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How to Generate Small Business Sales Leads

If you want to research how to generate small business sales leads, a good way to start is by writing a profile of the type of person who will be receptive to your product or service. Once you have defined the characteristics of your generic prospective customer, you can begin to identify the best ways for you to reach that prospect.

Below are summaries of five popular methods of generating sales leads. If you take the time to write an extensive profile of your generic prospect, based on your research and your knowledge of your customer base, that profile will help you identify the methods of lead generation that seem most likely to reach your target prospects.

Telephone Cold Calling

Prospecting for sales leads through cold calls gives most people the chills. But its success rate is undeniable in the right market niche. The question you have to answer is, can cold calls identify and energize your particular customer base.

Direct Mail Marketing

It takes an experienced professional to design, write and coordinate a direct mail marketing plan, but the return on investment can be very impressive when your prospective customers are receptive. A great deal turns on the purchase of the right mailing lists. If you believe this method might appeal to your potential customers, interview a number of direct marketing firms, look at their portfolios, and ask for hard numbers before you make a decision.


Expensive, labor intensive and often a gamble, advertising isn't for the faint of heart. Beyond finding an ad agency that has talent as well as reasonable prices, you must determine exactly what form of advertising is going to reach your prospects. Is it print ads in a magazine or newspaper; is it radio or television ads, is it billboards or bus placards? The list goes on. If you have the budget it may be worth exploring. But if your money is tight, stick with the methods that you can explore on a shoestring to expand your small business sales leads.

Company Website

A well designed website can be a sales lead generator, just like any other form of advertising. The actual generator is the search engine that points the prospect to your website. For this to happen, you must "optimize" your website so that it will rank high in the search engine ratings when a prospect types in one of the keywords, or keyword phrases that is related to your product or service. If a website is designed specifically to appeal to search engines and is carefully written to match the common keywords that prospects use to search for your product or service, it can be a very in inexpensive and profitable lead generator.

Synergy Partners

A simple definition of synergy is: An arrangement that is mutually beneficial to two or more parties. Synergy partners in this context refers to two or more companies that agree to form an alliance. In this alliance, company reps that all work in the same market niche agree to recommend the services of the other reps whose companies are part of the alliance. By passing on referrals and sharing customer leads and information, the group of company reps (who all represent different products that are complimentary but do not overlap) all benefit from increased small business sales leads and customer satisfaction.

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