Offline marketers - I'd like your expertise.

32 replies
I am planning on visiting a neighborhood tomorrow that is having a sidewalk sale. This could be a goldmine and I am putting together a flyer to hand out while I spend a minute chatting up the business owners.

What would you recommend be on this flyer? I dont want it to be too lengthy or in-depth, basically a list of bullet points of my services.

What do you think are the most important things to point out?

Thanks in advance for your time and help!
#expertise #marketers #offline
  • Profile picture of the author LADWebDesign
    I wouldn't go to the sidewalk sale in the hopes of talking to business owners about their web sites - they are going to be busy. I would go on a Tuesday morning and talk to business owners when they are least busy.

    Join your local Chamber of Commerce - they have great networking meetings and places for you distribute flyers/business cards.

    Linda
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    • Profile picture of the author rhj12345
      Ditch the flyer.

      Grab $100 bucks and go shopping at the sidewalk sale.

      When you are buying something from someone, they will listen to you. Tell them they have a great business and they must be pretty successful on the internet with there website. Then just pause and listen to what they have to say.

      If they brag about it, they are fine, if they say nothing or they are negative about the lack of a site or traffic, then you tell them how you have helped other business to get listed on Google. Easy.

      I think if you go and talk with 20 businesses, you could come away with at least one really good prospect as a follow-up and a proposal meeting.

      But LASWebDesign is right. They will be busy and you need to respect that. Just introduce yourself and get a name and number for a follow up call.

      Good Luck.
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      • Profile picture of the author Corwinnx
        Tinker,
        We just posted our 'website money mindmap' on the blog yesterday, Local Internet Marketing-The Website Money Mindmap :: City Biz IM. Just click the link in the post and it will open it for you. Feel free to download it and take it with you.

        Warmest Regards,
        Marcus
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      • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
        Originally Posted by rhj12345 View Post

        Ditch the flyer.

        Grab $100 bucks and go shopping at the sidewalk sale.

        When you are buying something from someone, they will listen to you. Tell them they have a great business and they must be pretty successful on the internet with there website. Then just pause and listen to what they have to say.

        If they brag about it, they are fine, if they say nothing or they are negative about the lack of a site or traffic, then you tell them how you have helped other business to get listed on Google. Easy.

        I think if you go and talk with 20 businesses, you could come away with at least one really good prospect as a follow-up and a proposal meeting.

        But LASWebDesign is right. They will be busy and you need to respect that. Just introduce yourself and get a name and number for a follow up call.

        Good Luck.
        As well as this, if you get the chance, I'd recommend getting some business cards (even from a machine if you don't have the time).

        Then, when you talk to them if you like the sound of any, maybe you could ask them for something they obviously don't have there and then and ask them for a business card.

        Chances they'll say no which will give you a chance to give them one of yours and ask them to give you a call if and when they do have the item.

        If they take it good for you, if not no loss.

        Just make sure to tell them not to get the item before getting on touch with you in case you find it elsewhere, of course.

        And, the most important thing, make sure your card has an eye-catching benefit - something for which they might require your services which is, after all, the reason reason.

        Just an idea.

        Edit: Just checked I might be late, but it's an idea for next time, eh?
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        • Profile picture of the author Jagged
          Originally Posted by TinkerAndPo View Post

          Well the damn thing got rained out...thanks a lot, Chicago weather.

          SOOOOOO...

          I'm going to do a bit of research into each of the businesses I think could really use my services and send them an "analysis" of their businesses web presence. That'll take me awhile to accomplish, and of course I'll only target businesses whose web presence is next-to-nothing. These are the businesses I can improve the most. I'll follow that analysis up with a phone call asking for a meeting.

          Whaddya think about Plan B?

          (In the meantime, I've SOLD my first site on Flippa - for the bin price, no less! WOOT! )

          Yeah...Chicago...if it's not the rain, it's the wind, if it's not the wind, it's the snow....lol
          All good reason to stay inside eating a Chicago Style Pizza or hotogs" YUM...I miss those!!
          Anyway..hope they reschedule the sidewalk sale soon...

