For your startup or small business to be profitable, it has to attract customers or clients successfully. New customers or clients don’t usually flock to your business just because you opened up shop, so marketing your business is essential to your financial success. One of the most effective and low-cost marketing tools is face-to-face marketing, which only requires a bit of time, effort, and maybe some small expenses for business cards and transportation.
The Importance of Face-to-Face Marketing
Face-to-face marketing can be one of the most cost-effective tools for growing your customer list. It’s great to have a website and online presence for your business, and using social media is a great marketing tool itself. However, there’s nothing like personally meeting potential customers.
Just think of your own experience as a customer or client. Given a choice between doing business with two similar companies, having personally met the owner of one of those companies generally inclines you to select that business over the faceless alternative.
Face-to-face meetings facilitate relationships and building relationships is a big part of attracting and retaining customers.
A Plan for Face-to-Face Marketing
Create a plan for how, when and where to put your face-to-face marketing campaign into action. The details will vary according to your particular business, but the basics involve learning where your potential customers or clients are – and then mapping out a plan for meeting with them.
One element of face-to-face marketing is simply calling on your potential clients in person. For example, if your small business is a bakery, you may want to find catering companies in your area and then call them to set up appointments to meet with them, or just do in-person cold calls on their businesses when you happen to be in the area. A good face-to-face marketing plan includes setting aside time in your workday or week to contact and meet with potential new customers.
Attending networking events allows you to connect with several potential customers at the same time. Find out what kinds of events, trade shows or conferences the people in your target customer base attend, and go to those places, armed with plenty of business cards or product samples. Tips for effective networking include listening to your potential customers rather than just launching into a sales pitch. Taking the time to listen to them may reveal exactly how to sell them your products or services.
Make your face-to-face marketing effective by following up on your initial meetings to establish other connections with people. Make a phone call or send an email to say how much you enjoyed meeting them. You can also reach out to connect with them on social media sites such as Facebook or LinkedIn. Once you’ve established that personal connection, it becomes much easier to stay in touch and continue cultivating your contacts into potential customers.