The Best Way To Promote Offline?

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For the past 3 months before my head hits the pillow I'm reminded of an old adage "Man greatest success can be his greatest failure." It is a long story, so I will not tax your attention span with too much detail.

I started my current business pursuit in 2000 (manufacturing a health product worn on the body) and it has always been my intention to take this as far across the country as I can. However, I don't want to rush the process. The key to my (our) early success has been its "boots on the ground" familiarity with the local event planning market to replicate that expertise in other cities.

Earlier this year I was given an opportunity to present our product and service to a group of hospital fundraisers throughout Florida (most hospitals' host fundraising events to support their local hospital).

Our product and service was embraced almost as a "god-send" and now I have hospitals across the nation (11 states as of August 1, 2012) that want us to showcase our product and service at their state conventions.

We have perfected a dealership business model over the past 5 years, that is not the challenge. The challenge we are faced with is serving these accounts in other states (showcasing our product at conventions and then showcasing our products at a hospital's fundraising event).

What I'm in search of are success stories using offline mediums to attract dealers in different states. A dealer is an independent business owner that markets solely our product line.

I am entertaining national magazine ads (Business Opportunities) etc., however, to place a ½ page ad requires a 3-6 month wait for publishing. I've tried with little success online advertising and would entertain some creative ideas.

The cost for a dealership averages $4000 with inventory and a protected market area, so it's not something that can be easy sold via a web page.

Thanking everyone in advance for any ideas of meeting this challenge.
#offline #promote
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  • Profile picture of the author clarkcapers7234
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Speak at conventions that have anything to do with your niche. It's easy to get speaking gigs, and you'll be able to sell in front of an audience. You'll pick up dealers (and checks) there. You won't get paid, but you won't have to split your profits with them either.
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      • Profile picture of the author ClayPage
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        Speak at conventions that have anything to do with your niche. It's easy to get speaking gigs, and you'll be able to sell in front of an audience. You'll pick up dealers (and checks) there. You won't get paid, but you won't have to split your profits with them either.
        Thanks Clark and Claude for your suggestions.

        We are scheduled as a speaker at conventions that target our niche audience, hospital fundraising bookers (they schedule shows/events for their local hospital group) - (that is how all this begun from our first presentation).

        The challenge is that after we give our presentation the bookers' are scheduling us for shows at their local hospital. This has evolved in a couple of hundred shows across the state of Florida for 2013, and I expect the same will hold true in the other states that we are invited to present our product and service. In Florida, our home base, we can handle the schedule thus far, it's the other states that are of a concern.

        A little more insights into the challenge I'm faced with.

        At the convention we present our product and service to a group of event bookers. We display our product during the day to a couple hundred hospital bookers and gift shop managers along with 50-100 other vendors. In the evening we provide a 15-minute presentation (by invitation only) to a group of bookers/gift shop managers who have expressed an interest in our product. It is at that time that we are booking shows with some of the bookers.

        We (the company) provide the speaker and displaying/showcasing of the product line.

        The show is when we are invited to go to a hospital and setup our display in the lobby to present our product to visitors and the hospital staff. A show can be from a one-day show up to 3 day show and takes place during the week (no weekend shows). We provide the hospital a 20% commission on the gross sales for the space and their promoting of the show. An average show results in $8000 - $15,000 in gross sales.

        The Challenge:

        Since we cannot manage all of the shows ourselves, we are adding what we call "Local Authorized Dealers" in each state to manage the shows themselves (and other events/shows within their defined market area). A dealership is structured as an independent business authorized to market our product line and services. Training of the dealer requires about 8 hours of studying (online) and 8 hours in the field (at a show/event). Locating qualified people interested in a dealership is the challenge and then the onsite training is yet another challenge, which has lead to us developing the position of "State Director."

        The "State Director" is responsible for locating (we provide a degree of assistance in locating new dealers) and managing the dealers within their state. They will provide the new dealers onsite training and the scheduling of any shows/events that result from the hospital conventions, and other leads that the company develops within a state. The State Director acts as the "Distribution Center" supplying dealers with product within their assigned state. The State Director is also structured as an independent business.

        As an example, we will attend a hospital convention on September 13, 2012 (Thursday), in Minnesota. We have a new State Director for Minnesota who has completed their online training and will attend the convention for their onsite training (we have scheduled another 3-day show that weekend for additional training and getting the State Director up to speed). Any bookings for shows will be scheduled with the new State Director. At this time they will do the shows themselves while they are searching for new dealers who will later manage other shows within Minnesota. They are planning on developing 10 new dealers within Minnesota over the next 6 months to meet the anticipated demand.

