[OFFLINE Lead Gen] Drop Dead Simple Way to Land New Clients

by benbro
11 replies
Hi Offliners, its been a minute since I've posted a thread here. So I figured this would be as good a time as any to share an observation.


If you'd have bumped into me a year ago and told me that one day I'd be a full time offline marketer there's about a 50% chance that I would have believed you.

However, if you'd have told me that not only would I be doing offline marketing but that I'd also be getting new clients without breaking a big sweat cold calling and the like, I'd looked at you like you were crazy.

But in Feb 2013 things took a different course for me. That's because after losing my seo agency job something in me just clicked and said, "while I may not know everything, there's definitely enough in my tool kit for me to get out and earn some freelance business."

Fast Forward to June 2013

Won't even lie to you...Between March 2013 and June 2013 I caught hell trying to bring in new business. In fact, it seems like there wasn't a day that went by that I didn't ask myself if I'd made a mistake. But all of a sudden June got here and things began taking a miraculous turn around.

People that I'd begun talking to in March, April and May about my new career began calling to ask if I could help them market their businesses.

While telling people what I do for a living may not result in immediate business, neither has cold calling.

Technique in Action

Here's how my last several clients and presentations have come about:
  1. Business Associations - After meeting someone who looks like they're in a position to refer new business I simply say...Hi there, Mr./Ms. Business owner - I'd really love to learn more about your business so that I can be a better resource to you. When can we sit down for about 10 or 15 minutes to talk?

    During the actual meeting I ask them business oriented questions about their business (do they like the association, who's their market, what are their challenges, what are their goals and etc.). Then after we've exhausted this part of the discussion I tell them what I do and let them know what types of people make good referrals.

    If they themselves sound interested in my services I will do a quick run-down of their strengths and weaknesses and invite them to receive a proposal from me.
  2. Conversation with Random Business Owner(By random business owner, I mean someone who I have just done business with or whose company I have frequented) - Thanks for the a,b,c. They were really good. Listen, I don't know if I told you this before but I'm a business owner too.

    My company helps local business owners get more customers online - here's a few cards. I shut up at this point and wait to see what the business owner has to say.

    If they sound interested I posture for a 15 minute sit down.
  3. Friends (This one may or may not work for you. But coincidentally most of my friends happen to be business owners.) - Did I tell you about my new business? I help local businesses get more customers by using the Internet. If they sound interested I arrange a 15 minute sit down and review their business's online presence.

Reviewing Their Online Presence

Since my approach involves turning a prospect into a "warm prospect" I generally try to keep things as basic and informal as possible when we meet. I used to come to the meeting with a set of recommendations or with a thorough proposal (before I even met with the prospect).

However, after a while it became apparent that it was a waste of time to do all this preparation beforehand.

Why? Because I never closed any of the people that I did that on but on the flip side I spent an hour+ preparing detailed proposals.

So instead, this is what I do when we meet:
  • I ask them what they like AND don't like about their site
  • I pull up their reviews (or lack thereof) in front of them
  • I tell them to pull up their site on THEIR cell phone for me
  • I locate their Google+ Listing and show it to them

As I'm doing this stuff I use simple language to explain how each element is helping or hurting them.

Then at the end of the discussion I either tell them I can get fix all of these problems for you for X,Y,Z or I promise them a proposal (only if it's a complex situation - like they ask me about a service/element that we didn't talk about).

Hope this helps! As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences...
#clients #dead #drop #gen #land #lead #lead generation #local marketing #mobile marketing #offline #simple
  • Profile picture of the author JustinDT
    Thanks for the post. I'm glad your business took a turn for the better. When I started I second guessed myself the whole way.

    I also like the way you made it real for the client.
    Having them face the problems with their site tend to bring the issue home
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  • Profile picture of the author benbro
    Originally Posted by JustinDT

    I also like the way you made it real for the client.
    Having them face the problems with their site tend to bring the issue home
    No problem and thank you for the kind words! Yes, making it real for them seems to be 80% of the battle. And you know what it took me a while to figure this out.

    Because even though I knew that the avg business owner doesn't feel comfortable using technical jargon it was still difficult for me to talk to them without getting technical.

    Then one day something hit me...Whenever I'm trying to impress a certain point upon my (10 yr old going on 18) daughter, I do it by asking her questions that help guide her to the conclusion that I'm trying to show her. This way, when she "comes up with the answer" she takes ownership of it and takes it more seriously than she would if I just spoon fed her the info.

    So I decided to experiment by adapting my "sales approach" that it resembles my teaching style. So when I have someone pull up their own website and it's not mobile friendly, instead of saying - you need a mobile site.

    I'll say..."you see how you have to pinch and zoom on your site? Do you think your typical customer is going to go through all of that on their iPhone or do you think they're just leaving your site?"

    Another thing is that since my clients tend to be real nitty gritty brick and mortar businesses, they're so enamored in the day to day running of their business, they don't have enough time to decode a bunch of Geeklish. So this hands on way of selling just seems to click with my clients on so many levels.

    Thanks again for joining the discussion, Justin!

    "Everything you can imagine is real." – Pablo Picasso

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    • Profile picture of the author mojo1
      Congrats Ben on making the shift. It's great to see your business is progressing nicely.

      There's definitely many more success stories in your future.
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      • Profile picture of the author 9999
        Good work and good job for not giving up.
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  • Profile picture of the author benbro
    Thanks Mojo and 9999, I appreciate the kind words!!!

    "Everything you can imagine is real." – Pablo Picasso

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  • Profile picture of the author Katee
    Thank you for your story. I have a 90 day rule. I do something constantly for 3 months. Then I re-evaluate it. It appears that has worked for you.

    BTW, your nailed it with your questioning technique. May I suggest that you use mostly open ended questions (questions where the answer is always more than one word, never yes or no). This causes the person to think more about their situation. And because of ownership of their thoughts, they want to improve sooner.

    Good Luck in your business . . .

    Believe . . . .
    . . . . Achieve

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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Lee
    I like your approach. I'm very "hands on" as well, and i think face to face meetings and a little bit of swagger is how you land very big monthly checks.
    "One of the Most Successful Offline WSO's Ever!
    Get More High $$$ Clients with this Small Business Marketing PLR Magazine
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    • Profile picture of the author Scott Stevens
      Yo Ben, are you still cold calling to get new biz?

      Yours in prosperity,
      Skochy - The Musical Salesman

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  • Profile picture of the author udelia7
    Thanks for sharing your story!

    It helps to learn from others
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