          As far as "plan B" goes....don't rule out businesses who's sites are doing OK...but still could be better.
          I've found that businesses who's websites that need just a little tweeking to get to the top of local searches are often the ones that will be more eager to listen to your offers....they already understand the value & importance of getting listed highly but are frusterated by falling just short.....They know they are missing just one or two pieces of the puzzle & will listen to you in hopes of finding it...

          Businesses who's websites (if they have one at all) that are buried deep in local searches for the most part shy away from it...only because they don't understand it....
          They have the "build it & they will come" attitude, which we all know does not work for the Internet.
          The ones who are told they need a website for their business....paid some overly inflated price to have one made...but have no clue beyond that...
          so it falls into the "drastically over priced digital business card" category....
          These (to me at least) are some of the harder ones to talk to....They are more in need of your service, but will lack in knowing why...
          Their thinking..."I already spent an arm & leg on a website, i'm not spending anymore"...."The Internet does not work for me...it's broke"....or...."my cousin Luigi made this website, it's fine"
          Poor excuses....yes, but they won't admit to knowing otherwise...

          Keeping it "equal opportunity" will get you better results...

          Good luck,
          Ken
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  • Profile picture of the author Lou Diamond
    Hello,
    When you are talking to a potential customer just talk about the niche
    that they are in and they will talk your ear off.
    I go for the small sale,such as starting them off with a domain name or
    getting them started on ebay,the big sale will come later.
    Good luck.
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    Something new soon.

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    • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
      I wouldn't go to the sidewalk sale in the hopes of talking to business owners about their web sites - they are going to be busy. I would go on a Tuesday morning and talk to business owners when they are least busy.
      Linda is right. Use the sidewalk sale to get impressions of the various businesses, but then approach them when they are not busy. At that time, when they are more relaxed and open to listening to you, tell them what you observed and *specifically* how you can help them grow.

      No business owner is going to be open to a business proposition from a consultant during a sidewalk sale. They are already multitasking like crazy in that situation.

      Marcia Yudkin
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      Check out Marcia Yudkin's No-Hype Marketing Academy for courses on copywriting, publicity, infomarketing, marketing plans, naming, and branding - not to mention the popular "Marketing for Introverts" course.
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisByrns
    ..always explain the benefits in plain "non-nerdy" english.. cut the techy stuff.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lisa Gergets
    Thanks for your opinions everyone! I'm still going, and I'm going to hand out the flyers, even it it's just to say "Hi - was just shopping and wanted to drop this off! Thanks!" I'm going to drop off a few with my hairstylist who owns a salon in the neighborhood as well...he's a future client...
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    • Profile picture of the author Corwinnx
      Tinker,

      Here's two things I just thought of...

      "Do you have a website where I can buy more of these?"

      "Do you have a wholesale discount?"

      Those sentences open doors, but remember, if they are busy... keep it short.

      Warmest Regards,
      Marcus
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      • Profile picture of the author Lisa Gergets
        Originally Posted by Corwinnx View Post

        Tinker,

        Here's two things I just thought of...

        "Do you have a website where I can buy more of these?"

        "Do you have a wholesale discount?"

        Those sentences open doors, but remember, if they are busy... keep it short.

        Warmest Regards,
        Marcus
        Yup, I'm certainly not going with the intention of actually talking business with anyone. Just want to get in front of them once...and a few of them will recognize me as my family and I frequent this neighborhood on the weekends.

        Thanks again!
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        • Profile picture of the author MarkAse
          I think marketing offline in general is about knowing how people would like to be approached.

          For most business owners, they would rather have you approach them when they don't have the opportunity to make sales.

          When I approach wineries I don't for, for example, approach them on the weekends or really during the summer when their tasting rooms are full.

          If you talk to them at first when they are busy you'll need a quick list of bullet points to talk about and have something for them to look at later.

          Tuesday morning is best, Wednesday is second best generally speaking...similar to times to send emails.

          If they are small restaurants etc, try to find out when they receive deliveries, make sure not to show up in those times.
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          • Profile picture of the author Jagged
            Hi Tinker,

            No one really answered your question of what to have on your flyer or what to highlight. Not sure if this will help any but here is a copy of one i've used successfully in simular situations.

