From Offline Leads to Online Clients - ideas?

Page Turner

Make Money Online
Very Active Members
#1
I'm trying to work out methods of contacting business owners that do not have a web presence. The offer is a B2B service. At this stage of development, this needs to cost only time. It will only take 8 to 10 sales to make it possible for paid advertising.

Now, searching yellow page listings online, checking to verify the company doesn't have a website, then calling them is one method I am aware of. Yet, often, reaching the actual owner is difficult, and convincing them to spend their valuable time listening to your pitch is a challenge at best.

So, cold calling businesses is one method available. Truth is, I have a hard time imagining asking my mother to do that. She will be working on generating leads from her home while I work on....well, everything else including delivering the product, SEO, market research, analytics, social media marketing...well, you get the picture.

As a business, free adverts in Shopper Classified type papers is not an option as far as I'm aware. Any I have seen are free only to individuals trying to sell an item or two. Are there free print adverts somewhere? Free online adverts won't get seen by business owners without a website.

Locally, Mom, as a representative for the company, could drop in, introduce herself and the company, give some printed materials (does cost money but, supplies are available for up to 200 small info packets), and encourage the owner to visit the site, email me, call me if she has questions, etc. This could generate some definite leads. People from my parents generation tend to prefer face-to-face communication and personal attention. I would like to build a business history before I go local, though. I live in an urban area more that an hour drive from an actual city. Reputation sticks here like feathers on tar.

These are the only two cash free offline marketing methods I am aware of. I've looked for related info but came up empty.

So, I turn to you. Anyone have ideas or experience?

Let me say that I did read Dr. P's post on how he attracts people to generate leads for his offline business. That method is brilliant! I plan on using that idea after a few months of operation. My business lacks the maturity his does, though. It lacks any hint of maturity, at this point.

I am interested in learning about other offline marketing strategies. I'll need to consider, research, and plan for paid for advertising, as well. Like I said, it won't take many sales to open the budget for low cost marketing.

This is an Internet Marketing set-up that will perform best by bringing clients in off the street, so to speak.

I'd love this forum section to become hopping busy and full of activity. I can hope, anyway.

Thanks.
 

illbeback

Make Money Online
#3
We do cold calling by phone mostly and only cold call in person after an appointment and it
works very, very well. It's probably your best bet if you're boot-strapping your business, because
it only cost is your phone.

It all comes down to your approach. You have to stop coming off like the typical salesman
because they get solicited by phone, mail, email and in person all day long.

So the answer to this piece of the puzzle is to get trained in this skill, which means you're
going to have to spend about a week learning how to approach business owners using
a non-threatening, conversational manner.

If you PM me, I can point you in the right direction.

But if you're looking to shortcut the system with some gimmicky way to get clients, I
think you'd be wasting your time. That's just my opinion being a marketing consultant
for over 10 years...

Good luck!
 

nico

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Very Active Members
#4
Here is a way of getting propective clients to come to you, heres the title of the advert or newspaper article.
Increase your profits from the internet , you don't even need a website!

or Boy Genius stumbles across method to get local traders to the top of the internet for their business.

Its a two pronged attack, you see , youth is your percieved weakness but it is also your main strength, who knows the latested best methods to get business than an internet nerd someone who is fantical about the internet.

Anyway heres what you could do and my son has in his local market........

If you know about seo backlinking and everything you should know to ge to the top of the Local search engines then this is defintely for you.

Instead of trying to cold canvas local business to have a website with you , you should first look at your local market and lets take a generic term to start with say,
locksmiths, or electricians, plumbers, the list goes on and on.

What you do is to start your own local trades authority website or websites. you become the locksmith or the electrician or plumber..stay with me here.

You take your website to the top of the local search for google in your area...when you have done that, you send your mum around to see any of the tradesman to see if they want to place a display advert on the front page, tell its 255usd or 125usd per month or offer them a deal then you still retain the business which becomes more profitible and your customer base of trademan wil fight to get on the first page of google each moth for a small fee..

The trick we found out is that most people do not want their own website or do not have the skills or money to maintain one....what they do understand is a monthly display advert just like in the offline yellow pages.

l hope that helps you.
 

yamahafzr

Make Money Online
#5
I know a guy who has a call center call business leads. He then charges them high xxx for a simple word press design that he outsources for a few dollars. I know its not exactly what you're looking for, but it might open your mind a little.
 

EZCoin

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Very Active Members
#6
Go to local Chamber of Commerce meetings and hand out business cards. The reason this works so well is the people at those meetings are there to get the word out about their business and are very receptive because that is exactly what you are offering. Also they are away from their business so there is no distractions and they will give you more time. I usually go away from a meeting with 10 or 15 new business cards and 2 or 3 cards from people I've previously talked with. I hardly ever come away without booking a few appointments and get 1 or 2 takers.

It's not an aggressive approach like cold calling but very doable and you'll find a lot easier to get clients. The area I live in has around 80,000 people and I go to 4 different Chamber meetings in the larger towns all within 30 miles of each other. Chambers meet once a month and most have additional events like breakfast and lunch events where a lot of Realtors hang out. Realtors all want more business and I got 6 sales from one breakfast event not long ago. I offer custom made videos to put on their web site at $300 a piece. Just anothet idea to throw into the mix and it does work.
 

borwick

Make Money Online
#7
Yes - EZCoin has a point - local Chamber of COmmerce meetings are a great place to start and to build up a reputation (hopefully a good one!)
Apart from giving out business cards, you could give a presentation on the new wave of search (online) for businesses and services.
About how newspaper and directory advertising is failing, as more people 'Google' instead.
Present them with good info, and perhaps offer a discount if they book then and there - or at least get them to sign up for more info - free report to be emailed to them
(and get their email that way).
 

docsic

Make Money Online
#8
Yes nico & EZCoin make some great points!

I did started something similar back in 1997. I used simple 3 step direct marketing campaigns. 1. Run an advert 2. Giveaway a free report or consult 3. Collect the leads & followup! I sold that biz 5 years later for a lot of cash & right up until the day I sold that simple campaign added 1000+ business each month.
 

hazelgrouse

Make Money Online
#9
Local Business networking got me nice leads - find all possible local groups, if there are not too many - start one. It's simple, works wonders and if you position yourself well within the group you'll be getting leads from places you'd never expect.
 

mangoman

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#10
what i have done is contact businesses and invited them to a webinar on how to increase there business. Spend 1hr to 11/2 on the webinar and gibe them value and have a very dood close ratio.
 

thebug

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#11
Nice idea Mangoman... What would you suggest to talk about in your webinar? I imagine you want to give them something of value, but at the same time, not give away the farm and show them everything up your sleeve...
 

greyninja

Make Money Online
#13
great idea mangoman,im actually doing something quite similar, webinar's work great. Give them tons of value show, but at the same time keep it simple, and some basic Q and A at the end for 10 min or so. Remember tell them what to do, not show them how to do it.
There are some great courses out there on webinars, that can help you increase your conversion ratios.

Keep doing the same webinar over and over, refine and improve it. Id suggest not going over an hour, remember time is money. you just want to wet their appetite, not feed them a meal.

GN