If you’re like most Australian Engineering consulting companies, you are likely struggling to generate the leads you need now the mining boom has faded.
While the mining boom was in full swing, jobs were coming thick and fast and it was a struggle just to keep up with the work. The was no need to maintain a relationship with old clients, and look for new leads and nurture those relationships.
In fact, during the mining boom, you could pick and choose your work and you most likely specialised more and limited you client base.
Now the mining boom is over, you need to generate leads, diversify and look further afield for new work. How do you do that in this environment?
I’ll explore some options in this article.
Knock on doors (or gates) - this is the hard way yet needs to be discussed
Going door to door is probably the hardest and most inefficient way to get new leads. Getting in the front door, or gate, can be a real challenge. Even so, I bet you’ve got this one high on your list.
Now you have to reconnect with your past clients, by phone or in person. This has become more challenging now as many of your contacts within old clients have moved on to bigger and better jobs elsewhere.
Who’s going to do all this cold calling, do you send out your engineers or hire a sales team? It can be a nightmare for engineers to be asked to go cold calling and knocking on doors, so this option is always going to be a challenge and hiring a sales team again is a huge call.
You could advertise in professional magazines and journals
Did this ever work for you? You may have advertised in magazines and journals in the past and had limited success.
Should your try this now? Only if you want to waste your money. Todays business buyer, yes even engineers, do their research online and most likely don’t even open these publications when they arrive - I know I don’t.
I’ve been an engineer for a long time now and I don’t recall ever contracting a company as a result of an ad in a magazine or journal.
There is there a better way to generate leads today
Over 80% of buyers today research their purchase online and this rises to over 90% for business buyers.
Engineers, in particular, like to do their own research before talking to someone. Today that research is done online.
How do you get the attention of these engineers while they’re doing their research? Well first you have to dump that website you built before the mining boom because first impressions count online.
Then you need to develop a plan to get found by these engineers doing their research. These engineers are using search engines to find what they need so you need to rank well on the search engines.
You most likely get 10 or 20 or more emails each week from someone, most likely in India, offering to get you on the first page of Google. Don’t go there, most of these aren’t going to get you the results you need.
The solution to being found online by engineers doing research is to have heaps of content on your website which speaks to the issues they are doing research on. Not about your products and services, about the issues these engineers are doing research about.
The best way to do this is with a business blog where your engineers, or a consultant, publish content for the other engineers doing their research.
Yes, it can be a challenge to get engineers to write content, they can do it and they will do it once they understand what it can mean for the career. Everything they write is indexed by the search engines and, as time goes by, they build up a reputation online which can only help their career.
Writing the blog content will get you found by people doing research, now you need to convert them as leads. To do that you need to keep the really juicy content hidden behind a form so people have to provide their name and email address to get it. Now you know who out there is doing research and you can make contact with them.
The process of writing content to attract people and convert them as leads and sales is called Inbound Marketing.
The way to generate leads for your engineering firm today is online. Write content which attracts you clients and use enticing offers to convert them as leads.
Does it work, heh you’re reading this article aren’t you.