        I am satisfied with methodology of our participation and onsite training at the conventions for the State Director and/or Dealers'.

        So the main challenge is locating new State Directors or Dealers within the 11 states we are scheduled for and getting them training and setup.

        Has anyone had success at Job Fairs or other types of business opportunity events where people are interested in a business or a new job?

        I am entertaining at placing Help Wanted ads and business for sale ads in local papers throughout the state. We have created an online interview system (video series) that will pre-qualify candidates before receiving their resume or requesting a second interview to reduce the field to the most qualified candidates.

        I will pursue the suggestion of Business Brokers.

        Thinking outside the box for targeting interested candidates.

        Once again, thanking everyone in advance for their suggestions.

        Clay Page
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  • Profile picture of the author vndnbrgj
    For starters, I would be interested in learning about what you're doing.
    Depending on what your doing, $4k isn't a lot of money.

    I disagree that you can't sell it on a webpage. I purchased marketing consulting programs for $4k on a web page, and am looking at another for $9k. Its just about targeting the right people.

    Another thing to consider is having your in house people go and open an office in another state.
    Just ask if anyone is open to opening up a dealership in another state. People will be open to the idea, if the money is there and there is a starving crowd. Then, you have them pay you so much each month to offset the $4k. If that isn't an option, then offer to withhold $xxx per paycheck or month until they have the $4k paid.

    You could also market in franchising publications and contact business brokers. Just change the fee from $4k to $5k to pay the broker's fee. There are brokers that have lists of people about and wanting to start a business.
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  • Profile picture of the author Niks24
    The Best way is the conventions that too in front of big Audience where yopu can ave good amount of conversion Ratio.
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    • Profile picture of the author Irish Intuition
      Originally Posted by Niks24 View Post

      The Best way is the conventions that too in front of big Audience where yopu can ave good amount of conversion Ratio.
      Large groups of people do not lead to conversions. Interested people
      lead to conversions.... just thought I'd mention that
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      • Profile picture of the author EnzoBlaque
        Originally Posted by Paul McQuillan View Post

        Large groups of people do not lead to conversions. Interested people
        lead to conversions.... just thought I'd mention that
        ^ Very true!

        It seems like you haven't got a system in place for generating qualified leads.

        You need to really put a lot of time towards working out who your market is. Then you'll know how and where to reach them.

        Once you have a clean cut strategy in place and you know through and through who your market is, then generating quality leads can be as simple as getting a few radio spots... or magazine ads...

        There are hundreds of ways you can go about this.

        Enzo
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        • Profile picture of the author ClayPage
          Originally Posted by EnzoBlaque View Post

          ^ Very true!

          It seems like you haven't got a system in place for generating qualified leads.

          You need to really put a lot of time towards working out who your market is. Then you'll know how and where to reach them.

          Once you have a clean cut strategy in place and you know through and through who your market is, then generating quality leads can be as simple as getting a few radio spots... or magazine ads...

          There are hundreds of ways you can go about this.

          Enzo
          We have created an excess of leads (opportunity (shows) to showcase our product in front of highly targeted audiences) and converting a prospect’s interest in our product into sales is routine with a high rate of conversion.

          We have developed a lead system that is producing an abundance of opportunities (shows) to showcase of product.

          We have perfected the selling (presentation) of our product that results in a high conversion of interest into sales.

          We have been caught off guard in developing a system to attract individuals interested in the business side (Dealers) who will attend and manage the leads (shows) we have already developed.

          I did not expect and I was caught off guard in the volume of responses that our product has garnered over the past few months to attend different shows to present our product to a very targeted and responsive audience.

          We have scheduled product demonstrations at conventions in the following states to present our product line and services to 290 plus fundraising organizations that can easily incorporate our "Progressively Engineered Fundraising Campaign" model into their fundraising activities. Putting boots on the ground is the challenge to manage what we have created.


          Minnesota Sept 12-14
          Colorado Sept 12-14
          W. Virginia Sept 27
          Florida Oct 3
          Indiana Oct 15
          Wisconsin
          Virginia Oct 16
          Maryland Oct 29
          Missouri Nov 8
          Georgia Confirming
          Texas Confirming (2013)
          Louisiana Confirming

          I’m interested in:

          Ideas for establishing a multi-state dealership program (we have gone through most of the States’ business registration requirements/filings).
          Ideas on developing a distribution center/system (supplying dealers).

