As a lead generator, it’s your job to set up appointments and find potential clients for the sales team. You’re the first step in the prospecting process, and sales teams rely on your persuasive abilities and creative methods of finding potential customers. Your primary tool is usually the telephone, though you also might find new business through email and social media campaigns.
Communication Skills Lead the Way
This is one job where you really need to have top-notch communication skills, especially verbally. You need to be a good, smooth, calm, enthusiastic talker. At the same time, you can’t just babble when you first greet potential clients. You’ve got to be able to organize your thought to present a clear and convincing argument for the customers to pursue your service or products. You’ll also need effective writing skills to turn in reports and work on new phone scripts and electronic messages.
Find Them First
One of your main roles is to find the potential clients so you can call them and give them your well-rehearsed speech. You may be given a list of phone numbers and end up calling 50 numbers before you get a lead. In a retail environment, you might be working the floor selling carpeting, for example, and be expected to find leads for the installation team. As a lead generator, you can leave the closing to the salespeople, just be able to nudge customers to the final sale. Lead generation is a numbers game that you’ve got to play.
Follow Up Faithfully
The job duties often require that you follow up with potential customers to get them even more excited to meet with a salesperson and buy your product or service. Perhaps you’ll send them literature about the service, a sample of the product or even a contract to review before the salesperson arrives. You may have to call to confirm appointments or call back when a customer says she needs to think about it or talk it over with her husband. Some jobs require you to follow up with the sales manager, providing a list of new contacts or to give salespeople a little heads-up about a specific customer request.
Enthusiastic People Only Need Apply
Some companies may require a business degree and extensive sales experience to work as a lead generator. Those companies usually are in the business-to-business sales industry, however, and require a level of professionalism in all their employees that is honed in 4 years of business school. For the most part, a great speaking voice, an ability to quickly learn the features and benefits of a product and a persistent attitude can help you land a telemarketing job in lead generation. Most employers will want to see at least a high school diploma, however, and will give you on-the-job training. If you want to learn more through studying, shoot for a manager’s job and spiff your resume up, you could take the Certified Telemarketing Supervisor 2-day course through the Asian Pacific Customer Service Consortium.
Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."