Your Best Clients may not be in your Home City
They might be anywhere out there, and you’ll need a plan/strategy to reach them and work with them. Have you avoided doing this because you couldn’t visualize how to do it? Well, let’s fix that shall we.
Creating new clients in remote locations seems daunting and impossible for small business owners, yet many entrepreneurs and SMB owners have done very well at this. I’ve done it myself successfully in San Diego, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Vancouver and London UK, and I want to be even better this time.
In fact, for some manufacturers and service providers, perhaps you, it’s an imperative to be able to find our target customers dispersed over the vast North American landscape. Local just got a whole new meaning.
“they turned out to be great clients who generated the best times of my life”
I’ d like to help you accelerate your journey into new business development so you can acquire the best customers of your life. They’re out there, but it takes some smarts to find them. Forget the usual inhumane, high pressure sales tactics you’ve been bred on.
There’s a different approach here that’s better. And that approach is used by many of the people whom you see online and which you found to be fascinating people. You didn’t actually find them. They found you, and I’m about to explain how some of these super effective people manage to get crazy good clientele, one’s they could never get via advertising and cold calls.
You’re Their Dream Provider and They’re Waiting for You
For the sake of brevity, let’s cut to what really matters to clients from Boston or Charlotte to San Diego or Los Angeles. They all want to be served by providers who are relevant and who make them believe in their own mission and purpose. They’re looking for more than just technical competence – which is what everyone is trying to sell.
Through experience they may know that slick, scaled up providers can deliver a very disappointing business partnership.
If you focus on relevance, sincerity, credibility, and building engaging connections, clients will clamor to work with you. Even if you lack the expertise/capability they demand, they may still decide you’re worth working with, even if you’re thousands of miles away. And if you’re a master at what you do or have an outstanding product, then even better.
Don’t believe that they already have what they want or that it’s available. They probably don’t. They could be waiting for you to show up.
Reach, Relevance and Connection
But how do you get the message out about your company and its philosophy and then build relevance to target prospects in small communities such as Bradenton Florida, Oceanside California or Kelowna, Canada?
You do it through the 3 simple tasks of reach, relevance, and connection. And you do it according to an expert level strategy (we’ll get to that whole topic later).
1. Reaching Your Target Prospects in Cucamonga among other Places
Your target audience is besieged with phone calls, advertising, emails, and direct sales approaches. They tend to see all marketers as noise. Unfortunately, you’re included in that noisy ocean of blah. The medium is the message they say, so using aggressive ppc, email, and cold calling means you start right off the bat as someone they should avoid. First impressions are tough to overcome.
The best reach tool is a high subscription rate, web and content marketing campaign which may include your website, local media websites in your target cities, and local newspapers. The content is strategically written and designed to rank high Google searches, and to create engagement for specific industries in specific geolocations. That’s followed by a boots on the ground friendship and relevancy campaign by a business development/client success strategist who likes those kinds of clients.
2. Establish Relevance
With their noise filters on high, prospects have very defined ideas of what or who they should pay attention to. Your content, branding, and initial exposure needs to be well thought out — in other words very strategic. Your research will ferret out the attitudes, needs, gaps, failings, and decision processes of your target prospects. Then you can position your material and UVP to hit home emotionally.
And that content is so critical. Your choice of issues, news, technology, market events and perspectives tells them whether you’re tuned in to what they feel matters. Topics, keywords, people, perspectives, and timing collectively send a message that you’re sympatico with them.
Think about how a provider would reach you best. They’d likely discover your business online, usually in an unguarded moment where they they’re surfing or they stumble upon it. It could be a mention on someone’s blog, an article on the local tv station’s website, or when they found you in a Google search. Something in that content hit a nerve. You need to know what that nerve is.
“When you advertise, their guard is up and it’s impossible to make the necessary emotional connection regardless of the carefully crafted success story you’ve prepared”
In the moment they found you, read your story, and identified the issues you discussed, they quickly realize your business is relevant to them. This is when they visit your Website, check you out on Linkedin, and Google you and your product/service to dig deeper. A simple process everyone follows today.
And when they find your web content, it’s relevant to them and they begin to open up emotionally to the idea they’ve found the right provider. It’s that “ah ha” moment and you’ve put your relationship on rock solid ground.
3. Build a Strong Personal Connection
I walked into a retail store in San Diego, created and developed a connection with the co-owner. Within 4 days, I was his new digital marketer. He had a sales issue along with concerns about the long term future of his business, which I didn’t know about.
In our conversation, I created a real, human connection, which gave me time to present my services in a casual, unthreatening way. Meetings became more progressive and targeted and I established my relevance personally (I had other San Diego clients, liked the same sports, and was enthused about being in his store and his beautiful city).
I understood his personal mission, beliefs and values, from his nieces to his business ambitions to where he originated from — the New England area. And I was a source of strength for him to work with his business partner.
I rediscovered that making friends with your clients is the essence of good business. These friendships bring a lastingness and positive expectations about ongoing growth and success and become the fuel that drives growth and willingness to take risk. These are human, personal things, not something a big, slick digital agency can help with.
Boots on the ground, means you’re there, personally and emotionally wired in.
Dig Deep and Travel to these Locations
If you want to do really well in a particular remote location whether it’s London UK, San Diego, Costa Rica, or the Bay Area and San Fran, ensure you know something about these regions, and that you like them. If you have a passion for these locations, it comes through in your online content, your tone of voice, and your personal disposition.
Typically, I target California, Toronto, and Vancouver because these are my favorite places. Your favorites might be Boston, New York, Charlotte, Miami, Houston or Seattle or even Cucamonga! They’re all good.
High Value – High Commitment
For B2B companies, this is vital because you’re selling a high value, high-involvement solution that can affect their business greatly. You must display a willingness to be there whenever they need, maintain good communications, and make them believe the time you’re back home is when they can flex their independence and growth muscles on their own.
“Absence makes the heart grow fonder”
Making your absence an advantage is important. Quite a few companies don’t want someone local who is around to pester them. So your distance is a selling point.
With the right targeting, reach, impact, relevance, and establishing an emotional connection with the prospect, you’ve got a good chance of them becoming your next client.
Yes, they’re kind of your dream client, but in a sense, you’re their dream provider. It works both ways, and in generating a friendship with the owner or marketing manager, you’re creating a much higher level of trust and credibility that other local providers may not possess.
People like their friends and the commitment to success is higher among friends.
So with this in mind, you’re ready to begin doing more in-depth research on targeted prospects to create the kind of focused, high quality content that will act as your first introduction to your future high quality client.
I think after you’ve mulled this over a while, you’re going to recognize the vast potential of these other markets and that a new more organic approach is how you win today.