            Hope this helps,
            Ken
            -------------------------------------------------------------

            82% of people begin their
            search for businesses, products or services like yours online.
            Will they find your business there?

            Even if they can, will it show up well in local searches? Or is it buried deep in Google's witness protection program.



            Ask yourself these questions:
            • Does your business have a web presence?
            • Are you satisfied with your website performance?
            • Does your website attract and retain new customers?
            • Does your website make money for you?
            • Can it be found easily in local searches?
            YourWebsite.com has the solutions your business needs.


            YourWebsite.com can get your website out of Google's witness protection program and out on top of your competition and in front of 1000's of potential customers looking for your store, product or service.

            YourWebsite.com offers custom website design and re-design, completely optimized for local searches and proven lead capture techniques pre-installed.

            Contact YourWebsite.com for your FREE website analysis or a FREE marketing consultation. Just visit our website, www.YourWebsite.com for more information and make your appointment today.

            Business Services We Provide:

            • Small Business Marketing / Advertising Consulting
            • Full Website Design / Re-design / Mobi Ready Websites
            • Laser Targeted Permission Based Email Ad Campaigns
            • Customer Lead Capture Program
            • Marketable Customer Data Base Management
            • Newsletter / Press Release / Backlink Management
            • Geo-Targeted Advertising Per Zip Code
            • Blogging / Social Marketing Management
            • Video Tour / Video Testimonial / Video Presentation
            • SEO / SEM Services
            • Custom Graphic / Logo Design
            • Google PPC Campaign Management
            • SMS Marketing / Mobile Marketing
            • Ad Tracking & Analysis Program
            • E-Commerce Solutions
            • ADA Compliant Websites
            YourWebsite.com PO Box 12345 Anytown, AZ 98765 Ph: (545) 545-5454
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            • Profile picture of the author Corwinnx
              Ken,
              NICE! I love the "Google Witness Protection Program." That one is definitely going into the swipe file!

              Warmest Regards,
              Marcus
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            • Profile picture of the author BrashImpact
              Originally Posted by Jagged View Post

              Hi Tinker,

              No one really answered your question of what to have on your flyer or what to highlight. Not sure if this will help any but here is a copy of one i've used successfully in simular situations.

              Hope this helps,
              Ken
              -------------------------------------------------------------

              82% of people begin their
              search for businesses, products or services like yours online.
              Will they find your business there?

              Even if they can, will it show up well in local searches? Or is it buried deep in Google's witness protection program.



              Ask yourself these questions:
              • Does your business have a web presence?
              • Are you satisfied with your website performance?
              • Does your website attract and retain new customers?
              • Does your website make money for you?
              • Can it be found easily in local searches?
              YourWebsite.com has the solutions your business needs.


              YourWebsite.com can get your website out of Google's witness protection program and out on top of your competition and in front of 1000's of potential customers looking for your store, product or service.

              YourWebsite.com offers custom website design and re-design, completely optimized for local searches and proven lead capture techniques pre-installed.

              Contact YourWebsite.com for your FREE website analysis or a FREE marketing consultation. Just visit our website, www.YourWebsite.com for more information and make your appointment today.

              Business Services We Provide:

              • Small Business Marketing / Advertising Consulting
              • Full Website Design / Re-design / Mobi Ready Websites
              • Laser Targeted Permission Based Email Ad Campaigns
              • Customer Lead Capture Program
              • Marketable Customer Data Base Management
              • Newsletter / Press Release / Backlink Management
              • Geo-Targeted Advertising Per Zip Code
              • Blogging / Social Marketing Management
              • Video Tour / Video Testimonial / Video Presentation
              • SEO / SEM Services
              • Custom Graphic / Logo Design
              • Google PPC Campaign Management
              • SMS Marketing / Mobile Marketing
              • Ad Tracking & Analysis Program
              • E-Commerce Solutions
              • ADA Compliant Websites
              YourWebsite.com PO Box 12345 Anytown, AZ 98765 Ph: (545) 545-5454
              Jagged,
              I was gonna post something similar but that one is great. It was a simple request
              for simple information. THanks for answering that questions so i didnt have too.
              Btw, great piece of material.
              Regards,
              Robert Nelson
              "THe Maverick Motivator"
              Signature

