IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Quick Hit: "I need leads!"

I get emails and requests. When I give advice, no matter how small, I like to share it more broadly in case someone else is having the same problem.

Here's a recent response to the plea for more leads.

(I've said many times, the most common request I ever get is how to get more leads and more prospects.)

Marketing is one of those things you have to do all the time and never stop.
My favorite ways to get new leads are direct mail and speaking at local events.


I particularly like local speaking gigs because there are hundreds of opportunities. In addition to business Meetups, there are clubs, associations, and professional groups. They are all filled with business people. And many of them (e.g., Rotary and Kiwanis) share an approved speakers list.

Here are some notes about speaking at public events.
Step One: Log into www.meetup.com (or whatever the equivalent is in your country).

Enter a search for "business" within 25 or 50 miles from your location. Whatever you're willing to drive. You will probably get at least twenty hits.

In addition, there are all kinds of Kiwanis and Rotary and other clubs. They all need a presenter every week or every month.

Step Two: P

ut together a 15 minute presentation on how to protect yourself from viruses or ransomware, or a related topic. Make it very practical and business focused. Zero techno-babble.

Ideally, such a presentation will be welcome everywhere.
Step Three: Prepare a handout that you can distribute to the group. It should have “Ten Top Tips” or something like that – and your contact information in the footer. Make it look good so people might photocopy it and put it on their bulletin board.

And your only ask at the end of your presentation is: If you know someone else who needs this presentation, please give them my name.

Take questions. Take business cards. And stick around afterward in case anyone wants to talk.

You might even have a sign-up sheet for people who want you to follow up, visit their offices, etc.
Step Four: Follow up with every single contact you make. Call them and email them (minimum one call and one email each).
- - -
As with all marketing, there's no guarantee that you'll get invited to someone's office. But this was one of my favorite methods of getting new clients. Associations and professional groups are the best.
Remember: Most of the time, most of the people you meet do not need what you're selling. So you need to talk to a lot of people. And you need to be top of mind on the day they DO need someone.
Also remember: This is a never-ending process. Don't put off marketing until you need new clients. Start and never stop.
:-)

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About the Author

Karl W. Palachuk, is a technology consultant, author, speaker, trainer, and coach. He is the author of fifteen books. He has built several successful businesses, including two managed services companies. His books include Managed Services in a Month and The Network Documentation Workbook. Karl is a frequent trainer and speaker in the SMB Community. His popular blog can be found at SmallBizThoughts.com. He has more than twenty years experience as an I.T. professional and serves on advisory panels for several hardware and software companies.

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