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Offline Prospecting Methods - What Works / What Does Not

Discussion in 'Offline Marketing' started by redhill, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. redhill

    redhill Junior Member

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    Fellow BHW'ers,

    As most of you know I am serious about offline marketing.

    And, that I started one of the most trafficked threads here in the offline section of BHW. I don't bring this up to bring attention to myself - quite the contrary. I bring it up to stress the importance of the subject of this thread.

    The biggest obstacle - in my opinion, facing any offline consultant is how you go about getting prospects and new clients.

    As y'all know, I am a fan of the Google Placement Letter prospecting system. This system works to generate a fairly good amount of new leads / prospects for my business.

    But, I am not happy using / relying on just this method alone. I want to learn and incorporate other prospecting methods and systems into my business. I am currently looking at layering in outbound telemarketing, and hiring outbound sales people.

    So, this thread is for the sharing of ideas and resources for prospecting, generating leads for our offline businesses.

    Specifically, if you are successful with a method, a prospecting WSO, or anything that works for you then share it here.

    To your success,
    Redhill
     
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  2. xenoxen

    xenoxen Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    As I 'felt in love' with this WSO I will continue to follow this thread.

    I'm a simple person who doesn't have a 'sales' experience. I'm in SEO not in Sales Marketing.

    I would love to get more details how you guys deal with clients. I do not like to talk with them, negotiate or make them buy my service. But If I would have to do that. I will.

    I would appreciate any advices on how to deal with clients. I'm not from US - here people have less money and less knowledge about IM/Google Places/SEO.

    Anyway, I will follow this thread.
    Thanks redhill for opening this thread.
    Good luck!
     
  3. StartupBros

    StartupBros Regular Member

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    Cold Canvassing, Cold Calling, Ref Program, Blog, Teaching Seminars, etc
     
  4. Choronzon

    Choronzon Power Member

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    Sorry to disturb the flow but I am also very interested in this so I just want to subscribe to keep up.
     
  5. dgaunn4114

    dgaunn4114 Junior Member

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    I'm not allowed to share too much of my main prospecting method because it's part of the curriculum of a Business Builder's association I belong to... you guys do very well with the "give away something free" initially aspect, but you can improve on that by being endearing, and not "faking it til you make it". Also working with organizations or councils that have built in authority helps. Thanks!

    Peace,
    Dan
     
  6. vegas23

    vegas23 Regular Member

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    I'm not a natural salesman, I find cold-calling tough but I do think if you have enough belief in what you are selling then this confidence should shine through.

    Sometimes it's also easier to sell to people you know, you're more relaxed talking to them, which makes you more confident etc.

    In terms of new methods which redhill first asked about...I looked into a offline sales person to do coldcalling on my behalf but they fell through.

    Also currently exploring the idea of recruting a team of stay-at-home mums to sell advertising for me for an offline advertising magazine I produce. They'll cold-call businesses and get leads which I'll follow up. Thet get paid for each ad they sell.
     
  7. xenoxen

    xenoxen Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    We are mostly from different countries ( although many of BHW users are from US ) but you got a big country so don't be afraid so much about the competition.

    I think that we can share our tips and tricks about this. I made a quick brainstorm. Correct me if these ideas are wrong or you can add something and maybe we can create a few cool add-ons to this method.

    1. Start and act. - Once you will try this and you will success. Go Big or Go home. I heard about the new ideas in the past. People were trying something. It worked a bit.. but then they slow down in expansion. Check out Groupon - they went Big and now they are rollin but still , their business plan was easy to copy. That is why here are like 5-10 copies of groupon. They aren't such popular but still holds like 10%-20% of the market.

    2. Point them mistakes. I thought about adding a few details on a separated sheet. Point them that internet have XXX millions of users, how many people click daily on SERP results, etc. Give them raw facts that they are LOOSING money.

    3. Freebies - give them more for free. It is new idea.

    These are quick ideas.
    Feel free to add something from you.


    @Vegas - I thought about these Mums. For me each lead can't be wasted. I personally wouldn't give them my phone book with the method to waste clients. That is why I need a guy who will be trained by me. You can't have a SEO guy coz he would steal the method. It is gold.. remember that.

    Good salesman - this is what I need right now.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
  8. redhill

    redhill Junior Member

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    Put simply - prospecting sucks!

    I thought I would say it, get it out there. Shocking I know.

    But, case in point. I hate cold-calling myself. I am not good at it, I loathe it in fact. This is the main reason that the Google Placement Letter Approach worked for me.

    That is why I created this thread! I wanted an open dialogue about this subject that is the life-blood of all of our businesses.

    I want people to share SPECIFIC resources, methods, WSO's, etc. like I did in my other thread that have either worked for them or they are actively implementing right now.

    We are all in this game to make money, and give real value to our clients (at least that is my objective). I know that I can truly help these businesses get more leads, sales, etc if they will let me help them.

