Offline Marketing Tools of the Trade

13 replies
For those initial free consultations and business meetings, how necessary have you offline veterans found it necessary to buy/have/own/use a laptop? How about a video projector for those Chamber meetings? I'm about to jump into the offline world with both feet but $$ is excruciatingly tight and I need to keep expenses down. That said, I want to be properly prepared. Any thoughts for a seasoned online IMer who's just venturing out into the offline world?
#marketing #offline #tools #trade
  • Profile picture of the author Jacer
    Projectors are a must for group presentations. Many places that have meeting rooms have them available. If not, be creative. I am sure if you reach out to everyone you know, someone has access to one you can use.

    As far as 1-on-1 consults, it is helpful to have a laptop, but not required. Everything I would show the prospect online, I could often do at their own computer(assuming they have one at their business). The other option is to print things off and bring hard copy.
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  • Profile picture of the author DogScout
    Is meeting should be asking questions... no computer needed.
    2nd meeting should be the solutions... again no computer needed.
    If the client needs to see something on the computer, he is probably too much of a pain in the ... to have as a client anyway.
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    • Profile picture of the author jsherloc
      Originally Posted by DogScout View Post

      Is meeting should be asking questions... no computer needed.
      2nd meeting should be the solutions... again no computer needed.
      If the client needs to see something on the computer, he is probably too much of a pain in the ... to have as a client anyway.
      I believe that every client is going to be different and what works with one, might not work at all with another. I 100000% agree on the "asking questions" aspect though. After you get a few clients, you can really develop a reliable questionaire for yourself too. You can then figure out what information you really need from the business owners fairly quickly. They see that you're actually asking solid questions and you start a mutally-beneficial relationship (hopefully).

      I can understand your point view with the whole "clients who want to see stuff on the computer are gonna be a pain" thing. At the same time though, due the nature of competition alone, I have found reviewing things with them from a computer together can DRASTICALLY improve your relationship. Essentially, it helps you stand out from the other bajillion people selling services to them by phone/walkin/online/etc. Like I said, everyone works differently.
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    • Profile picture of the author David Chambless
      Originally Posted by DogScout View Post

      Is meeting should be asking questions... no computer needed.
      2nd meeting should be the solutions... again no computer needed.
      If the client needs to see something on the computer, he is probably too much of a pain in the ... to have as a client anyway.
      AMEN, Brother!

      Every client I've signed who has to "see" everything on the computer seems to think I'm going to teach him all things internet and marketing. That ain't what I sell, and every single one has turned into a royal PITA!

      They're like the guy who takes his car into the shop and has his head under the hood the whole time it's being worked on!

      David
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  • Profile picture of the author coach
    I don't suggest you buy a laptop.

    I use a Motion Tablet, and now an iPad (3G)... both are much more effective as a presentation tool versus a conventional laptop.

    Take action!
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  • Profile picture of the author Kelly Verge
    You don't need either unless you're doing seminars.

    Many venues will provide a projector and even a laptop if requested, so they aren't even required then.

    The only tools you need are your brains and the guts it takes to walk in to the first business.

    That said, there are tools that makes offline selling easier.
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    • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
      Originally Posted by Kelly Verge View Post

      ...

      The only tools you need are your brains and the guts it takes to walk in to the first business.

      ...
      This.

      If you can't condense your pitch down to a couple of minutes, and require props to sell, then you aren't going to get very far with serious C-level execs at companies that do more than a couple million $ a year in sales.

      Powerpoint presentations are for the worker bees, who require such things in order to understand strategic-level concepts.

      CEOs should be able to "get it" in a 2 minute discussion in the lobby if you're pitching benefit and not techie tools.
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  • Profile picture of the author jbode
    Why not work with what you have, then after you get a few clients buy a laptop... your going to want one eventually.

    Although, you may want to invest in outsourcing 1st
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  • Profile picture of the author joetheseo
    Online you're swimming with the sharks, offline it's like bringing a knife to a gun fight. Level yourself down and explain this stuff to them, business owners understand the concepts... push them over that "fear" barrier.

    As reported in several business journals, online advertising is predicted to grow more then print this year for the first time, and they (for the most part) can already see the future!

    I hear big companies all the time say "We can get you on the FIRST PAGE". But what's that going to do for them? We all know how the google heat map looks.. If you're not number one, then you're only there for brand exposure.

    That's cool... but can you take YOUR clients to RANK 1? Sure you can, but that's a claim that the big companies generally aren't willing to make!

    Are you bold enough to make that claim AND deliver results EVERY time??



    Of course.. There really isn't a "time limit" with SEM organic services, after all "their site will drop quickly" if they ever cancel.
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  • Profile picture of the author affilorama-portal
    It really depends on what your product is.
    If it's the initial presentation, all you usually need are:
    1. a thorough knowledge of what's being offered, so that you can discuss them off the top of your head,
    2. brochures and/or images of what you are offering, and
    3. lots of business cards.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Ho
    Well if you insist on hardware recommendations you can try the iPad. With one simple device you've got everything covered.. you can show your stats, designs, presentations etc.

    That way you won't need a bunch of paper, files and clunky laptops to lug around. It's also pretty sleek and neat and looks very professional.
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    • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
      You don't need much of anything except the willingness to speak if you want to pick up local business owners as clients.

      When you speak in front of a group having a projector is nice but personally I avoid them (too many technical issues and possibility of breakdown).

      A simple presentation in plain language without any visuals will work fine.

      You don't need to speak in front of a group to pick up paying clients anyway.


      When you're talking one on one to a business owner you should be investing most of your time asking questions and listening.

      You don't need anything special for that (two ears).

      This really is a business you can start without any special equipment.

      It really comes down to you getting in touch with business owners. You can do that in person, by mail, by telephone, through referrals, by speaking to groups, by going to business networking meeting, trade shows etc etc.

      Kindest regards,
      Andrew Cavanagh
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