Here is the thing - What happens when you spend all that time and money to get a prospect, and then you go to them, and you are clumsy with your story, pitch, and delivery?
I've been involved in quite a few ventures and I have noticed something - I always suck at first. Telling the story sucks at first. I have a little non-profit going with a local University and the first few months promoting it were rough. I must have taken 100 meetings. I noticed each time that I was better. I found new words to use. I became more persuasive.
The same has been true for every business I have started or job I have had.
It doesn't matter if I was a traveling speaker or a low-level sales person. Repetition is the mother of skill.
You see the telemarketing experts explaining here, and I found this to be true myself, that your first 50 calls for the day are just a warm-up. The real money lies in calls after those first 50.
It's the same type of deal with telling a client what you can do with them.
You simply MUST get those initial 50-100 touches under your belt.
There are many people here who aren't telling their story 100 times per year. It's a shame. It will take you a year at that pace, just to be good at your "talk."
Speakers develop a "talk" that they give every time. It's the same. It may look inspired, but it is mostly good acting. After awhile, the inspiration wears off when you have said the same thing 1000 times.
You need to have a "talk" that you give, too. The only way you are going to get skilled at delivering this talk to business owners is to deliver it as often as possible.
So, if it takes you a year to tell your story 100 times, and I think that is being optimistic for a lot of people, you are simply moving to slow.
Out of those 100 talks, you might get 30 appointments. Out of those, you might make 7-8 sales. To sell $100k - you have to make sure that each client is worth $12,500. Subtract your overhead and you see the problem.
Most people aren't getting anywhere near $12,500 per client. Especially at first. At first, you simply will not be able to command that type of price, and that is why it is so important to tell your story more often.
So - stop researching. Stop buying tools. Stop thinking, making lists, and planning.
Find every business group in your area, and start going to the meetings. At these meetings, tell your story to as many people as possible. Get their cards and call them the next day to ask for an appointment.
You are simply going to suck at telling your story at first. If you tell your story to 5 people at each meeting, 20 meetings will get you to 100 times. That should take you about 2-3 months. You will have made some sales, and become much better.
Only start spending money and time on other things once these meetings are no longer paying off for you. I know people, who work for large companies, who make a very good living just from these meetings.
If you work hard, do a good job, and ask for referrals, you can live on networking alone.
But - the point of this post isn't about networking. It's about getting good at telling your story.
If you spend $1,000 and two months to get some appointments, without having told your story a bunch of times, that is going to be some expensive practice and unless you have another income source, you will probably go broke before you get traction.
Don't put the cart before the horse. Don't expend time and money getting appointments, before you are well versed in your story and how you can help your prospects.