    The hard part is getting through all of the bullshit it takes to get someone's attention these days.

    That is why I wanted this thread as a resource. I don't want to waste my time on some gimmicky method that may or may not work. Now, before some of you pile on. I am not afraid of hard-work or trying something new.

    What I would like, and like for our fellow BHW brothers and sisters is a common knowledge and pooling of what has worked and not worked for some of us.

    And, I also know that a lot of this is "relative." We are all at different places with our offline consulting practices and there is no "single fit them all" prospecting system. For instance, for some people - hiring outbound telemarketers may not be right for their business. But, that should not stop someone here on BHW from sharing a great WSO (for example) that lays out the best way to put a telemarketing team together (if that is right for one's business).

    Make sense?! Clear as mud?!

    Okay, now back to our regular scheduled programming.

    Peace out,
    Red
     
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  9. vegas23

    vegas23 Regular Member

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    I agree with that...anything that can teach a method is good in my book.

    I hate cold calling but I'm willing to learn better methods, key phrases, persuasive language etc.

    I like to have control to a large extent because at the end of the day it's my or my team's work which is being sold. I don't want to be under-sold or over-sold or promise something I know I can't deliver.

    I'm happy to outsource the nitty-gritty of link-building or coding I can't do myself but building the realtionship with the client is my job.
     
  10. dragon123

    dragon123 Regular Member

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    Great thread. Cold calling does suck....but it can work, otherwise big business wouldn't still use it.
    I was a good salesman in the electronics trade for many years and the key to my success was knowing your product and selling it in an enthusiastic way.
    My last job before i was made redundant was cold calling for a telecoms company. At first i was awful but i learn't a few things to make me get better and i ended up being one of the top lead makers in the company.
    1. Dont be frightened. Its only the phone, sure the person can hear you but cannot see you so RELAX...so what if they tell you to fuck off, just go to the next number it really doesn't matter and after time you get used to the flow.
    2. Use a script. Write out a script, not too long, get to the point, be polite AND make it sound natural, it will after time.
    3. Phone to make an appointment. Just give them a carrot, get them interested so they want to know more on how you can save and make them more money. There is nothing worse than pushy sales people, especially on the phone, but tell them WHY they need your services, not if they do and you will be surprised at the response you will get from some.
    4. Get your 1st appointment. The buzz you will get from your first successful call will give you that rush, so you want to do it again!!
    I am currently doing my first mail drops but after that i will be cold calling.
    As Redhill said, any tips or other things that can help with offline prospecting will be much appreciated.
     
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  11. iiaok

    iiaok Regular Member

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    Occupation:
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    A few things that I've done that DON'T work:

    1. Hire Outside Sales from Craigslist
    Too many flakes respond promising everything under the heavens. Problem is, they expect you to spoon feed them leads and close their sales for them. Gee, why am I hiring you, again?

    2. Purchase "Services" ads in CL / Backpage / et all
    Businesses looking on these sites expect you to work for like $20 bucks, and produce a perfect replica of the fanciest site in their market.

    As far as what HAS worked, the one I liked the best was:

    1. Hiring a Professional Telemarketer (NOT PLURAL...just one dude)
    He was expensive, but he provided his own leads and script, and had 100% accountability of the time I purchased from him. I had him closing deals, but he also did appointment setting, which I would actually prefer for things like G Places and ORM packages.

    I interviewed three pro telemarketers before bringing one on board. I was actually pretty surprised at the other two allowing me to say no to them and just accepting it. The guy I eventually hired closed me during the interview.

    2. Joining a Leads Group / Hosting a Meetups Group
    These tend to run early in the morning, which is NOT music to my ears. However, they always generate leads. And they're usually warm to HOT. As a Group host, I would "sponsor" the group with one of my websites. This always leads to questions, and questions are awesome.

    For leads groups, you (typically) can't be just a start up. They expect you to have references and a sales history. But they're worth it.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  12. Grandslam

    Grandslam Senior Member

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    Good to know, as my business partner used to work as a telemarketer and was #2 in sales at the company he worked for. Just debating if I should have him start with the G places letter mailings and answer the phones when the prospects call or if he should do cold calls instead.

    Red - I like the idea of this thread! Just curious though - if the letters are closing for you at 1:10, why not just send out more letters and scale that way? Perhaps you could hire someone to do all the printing/mailings so its not you doing all of the boring drawn out work?
     
  13. redhill

    redhill Junior Member

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    I would have your buddy follow up on the letters that you send out! That way you are getting more bang for your buck.

    Yes, I am still getting a good conversation rate. I am a tester, tuner, kind of a guy. I am never satisfied.

    For instance, historically I have never called and followed up on the letters - this is exactly where I am considering adding telemarketing assistance.