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  • Profile picture of the author Rachel Goodchild
    I recently attended a food show- and had alot of success getting leads.
    My goal was to get business cards- I'd ask for one, they'd ask why and I'd briefly explain- from that over 70 percent asked me to contact them the following week.
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    Here is a post to give you information on how to, no matter where you are in the world
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  • Profile picture of the author BrashImpact
    Originally Posted by TinkerAndPo View Post

    I am planning on visiting a neighborhood tomorrow that is having a sidewalk sale. This could be a goldmine and I am putting together a flyer to hand out while I spend a minute chatting up the business owners.

    What would you recommend be on this flyer? I dont want it to be too lengthy or in-depth, basically a list of bullet points of my services.

    What do you think are the most important things to point out?

    Thanks in advance for your time and help!

    Tinker,
    Just remember money loves speed. Revenue favors the agressor, and you can never be aggressive enough. Look into history at some of the most successful people on the planet in regards to business, they are Hyper-Agressive. I applaud you for taking action, thats better than most. Many sit around pretending to be busy or working, when in fact they are just getting ready to get ready

    Taking action is #1 , there is more lost from Indecision than the wrong decision. You just might catch one deal that makes it worthwhile. At the very worst, your practicing, and repetition is the mother of skill. Keep of the agression and kick some butt.

    Jagged, gave you a great flyer, use it, talk, talk some more, ask probing questions, and collect names and phone #s. Again i applaud you for taking action.

    Regards,
    Robert Nelson
    "The Maverick Motivator"
    Signature

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  • Profile picture of the author Quentin
    I like the idea of taking $100 and buying something small from each of the vendors to be able to strike up a conversation and swap business cards etc.

    Do what you want however and give us a report.

    Quentin
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  • Profile picture of the author DennisM
    Hi Tinker,

    MAKE SURE you collect a business card and LEAVE your card too. YOUR business card should have at least one social networking/Web2.0 property on it such as Facebook, Linkedin, etc.

    On the vendors card/flyer, etc. BE SURE to write down briefly what they were selling at this sidewalk sale. You'll need this info later.

    On Monday, get on the phone and call each and every one of them and just strike up a simple conversation. Introduce yourself and ask them how the sale went. MAKE SURE you mention at least one product or service they were selling when asking this question. They will then know you're not just BSing them. They'll appreciate you paying attention the fact YOU REMEMBERED THEM.

    At this point, ask for an appointment to meet with them. Be upfront and state you market online, work with local business, etc.

    If the business is reluctant, THAT'S OK! Now ask if you can send them some info via e-mail and have them opt in to your autoresponder.

    If you just focus on list building for the OFFLINE niche and keep hammering this list with all kinds of FREE content on HOW TO's....how to set this up..do that, etc. They'll love you for it and eventually they will HIRE YOU to to all this work you've been explaining they must implement in your autoresponder series.

    For all of you offline folks out there. If you focus on just list building (heck, we push list building in the IM world too) you WILL close business.

    I own a software training company here in Chicago. I have 11 sales reps. This is our sales model for selling training. I'm doing with Fortune 1000 companies, etc. reaching key decision makers, getting them on a list for starters and just sending them plain ole vanilla marketing. This stuff works!

    Any questions, PM me. Or shoot....call me at the office on Monday. I'll give you a few minutes on the phone.

    Good luck!

    Dennis
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    • Profile picture of the author Lisa Gergets
      Originally Posted by DennisM View Post

      Hi Tinker,

      MAKE SURE you collect a business card and LEAVE your card too. YOUR business card should have at least one social networking/Web2.0 property on it such as Facebook, Linkedin, etc.

      On the vendors card/flyer, etc. BE SURE to write down briefly what they were selling at this sidewalk sale. You'll need this info later.

      On Monday, get on the phone and call each and every one of them and just strike up a simple conversation. Introduce yourself and ask them how the sale went. MAKE SURE you mention at least one product or service they were selling when asking this question. They will then know you're not just BSing them. They'll appreciate you paying attention the fact YOU REMEMBERED THEM.

