What if you woke up one day and the Internet was gone.
I know that would turn my world upside down. But I don’t know that it would be the worst thing.
The world would keep turning. Life would go on just as it always does. And people would adapt to the new reality.
I’m 32 years old this year. I don’t remember much of the world before the Internet. I think we got our first family computer, a Gateway, around 1995-96. I probably got my first email address, probably AOL, around that time as well.
So the Internet has been around for about as long as I can remember.
That’s probably why so much of the focus on the blog is about Internet marketing and Internet sales, but there is a life outside of the Web.
Let’s pretend the Internet didn’t exist and look at some ways to get clients without using any Internet marketing strategies.
And the great news is that you can use these right away to get new clients.
1. Local Chambers Of Commerce Lists
These have been around for a long time. Most cities have a Chamber of Commerce or some sort of organization that local businesses and organizations belong to.
And most of these organizations provide list of businesses. You can buy or rent the list and use it for a variety of marketing purposes. You can send direct mail to the list. You can go directly to the companies that are the best fit for what you sell and start a conversation.
And if it works for your local community (depending on your type of business) you can do it in other communities.
I talk about this one often in the form of guest blogging and being a guest on podcasts.
But before podcasts there was radio and television. Obviously these are two big channels still today. You can be a guest on shows that feature folks like you and if you do it consistently it’s a great way to reach new audiences.
3. Charity Events
Charity events are obviously about charity. They bring people together to help others in need. But that doesn’t mean that charity events aren’t helpful to more than just one group of folks.
With everyone coming together, charity events are a great opportunity to meet new people. You don’t have to go into sales mode right at the event. But it’s a great way to make new connections, introduce yourself and plant the seeds that could lead to sales situations in the future.
Choose the events that are dear to your heart. You’ll be in a great mood and feeling good about helping out and that will make you a great person to meet.
4. Local Leagues
This is another great way to meet new people. I’m in a golf league. It’s led to plenty of discussions about business. That seems to be one of the main conversations that comes up during a round of golf or during a round of beers afterward.
I’m sure other leagues are like this as well. Volleyball, softball, bowling, etc.
It’s about getting around people, making connections and planting those seeds that will lead to sales opportunities.
5. Yellow Pages
Need a list of businesses that you can potentially sell your services to? Why not break out that old phone book or yellow page book. They’re full of all the businesses in you’re area. And you have their contact information right there.
Identify who your best customer is right now. Let’s say that customer is a small dental office. Open the phone book and go to the dentist section. Call all the other dentists on the list that fit your ideal customer and you’re on your way.
One of the best ways to find new clients is to look for who is hiring. Let’s say you sell social media services either as a freelancer or as an agency. You can look for businesses that are hiring for positions like Marketing Associate, Marketing Coordinator or even Social Media Manager and reach out to them. You know there’s a need.
You just need to sell them on the idea that your solution is better than an employee or at least another option if they can’t find the right person.
7. Newspapers (Business Feature Stories)
There are classifieds in newspapers, but don’t just pay attention to those. Look at the businesses being featured. These are usually startups or businesses that have found recent success.
If you sell to businesses these are potential clients. Startups are usually eager for early growth. If you have something that can help them they’ll be open to your pitch. And businesses with recent success are in a similar position. They’re looking to keep the momentum going and if you can help them do that they’ll be more than happy to bring you on board.
These are still great for meeting new people are even getting direct sales. You can make the rounds in the main vendor room and talk to each of the vendors and build potential relationships. You can meet people during the mixers or during the speaking events. You could even be a speaker yourself and build your profile.
9. Competitor Client Lists
This might go back to the newspaper example. Sometimes a company that works with businesses will be featured in the paper about their own success. They might list a handful of clients they work with and that can be a target for you to use.
And maybe you could go online and look at who your competition lists as clients. You never know when one of those clients might be looking to make a change. You can introduce yourself, keep in touch and be there when that change happens.
10. PR Efforts
Finally, old school PR efforts are great long-term strategies for getting new clients. I like using the example of local businesspeople in my city. There is a local yoga instructor that goes on TV once a week and shows viewers how to do one exercise or pose. Every week. Over time that really helps to build her profile in the area.
You don’t have to jump on all these at once. In fact, you could start with just one that sounds the most appealing and give it some time. That’s one final takeaway here. It’s not something that happens overnight. You might go out and get a sale today, but building a business is about implementing a system that will continue to deliver.
Approach these strategies like that and you’ll be setting your company up for success beyond the short-term.