Developing relationships with individuals who target similar clients can result in excellent sources of sales leads. Another good source is events, both industry related and non-industry related, that allow for live interaction with interested parties. There are some potential clients who are best dealt with if they are given the opportunity to initiate contact and provided with some information in a manner that appears pressure free. Social media also provides businesses with tools to generate sales leads among the more innovative individuals in their target markets.
It is possible to generate good sales leads from business associates who target similar clients. For example, a sales representative from a produce supplier may become an acquaintance with a sales representative from a linen company. These two parties may exchange hotel and restaurant contacts, which is a target market for both of them. This method is generally dependent on the establishment of genuine relationships. To maintain a business associate as a source, however, it is generally necessary to be of benefit to that person.
Renting space for a booth at events can be an effective way to generate sales leads. Trade shows are one option because people who attend these events do so because they are interested in a particular category of products or services. This does not mean that sales representatives should limit themselves to these events, however.
Other options to consider are conferences, fairs, and expositions that are not industry related. There is the risk that no one in the target market will be encountered, but this risk can often be drastically reduced if the proper research is done on the event. There are substantial benefits in attending non-industry related events, and one of them is less competition. A real estate agent may have a difficult time setting herself apart and making a memorable impression at a homeowner's fair. If she attends a bridal expo, however, where she is exposed to people who will likely be interested in her products but where there are few other real estate agents, she may have substantially better chances.
In some cases, the best sales leads are those that result from individuals who are given the opportunity to express interest by requesting further information. Some people instinctively resist offers due to an automatic defense against sales pitches. In some cases, individuals do not mean to resist, but the offers are presented at the wrong time. For many, the ideal situation is the opportunity to request information using an online form or a physically placed contact box. These individuals are often more compelled toward a particular option if they are provided some type of information that they can assess on their own before any attempts are made to contact them.
Many businesses initially fail to realize the power of social media to generate sales leads. When they discover how effectively these tools can be used, they tend to be amazed. There are many individuals who have nearly or completely abandoned traditional means of communicating and conducting business. Those businesses that do not realize this leave their competitors with a highly desired means of interacting with markets that have a substantial amount of potential.