Minal meets Leisa Pickles, Find Me The Leads
Something that’s really important for any business is to find leads. Leads are potential customers for your business.
Sometimes, your potential customers find you by themselves. But it’s important for you to go and proactively look for them.
Someone who does that really well on behalf of her clients is Leisa Pickles from Find me the Leads. So, who better to interview and get the lowdown on how she goes about it and how you can find leads for your business?
Minal: Tell me a bit about your business. What do you specialise in?
Leisa: I help food and drink producers get their products into more places and in front of more people.
Minal: When and why did you start your business?
Leisa: May 2018. I wanted/want to help food and drink brands get their fair share of space in-store, on shelves, in fridges and freezers and on menus.
Let’s talk about finding leads
Minal: You talk about tradeshows. Why are they good for finding leads?
Leisa: Tradeshows help to increase visibility and raise brand awareness. By exhibiting, it demonstrates the intent of your business, i.e. we want to be seen and discovered by more people and are prepared to invest in doing so. In addition to this, face-to-face is the best way to demonstrate and sample a product. It’s also the best way to build rapport and start meaningful conversations.
Minal: Should you go to big, national tradeshows, or keep it local?
Leisa: This depends on who you are trying to attract and the size of your budget. The challenge with keeping it local is that you often end up speaking to the same audience. If you do decide to go national, do your homework and pick the right show for your business or market sector.
Minal: What’s the timeframe you should stick to when following up leads, wherever they might come from?
Leisa: As soon as possible!! If following up from event leads do so within 3 days, see it as a continuation of the conversation started at the event.
Minal: One thing I’m guilty of is not calling a potential lead. Why should I phone them?
Leisa: Because you will probably be the only person that does and that will make you stand out and be memorable!
Minal: You’re going to pick up the phone to a lead. What should you do before you dial the number?
Leisa: My top 3 tips are:
- What’s the objective of the call – what do you want to get out of it?
- Assume you have 30 seconds; what’s the main message you want to land?
- Choose your environment – i.e. away from disruption, good signal, and so on.
Minal: How many times should you follow up a lead?
Leisa: We follow up until we get a decision whether it’s a yes or no. Don’t view it as pestering, there’s a right and wrong way to follow up. Frame it as you are doing them a favour, i.e. I know you are very busy so I thought I would take responsibility for following up!
Minal: How do you keep track of the leads you do generate and follow up on?
Leisa: In Microsoft Excel initially, then it’s transferred to a CRM when it becomes a warm lead.
Minal: I love your Del Boy approach to lead generation. Is there something non-food-related businesses can learn from that approach?
Leisa: Yes! Don’t hide behind your client’s brand. You are the brand and you are providing a service to your clients. I work with my clients, not for them. Be proud to fly your own flag and share the value you add to your clients.
If you’re doing this for yourself, know who you’re contacting and why. Always treat each interaction as a step forward in building trust. Do differentiate yourself as a business owner; each one of us is unique.
Also, don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through – people buy from people, after all. Finally, be persistent. You will never be the top of their to-do list, so make them the top of yours. I once got this feedback: “Thanks for persisting, most suppliers don’t!”