We know SEO very well (we make good money w/affiliate marketing via highly ranked sites) and getting local businesses ranked #1 is the most valuable service we can offer(we've done it already with a friend's business in very competitive local market).
Our first approach was going for other cities in the same market as the business we've already been able to make #1. We figured that would be good proof that we know what we're doing, and that it would spark interest. So far though, with perhaps 300 e-mails sent out to various cities, the crickets are chirping.
Are we really just limited to businesses in the local community and actually going to chamber of commerce meetings etc... to drum up business? What about cold calling? Do you feel like a letter or a cold call gets through to them better? It seems e-mail is just completely disregarded, even when you're offering a great service and providing proof that you know what you're doing via other businesses you've ranked well that are in other cities.
I'm thinking it may really take a cold call or an in-person meeting to convince these people...otherwise it would actually be hard to rank a local website if they all understood what they were missing out on.