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Lead Generation

General ideas

Festivals, fairs, and markets

Readings at schools.


Example from Jantsch

Software Company sponsors monthly webcast on best practices for nonprofits (target: Development Directors/Fundraisers). Invites Referral Partners to be the speakers. 

Wedding Photographer: Offered couples a free portrait ($250) on their one-year anniversary if the couples would provide three referrals at the time of the wedding. 

Cleaning service offered a guarantee of a free house cleaning if you smelled chemicals or cleaning agents.

Pilates Center: Teamed up with a 3D ultrasound company and created a mutual referral program. 

Heating & Air Conditioning Contractor: During the sales process, they use testimonial letters from satisfied clients and then ask the clients if they would be willing to provide a similar letter if everything works out as promised. 

Business Consultant: Offered a 100% guarantee on her services, provided that the clients stuck to their program and followed her advice. 

Home Improvement Company: Ran a contest called "Raze the Roof" to give a needy homeowner a new roof. They had entrants submit photos of their tattered roof and a brief write up of their situation and why they feel they deserve a new roof on a landing page on their website. 

Financial Planner: Created his very own referral and lead network by sending a letter to ten other professionals who he had worked with and felt comfortable referring business to. 

Scissor and Clipper Sharpening Company: Created a free “Always Sharp Inspection” service. 

Independent Bookstore: Teamed up with neighborhood schools to start a reading program. 

Accounting Firm: Created a cartoon strip featuring the accountant in over-embellished situations regarding his clients and their anxieties over filing taxes. 

Veterinary Clinic: Invited clients (pet owners), friends and neighbors to a “Pet Beauty Saturday” at their store offering free pedicure for their pets, with a previous appointment booking. 

Business Consultant: Every time he acquired a new client, he took his/her photo and made postcards for him/her to send to referrals. 

Woman-friendly auto shop: During college Open Houses, move-in weekends and Parent’s Weekends, they advertised their designation and a reception for the student and parent which was held at their facility to meet the mechanics and owner. 

Marketing Services Company: Sends post cards to LinkedIn contacts who have endorsed them with a skill thanking them for the endorsement. Post card is hand written, no promotional message - just thanks.

Electrical Company: Each time a service technician makes a call, they give the customer five $5 referral bucks certificates. The certificates have the customers name on them.

Commercial / Industrial Cleaning Service: Offered free initial services from other appearance and cleanliness related businesses for new customers. 

Corporate Culture Consultant: Created an eBook on how to develop a culture of excellence. 

Attorney: Sponsored online teleseminars and invited well-known authors and speakers by allowing them to pitch their books or other products. 

Clothing Store: Partnered with surrounding, non-competing, stores to promote and refer each other. 

Financial Advisor: “Borrowed” trust from well-known talk show host and committed to a year of dialog on current national and global events and their economic repercussions. It took almost a year to win first big account, which more than paid for it all.

eCommerce Retailer: Sent postcards to niche market segments with highly personalized graphics and messages and created pre-filled and approved accounts with a special login code that also qualified the new customers for one time discounts just for activating their account.

Property-Casualty Insurance Agency: Invited several local commercial insurance clients to participate in its “Customer Appreciation Booklet”. Each business had to create and honor a “Killer Offer” of their service or product.

New home salesman, wanting to reach into surrounding community as potential customers, printed postcards with a promise of a $50 gift certificate to a new Italian restaurant just around the corner if someone made an appointment and toured some of their featured homes. 

Computer Repair: This company simply asked for referrals every time they marketed or communicated with their clients in any manner. They created a big rubber stamp that said, “We crave referrals”, and stamped that sentiment on every piece of mail that left the place. 

Financial Planner: Instead of concentrating on convincing people to put money into retirement accounts they focused on helping newly retired professionals transition to how they would now plan to withdraw that money for the rest of their lives. 

Business Coach: At networking events, people would always ask how business was and he would typically respond something like, “Just great.” Now, he simply says, “Business is very good, but I am always looking for more clients who need this...”, then he hands them a referral card.

31 Christian concert promoter wanted to attract younger music fans using social media. Started setting up a social media table at concerts offering free music CDs of local artists to people who “Liked” their Facebook page. 