          I am in the process of seeking professional business development consultation and systems engineering, and in hopes of gathering some creative ideas here to assist in the brainstorming session when I hire a business development firm.

          Once again, thanks for all the input thus far.

          Clay Page
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  • Profile picture of the author Anthony Carrera
    Direct Mail.... is something anyone looking to do direct marketing should consider

    1. get a list broker(i use macromark and country marketing)
    2. your target market is probably biz op seekers
    3.use a two step method because your price is massive
    3.get a copywriter to write an amazing BLIND(meaning it does not disclose what your product or service is) sales letter that gets people to call you
    4 you then sell them on the phone.
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    • Profile picture of the author ClayPage
      Originally Posted by Anthony Carrera View Post

      Direct Mail.... is something anyone looking to do direct marketing should consider

      1. get a list broker(i use macromark and country marketing)
      2. your target market is probably biz op seekers
      3.use a two step method because your price is massive
      3.get a copywriter to write an amazing BLIND(meaning it does not disclose what your product or service is) sales letter that gets people to call you
      4 you then sell them on the phone.
      Thanks Anthony... In touch with a list broker and business broker today to see what evolves.

      Have a great day.

      Clay
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    • Profile picture of the author Owenwick
      Originally Posted by Anthony Carrera View Post

      Direct Mail.... is something anyone looking to do direct marketing should consider

      1. get a list broker(i use macromark and country marketing)
      2. your target market is probably biz op seekers
      3.use a two step method because your price is massive
      3.get a copywriter to write an amazing BLIND(meaning it does not disclose what your product or service is) sales letter that gets people to call you
      4 you then sell them on the phone.
      I would add "focus on quality graphic design" for the direct mail piece. You could have the most amazing copywriting ever, but if it is not visually attractive, no one will take the time to actually read it.
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      • Profile picture of the author ClayPage
        Originally Posted by Owenwick View Post

        I would add "focus on quality graphic design" for the direct mail piece. You could have the most amazing copywriting ever, but if it is not visually attractive, no one will take the time to actually read it.
        I noticed an ad today in a national magazine (the cost of a ½ page is $6500) and in the center of the ad space is a few words:

        The One Business That Will Make
        You Stop Looking For A Business To Start
        Low Investment Required - $25,000
        Call XXX-XXX-XXXX

        It did catch my eye because of all the white space, and it does pique my interest as to what type of business it is.

        However, what I don't want is 100s of calls of tire kickers - or am I missing a major point / reason?

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      • Profile picture of the author Irish Intuition
        Originally Posted by Owenwick View Post

        I would add "focus on quality graphic design" for the direct mail piece. You could have the most amazing copywriting ever, but if it is not visually attractive, no one will take the time to actually read it.
        'quality' has less to do with it as what types of images/design elements are used

        The copy needs to be written first, then the design elements need to be added. All
        need to work towards the sale/response of the reader.

        I have seen A LOT of fairly plain looking ads make a lot of money
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        • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
          Clay, I'm thinking it would be more productive
          to have your product stocked by dealers with an existing product line
          in the same category.

          Reason being is you are tapping into an existing distribution channel,
          rather than creating a new one.

          My initial thoughts without knowing finer details.

          Best,
          Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author piaps
    Local newspaper advertising, giving freebies with advertisements (t-shirts/ballpens/ecobags), bumper stickers or a bigger sticker on your car.
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  • Profile picture of the author mydream111
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    newspaper both local and national is the best way to promote offline business.
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  • Profile picture of the author digichik
    Haye you thought about finding organizations and businesses who help older displaced worker find employment and/or biz opportunities. It kind of seems like you are offering a Manufacturers Rep. type of biz op.

    There are many people who are 45+ who are having a difficult time finding work or who have been recently laid off, who know it will be difficult finding another job because of their age. These are the people who may have savings set aside, who are willing to invest in a business of this type. In addition, because of their age, they will probably be willing to really work the business because they know there aren't a whole lot of opportunities out there for them.
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  • Profile picture of the author rankingconsult
    Research and planning!!

    The first two things we should all be doing before spending our money.
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  • Profile picture of the author Saif
    I think facebook ads is the way to go, write your ads, set up your landing page mention your contact information and let clients come to you
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