It’s July. We’re at the halfway point of the year. And because I want 2016 to be your best year ever, I’m devoting this month’s column to sharing five of my favorite ways to generate more sales leads.

1. Establish Joint Venture Partnerships

A joint venture (JV) is a business arrangement whereby two non-competitive companies/salespeople who sell to the same audience promote each other’s businesses.

Who else sells to the same audience you do? How about exterminating companies? HVAC companies? Janitorial services? They’re prime candidates for a joint venture with you. Identify the big players in your market and seek them out for JV partnerships.

Imagine a home exterminating company with more than 50,000 accounts promoting your special offer in their e-mail newsletter to their customers. Think you might get some sales leads? You, in turn, could send a special offer from the exterminating company to your customers.

2. Sell to Existing Accounts

The easiest way to increase revenues is to sell more to the people who are already your customers. Don George, founder of George Alarm Company in Illinois, understood that better than most.

Twice a year, or every time a major advancement in technology occurred, Don would gather us around a big table. We’d go through our entire account list, account by account, with the sole intention of seeing what we could sell to our existing customers.

At the end of the session, we’d have a contact list. The customers with the most selling opportunities listed were the ones we contacted first. We then contacted our other customers in a descending order of opportunity. 

The result? Lots of leads and lots of sales. Whether you do it manually or with a CRM system, a planned approach to sell more to existing accounts should happen within your company at least twice a year.

3. Join a Networking Club

There are many membership organizations for small businesses and salespeople where members network and get referrals.

My hiking buddy, Peter McSorley, is a commercial broker in Phoenix. Peter has earned more than $250,000 in commissions from his networking club over the past five years. Peter’s networking club has 54 different industries represented and is very active. Every month Peter gets actionable leads he can convert into sales.

Make sure all of your sales team members belong to a networking club. 

BNI is the world’s largest referral organization. Visit their website at to find a group near you.

4. Leverage Trade Associations

Trade associations contain groups of businesses or people that operate in a specific industry. They exist because they provide value to their members. You can leverage their need for member value to create more leads for your company.

Here’s how: Simply offer to write articles for their newsletters, websites and member events.

A local home builders association, as an example, might love an article about “Five Ways Home Automation Systems Slash Energy Costs.” A restaurant association would be interested in sharing “Seven Ways to Stop Employee Theft,” with its members. An association of small business owners may enjoy learning “Eight Ways Technology Can Improve Employee Productivity.”  

High-value articles get read by association members. They position you as an expert and an authority, not as simply a vendor trying to pitch a product. You’ll be amazed at the number of leads well-developed articles can generate.

Not a writer? Go to Craigslist or another online service to find one.

5. Get More Online Reviews from Customers

Salespeople can help their companies get high search engine rankings by encouraging their customers to leave online reviews on places like Yelp, Google and Facebook. The more reviews you have, and the more frequently they occur, the better your chances for higher rankings and more leads and sales from search engines.

Statistically, people overwhelmingly turn to search engines when buying security. Make it a priority to ask for an online review at every customer touchpoint.

Please let me know how these five tactics work for you.