      At this point, ask for an appointment to meet with them. Be upfront and state you market online, work with local business, etc.

      If the business is reluctant, THAT'S OK! Now ask if you can send them some info via e-mail and have them opt in to your autoresponder.

      If you just focus on list building for the OFFLINE niche and keep hammering this list with all kinds of FREE content on HOW TO's....how to set this up..do that, etc. They'll love you for it and eventually they will HIRE YOU to to all this work you've been explaining they must implement in your autoresponder series.

      For all of you offline folks out there. If you focus on just list building (heck, we push list building in the IM world too) you WILL close business.

      I own a software training company here in Chicago. I have 11 sales reps. This is our sales model for selling training. I'm doing with Fortune 1000 companies, etc. reaching key decision makers, getting them on a list for starters and just sending them plain ole vanilla marketing. This stuff works!

      Any questions, PM me. Or shoot....call me at the office on Monday. I'll give you a few minutes on the phone.

      Good luck!

      Dennis
      Hey Dennis - another Chicagoan! WOOT!
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  • Profile picture of the author kettlewell
    Lots of great ideas here...

    Jagged's great flyer and some spending with the locals should go far....

    I also recommend pushing the benefits of your services, and not the services themselves...

    As the saying goes "Sell the sizzle, not the steak"

    I typically focus my efforts around ROI and profits... "sure it may cost you XX dollars for my services, but if you get 10 times that, isn't that a better value?"

    Good luck on your sidewalk adventure...
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  • Profile picture of the author Jagged
    So...How did you make out Tinker?
    Get any nibbles?
    What approach did you use?

    Inquiring minds want to know....lol

    Ken
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    • Profile picture of the author Lisa Gergets
      Originally Posted by Jagged View Post

      So...How did you make out Tinker?
      Get any nibbles?
      What approach did you use?

      Inquiring minds want to know....lol

      Ken
      Well the damn thing got rained out...thanks a lot, Chicago weather.

      SOOOOOO...

      I'm going to do a bit of research into each of the businesses I think could really use my services and send them an "analysis" of their businesses web presence. That'll take me awhile to accomplish, and of course I'll only target businesses whose web presence is next-to-nothing. These are the businesses I can improve the most. I'll follow that analysis up with a phone call asking for a meeting.

      Whaddya think about Plan B?

      (In the meantime, I've SOLD my first site on Flippa - for the bin price, no less! WOOT! )
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  • Profile picture of the author Shana_Adam
    I cant remember which Self Help Sales Guru said this but he said...people love to buy - hell look in their houses crammed to the top with purchases!

    So people love to buy - but hate to be sold to

    So I guess maybe offering a free taster service could be great! I'm not sure what your expertise is
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  • Profile picture of the author BloggerDownUnder
    Hi TinkerAndPo,

    I may be a tad late - if so, I hope it went well.

    If not, I would suggest that you focus on the benefits of your services, not the features. I agree with Kettlewell's comments "sell the sizzle, not the steak" - I use this analogy all of the time.

    Ask people for their contact details and their permission to send more information to them - remember these people may be busy and may not want to spend too much time with you on the day.

    Good luck
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  • Profile picture of the author Lisa Gergets
    I'll keep that in mind, Ken. My main goal is to look at businesses who either have websites that aren't SEO'd for the local market, or business that have no online presence at all...but I realize there's a lot of in-between, too.

    I'm keeping an open mind and just keeping my options open!
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  • Profile picture of the author DennisM
    Hey Michelle,

    I just noticed you're in Chicago too! Small world I guess. I'm in the southwest suburbs. Grew up in Logan Square.

    Just a suggestion, you might want to start with those businesses that already have a web presence (or very little). It's easier to close a sale as they're already halfway there in understanding a need to be online for their business.

    Yeah, crazy rain today!

    Dennis
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    • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
      I think it's a GREAT idea to go to the sale.

      If you go early or any other time when things are quiet you'll have a very good chance of talking to business owners.

      The flier is not really necessary and it may be detrimental (it tends to position you as a sales person).