Management Consultant: This smart marketer made it a habit of acquiring testimonials from every single client he had ever worked with. Then, when a prospective client would call and ask for information on his company or request a proposal for services, he would simply create a spiral bound 500-page book of testimonials with a snappy cover and send it over.

Software Services Company uses lumpy mailings for referral partners. Four times a year, 3D mailing sent (logo’d water bottle, local brand of coffee with logo’d sticker, etc.) along with rack card listing services, personalized letter suggesting cooperative marketing activities. 

Massage Therapist: Every time a new client signs-up for their six-session package, they give the client three referral cards for a free massage. 

Marketing Consultant: Contacted a bank and an accounting firm that both had small business clients and offered to put on a free marketing seminar for their clients. 

Janitorial Services (B2B): In order for a start-up to make traction within the market, they offered a deal of 3 months free with a 6 month contract. By getting their foot in the door, they were able to establish that their cleaners did, indeed, offer a higher quality service than their competitors.

Dentist: Created what he calls compliment cards. Every time a client gives a compliment, like, “that didn’t hurt at all”, someone on his staff is ready with a referral card. 

Disaster Clean-up Service: Contacted every homeowner that had a disaster, regardless of whether they used their service or a competitor, and offered replacement plush animals to their children. 

40 Author: An author promoting a book targeting train-collecting fanatics, located several very respected authorities on the subject and offered to pay them up to a dollar for each letter endorsing his book that they would send to their mailing lists. 

A Christian mechanic decided to change his strategy in terms of his LED sign in front of his business on a major highway. Rather than posting the traditional mentions of vehicle repair and maintenance services they perform, he changed the Saturday/Sunday/Holiday messages to be messages of inspiration, faith, Scripture and encouragement.

Environmental Consulting company (B2B): Created a conference of “Environmental and legal risks you might not be aware of and how to avoid them”. 

Mortgage Company: He sets the cost savings, interest savings, and time frame for the transaction all ahead of time. Then he gets the client to agree to give him five referrals on the spot if he performs as promised. 

44 Bridal & Formalwear Salon: Sponsor fashion clubs or cheerleading squads at local high schools. As part of the sponsorship and as a benefit for the club, invite members (and a guest) to an “after hours” party at the salon before prom or homecoming season so they can try on dresses or tuxedos. 

45 HVAC Contractor: Sent out gift certificates to existing customers worth a free annual maintenance plan of $97. Customers gave them to friends and for each friend that used it, the customer extended their plan by another year free.

46 Photographer: In a push to get more clients to sign up for boudoir photography sessions, she started a strategic partnership with a high end restaurant in town to create a “Dinner/Photography Session for Two” package. 

47 Tutoring Service: Sponsored multiple clubs (music, chess, math) at local schools in order to introduce company to parents of the students that participated in those clubs.

48 Plumbing Supplies Store: Offered sales people from plumbing and other construction related firms, “finder’s fees”, for giving his sales person leads. 

49 Global Motors & Drives Manufacturer: Partnered with the leading industry B2B publication in their market, who developed quality educational content and graphics, in the form of a 10 page eBook, and deployed it to the publication’s audience/eList (55,000 email names). 

Multi-level marketing group looking for ways to grow the customer and distributor base beyond the “home parties” approach, created two weekly events, on two different nights, two different times, at two different venues. 

Dentist: Installed an oven and small kitchen in his office and bakes chocolate chip cookies every day. Every patient leaves with a little gift bag of cookies. A couple of things make this work so well. Instead of smelling like a dental office, the place smells wonderful. The cookies are really good, so people appreciate getting them, and the practice is so unique that people naturally talk about it to friends and associates.

From Jay Levinson's Guerilla Marketing:


Business cards





Community bulletin boards.

Movie ads.

Outside signs.

Street banners

Window display



Door hangers

Trade shows



Direct mail

Newspaper ads


Magazine ads





Email drip campaigns


Landing pages








Research studies

Case studies





Free consultations, demonstrations, seminars







Your own circle of influence

Contact time with customers

How you say hello and goodbye


Sales training

Use of downtime


Affiliate marketing

Limited time offers

Cal to action




Word of mouth


Community involvement

Club and association memberships

Gift certificates

Free-trial offers



Lead buying


Product placement