Most of you know that in the late 1990’s I owned a small retail store in a small town.  But perhaps what you didn’t know is that the first 5 years of growing that business were really, really tough.

The store was actually an old house set back from the road with a rather long walkway from the sidewalk.  In the first few months, I remember frequently looking out our front window watching people standing on the sidewalk, at the end of our walkway, talking to each other.  I could almost hear them say …. “Do I want to walk up that walkway and go into that store?”  It was like there was no magnetic pull to attract them down the walkway.  I was so frustrated.

I also remember saying to myself and wishing I could say to them…. “Just take a chance…. Walk down the path… open the door and you’ll love what you see!”  Because I knew once they came in the door, it would be very likely that they would make a purchase.

Guess what?

Those women standing on the sidewalk, debating whether they would take the chance to come down the pathway – they are exactly what people are doing when they see you online or meet you at a networking event.

They are debating whether to trust you enough to invest the time & effort to ‘walk down the path towards you’!

They won’t become prospects or leads until they trust you!

So, let’s talk about lead generation and 3 things you should know:

1.   Don’t think of lead generation as just lead generation! Leads/prospects are those people who have just started the sales process with you!

Suspects – Prospects – Customers – Sell More to Current Customers – Get Customers to send Referrals

In order for your leads to start that journey, they need to know that you exist; and that your BRAND is something that can solve a problem for them.

You must GET KNOWN!

You must have a brand that stands for what they want!

(A brand isn’t just your logo or your tagline – it’s the overall feeling that emanates from everything you do.  BTW – this could be a whole blog on its own!)

In the early days of my retail store, I had trouble getting known and building trust!  So, I did what most business people do … I tried everything – including newspaper advertising, coupons, faxing information.  Eventually, I realized that I was spending a lot of time and money in the wrong places. I was scattered with my efforts!

Sound familiar?

You must GET KNOWN – build a brand that stands out in the crowded marketplace.  Ask yourself – are you known as the go-to expert in your field?  Are you perceived as an authority in your field?

Little secret … I help business owners emerge as the undeniable authority in their field!  This one thing is critical when thinking about lead generation.

2.   Any activity that results in someone becoming interested in your product or service is part of your lead generation strategy!

Do you know where most of your leads come from?

Do you know which activity generates the most leads?

In my retail store, I eventually sat down and analyzed all my lead generation tactics.  I soon realized that invitations to special events at my store were by far the BEST lead generation tactic!  It was the quickest way to turn suspects into prospects and then into buyers.

When it came to my coaching business, I soon realized that prospects resonated with me when I did live training or speaking. That was my best lead generation strategy.

The important thing to know here is that you must become aware of where your leads come from … and then repeat those tactics that work!  And then you must release those that don’t work!

Do you know your best lead generation strategy?

3.   Scattered marketing and inconsistent lead generation doesn’t work. However, focusing on learning and mastering ONE lead generation tactic does work – and it works best.

Again, when I think back to my retail days, I look back at the money that I spent on advertising and shake my head!  If I had only focused on getting better at hosting special events, my growth would have been much faster and much more fun.

But I eventually did figure it out – events became THE thing that people waited for; that new customers looked forward to; and that past customers were excited to share with new people!

AND, the best part, I loved hosting them!

Everyone has to find the ONE thing that they are really good at for lead generation.

A client of mine who is a behind-the-scenes type of person LOVES hosting her podcast.  Another client, a lawyer, loves speaking and sharing her knowledge with her association members and referral partners.  Someone else loves writing and drawing and creates amazing posts on social media.  They all love what they do, and it attracts leads for them.

They focus on what they love doing.  They spend hours mastering that ONE skill until they can count on that tactic’s performance. Just like an Olympian spending hours training to master their ONE sport!

So, in summary, to generate leads and to simplify your business:

1.   Get known: build an authority brand that stands out from others in the marketplace.

2.   Measure: where your leads come from and then replicate it again and again.

3.   Master ONE skill that both brings you leads and that you love!


Thanks for reading!  This has been #5 in my series of Simplifying Your Business So You Can Work Less and Earn More.

Here are the others in the series, in case you missed them!

  1. Introduction – 5 Powerful ways to simplify your business & start earning more – here
  2. Pick your micro-niche – Most common objection I hear – here
  3. Focus on your one problem – What are you selling? –  here
  4. Design your one core offer – Business Time-wasters – here
  5. Choose your one major lead generation method
  6. Master one platform (social media or otherwise – Dec 7

In case you missed last week’s Coffee with Diana – How ONE Core Offer will help you grow & scale your business!

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