      It's more important that you focus on opening up a conversation with the business owners you talk to by asking questions and get their contact details to follow up.

      As someone else already said buying something makes it much easier to open up conversation.

      This really isn't the ideal way to talk to business owners but anything you do where you actually talk to business owners will help you develop your skills and gives you a chance of getting hired.

      Kindest regards,
      Andrew Cavanagh
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  • Profile picture of the author zoro
    Originally Posted by TinkerAndPo View Post

    I am planning on visiting a neighborhood tomorrow that is having a sidewalk sale. This could be a goldmine and I am putting together a flyer to hand out while I spend a minute chatting up the business owners.

    What would you recommend be on this flyer? I dont want it to be too lengthy or in-depth, basically a list of bullet points of my services.

    What do you think are the most important things to point out?

    Thanks in advance for your time and help!
    By all means I would give them my business card and grab one of theirs and follow up another day.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve Peters Benn
    Hi Tinker,

    I have to agree with Andrew that your initial suggestion might be detrimental. I think it will probably work to an extent but you are fixing your position too much in the business owners mind. I don't know, it doesn't sit comfortably with me.

    I appreciate the issue with the rain etc but make sure you are not procrastinating. You can achieve the same thing on the phone if done right.

    Ken's leaflet suggestions are really good though.

    Cheers

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author TimCastleman
      Tinker -

      Here would be my first step ... pick the best targets first. Our time on this earth is limited and I don't want to waste it preaching to the non converted. What does that mean? I don't talk to any business that isn't already doing some sort of advertising (yellow pages, tv, radio, print ads, etc). So my first stop would be a yellow pages and see who is actually spending money on display ads. No ads, no talkie.

      If you want to be super lazy then type their names into a search engine and see what comes up. If they have a bad website that is great, if they don't that is a harder sale.

      Cut your prospecting time in half by selecting a better target and focus your time, talent, and energy on businesses who already understand that importance of advertising, not ones that don't.

      Best of luck.

      Tim
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      • Profile picture of the author Jagged
        Originally Posted by AndrewCavanagh View Post

        The flier is not really necessary and it may be detrimental (it tends to position you as a sales person).

        It's more important that you focus on opening up a conversation with the business owners you talk to by asking questions and get their contact details to follow up.
        I can see where using the flyer may not be the first method of choice, but "detrimental"? In my mind, any form of action is a good thing. Would I go with the idea of just handing out flyers? No....I would have a few different tricks up my sleeve.

        If one would go to a sidewalk sale, street fair or any type of community event that includes local business.....go with the intent for first getting to the business owner & striking up a conversation.
        If they are not available, or too busy with business matters to stop & talk.....ask when a good time would be, then ask for his contact info...then thank him & hand him your business card and/or flyer. I see nothing dertrimental about it....it's just another form of taking action.

        I've used this flyer method in almost the same situation as Tinker 4 months ago. It was a local street fair....local business were all opened, specially restaurants. I went with the same flyer as above, stopped to talk to some local businesses. Where I was able to chat them up a bit I did not use the flyer, just an exchange of business cards....but where I found them to be unavailale or too busy to talk, I left my flyer & business card for them. If I remember correctly, I went through 35 business cards & 27 flyers +/- that afternoon.

        That's the only place I used the flyers so far. From that days events, I received 3 call backs, one from an owner I personally talked to, 2 from owners who received my flyer....2 of the 3 became clients, adding a little over $4,500 in web design / redesign work for me. From the 2 clients I've received 2 referrals so far....hardly a "detrimental" day if you as me.

        Take action...YES!! If you can't talk to them, leave a card or flyer, if you can't do that, get their contact info & call them, email them, snail mail them...any kind of action is better than just turning and walking out the door.

        As far as it coming off as a salesperson in their eyes.....the second your conversation turns from..."so hows business"... to "how do you drive traffic to your website" or "what forms of advertising do you use"...you start sounding like a salesperson....They know something is up...Your everyday, run of the mill customer would not be asking questions like that.

        Go, have fun, talk to owners, hand out flyers....Why? Because Your Taking Action!!

        Good luck,
        Ken
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