    And, yes - I am scaling it up. I am putting plans in place to get at least 50 reports out a week and really shooting for 100 reports a week. The problem with this is finding someone that can and will do the work as good as I would, if I choose to outsource it.

    I am getting too busy to do all of the work myself.

    Red
     
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  14. Gold Mike

    Gold Mike Registered Member

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    Hey Redhill, I followed your thread about the Google placement letters and it was pure gold. I haven't tried it yet, because I have a few big projects I'm finishing up. I definitely want to give it a go though. Thanks for that thread though, very inspiring.

    Anyway, I've been getting a decent amount of leads by joining the local Chambers of Commerce in my surrounding towns. The membership fees pale in comparison to the amount of business out there. Go to their events and get to know your local business owners.
     
  15. MagicMike

    MagicMike Power Member

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    I've had very good luck using a combination of calling and emails. This is what I do (or actually have someone do):

    1. Do a little research for the people you want to contact (only you know who you want to work with)... lets say lawyers for instance.

    2. Call the law firm and talk to the receptionist. Simply say something like, "I would like to send an important email to the person who is in charge of your Google adwords account... should I send that email to you, and you can forward it to them?... or can I send them the information directly?"

    3. Shockingly... they normally give us the name and email of the person who should be contacted!

    4. Send the email and start it with "Kelly from your office suggested that I contact you"... this should ensure they read at least the beginning of it!

    *** Track your emails (readnotify or pointofmail) so that you know if they are being opened, forwarded, etc. Tracking is important to tweak your strategies.

    This is work, no doubt about it... but it works and has brought me many new clients. The key is to do it yourself until you are comfortable with the process, and then hire people to do this for you.
     
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  16. redhill

    redhill Junior Member

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    I like this approach. May incorporate it - thanks for the share!

    Red
     
  17. singingsleep

    singingsleep Regular Member

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    Ask or try to put out business cards at places people with businesses would frequent, restaurant supply, etc?
     
  18. boo blizzi

    boo blizzi Regular Member

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    you need to try a 2 step marketing approach....it will take some work up front...but once its done...you just sit back and watch the phone ring or your email inbox fill up

    Basically all you do is send them out a letter or take out an ad in the business section of your local newspaper, or their trade magazine that says something like:

    "Free Report Reveals The 5 Common Tricks SEO Company's Use To Rip Off Lawyers and other Local Businesses and How You Can Avoid Becoming Their Next Victim"

    ...and then you go on to say:

    "That's Right, my free report helps you avoid becoming the next victim of malicious SEO practices but thats not all. It also reveals these closely guarded-money saving secrets from an industry insider such as:"

    (use bullet points like) :)

    • "The Top 3 Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring A SEO Firm"
    • "The Truth about Google Places and How It Can Sky Rocket Your Business"
    • "The 1 Simple Trick to blah, blah blah"
    To Get This Jam Packed Free Info Kit Right Now...visit this website: www.whatever and enter your email address. The pdf version will be instantly delivered to your inbox.

    (if you wanna get professional and get their mailing address..you can include a 1-800#)
    Or call this 24hour toll free hotline to request your copy today! 800-555-5555

    Obviously you will have to compile a free report that answers your bullet points (so make sure you can answer them before you make the ad)...but it also has to emphasize their pain points...sell them the fear...like if they dont do this then they will lose tons of business or even better...tell them that your proprietary software is showing that there are already x amount of searches for their business/keywords and they are not getting that traffic...their competition is...pile on as many pain points as you can...then tell them how your business can solve that pain (without being specific)...

    If you haven't figured it out...this free report should essentially be a long copy sales letter that ends with the following: A VERY STRONG OFFER WITH SOME TYPE OF GUARANTEE TO REDUCE RISK, A CALL TO ACTION THAT SHOWS THEM ALL THE SERVICES YOU WILL PROVIDE LINE BY LINE AND HOW MUCH THEY ARE WORTH INDIVIDUALLY, THEN A REDUCED PRICE IF THEY BUY/SIGN UP NOW AND A DEADLINE FOR WHEN THIS FANTASTIC OFFER WILL EXPIRE.

    also...you dont have to call it a free report...you can call it whatever you want like consumer guide or whatever.

    You now have the leads in your marketing funnel...pitch them until they buy, unsubscribe or die!
     
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    Last edited: Jan 29, 2012
  19. redhill

    redhill Junior Member

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    I have to say - I have never seen this approach before!

    I think it is brilliant.

    Have you actually implemented this? Has it worked for you?

    One twist could be to place an ad in Craigslist in your city in the appropriate sections - and forward them to your squeeze page (like you mentioned above).

    But, seriously - is this working for you right now? Your original approach you outlined above?

    Very curious.....

    Thanks,
    Red
     
  20. tigerjim14

    tigerjim14 Newbie

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    I like letters with copies of crappy reviews on google or yelp. Works great