do some things that are not necessarily the most ethical.

But, especially if you are a small company trying to get somewhere, you might consider some of these lead-generation ideas.

One hack to reach your target audience is by closely observing your competitors. For example, you could check the social connections of employees of your competitors.

Don’t aim too high. If you check the connections of your competitor’s CEO, you might be fighting with very loyal customers who might not appreciate you reaching out to them. And they might spoil you with them.

You can also reach out to people who liked social media pages or any other profile you can find online. When you contact them, the first topic you mention should be some of your unique selling points compared to the other company.

Moving on, if you are going to attend an important event, ask your marketing team to use it in their paid marketing efforts. You can use those keywords to be visible to your audience.

Oh btw, you can do the same using keywords that your competitors use. But, beware that you might end up spending a lot of money if it’s a highly competitive market.

Another effective idea is to “steal” your competitors’ clients by using their services. This is not very ethical and if you go for it, you have to be ready to risk being caught and getting fined.

To make it practical, if you are looking for restaurants to join your new food app, just go to your main competitor’s page and start contacting their users.

The possibilities are basically unlimited, but if you want to be faster than your competitors you need to be ready to take some risks. Most important, you need to change your mindset and start seeing lead generation as a creative process.

To make it easier for you to navigate business development, we created The BD School: the first platform is entirely dedicated to business development.

Our mission is to help ambitious BD pros and companies acquire the skills they need to be successful in their job.

If you’re looking for a complete course to help you advance your career, check out our Business Development Course.

And if you manage a business development team and need help making them more effective, visit our tailored business development training.

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