Way Back Wednesday: Is Your Outreach Marketing a Bust?

Do you feel like you’re making more enemies than contacts when you go outreach marketing?

Outreach marketing is tricky business- you have to walk a fine line between making a friend and making a sale and we can show you how. Watch the video and we’ll enlighten you on how to really make the most of your outreach marketing time. Learn how to turn the tables and make businesses glad to see your smiling face (hint: you’re more important than you think!) Before you know it, you’ll be making the sale and some new buds!

So what’s the secret to being effective? It starts with a smile, includes targeted marketing pieces and fun goodies and ends in follow up. Let’s take a closer look at these ingredients:

Befriend the Gatekeeper
Smile, then smile some more. Walking into a business can be daunting, however, hardly anybody can resist returning a nice smile. Your attitude towards outreach marketing makes a difference as well. Always remember that you’re not bothering them- you represent the buying power of hundreds of families in the community and you’re offering a mutually beneficial partnership. So smile like you mean it!

A smile will only get you so far. Your objective is much more than leaving a stack of flyers. You’ll want to practice your presentation so you’re comfortable and able to overcome potential conversation stoppers. Not only do you want to become the gatekeeper’s friend, you want to see if anyone is currently looking for a new home, as well as branding your community and building repertoire. It’s also a great time to locate support for your resident events through cross-promotional activities.

Time matters! If a business is busy with customers it’s best to return at a slower time. You’ll also want to ensure you’re going at goodie-hour. We find that people need sweets and caffeine around 2 or 3pm! Also, be brief. Brevity goes a long way!

Your first visit might feel like a total disaster. Perhaps you muddled through it. Whenever I make pancakes, the first one is always a failure. So if you mess up on the first visit, toss it out like the first failed pancake and try again. Just remember, people will forget what you say, but they will never forget the way you make them feel. So if you show a genuine interest in them, arrive and leave with a smile, you’re doing better than you think!

Since each business or niche demographic is different, your message must be different. One flyer or marketing campaign does not fit all. In order to influence purchasing, you must pull at their heart strings. This first requires you to identify and create a definable marketing strategy so you’re not striking the air. When was the last time you drove around the neighborhood or googled surrounding businesses? Where do your residents work and play? What is important to the demographic- location, price, amenity or lifestyle? Armed with this information, you can create collateral that targets your demographics.

Be sure to bring up your Preferred Employer Program. This is an added perk that employers can offer their employees.

Make Yourself Memorable
Would you go to a dinner empty handed? Never! So why would you visit a business without a little hospitality? Goodies open doors and make friends and they also get you remembered. What kind of goodies? The trick is for them to be unexpected and/or unconventional. Make sure you get credit for them and label each item with your community information. Anything that helps you stand out from the crowd, can help you get your foot in the door.

You also want to be memorable in a good way. Be sure to dress for success! We recommend dressing one step above the businesses you’re visiting.

Follow Up Fun
You can’t follow up if you don’t document, document, document! Taking good notes is paramount. You’ll want to record the business name, location, time of visit, what is left, whom you spoke with and any personal details about the person or conversation. Don’t be afraid to ask for their business card either!

Now, make sure you schedule time to follow up on interest. You’re creating a sustainable route. This is not a one-time deal where you can expect a rush of instant traffic. Outreach marketing is about branding your community in the surrounding area and staying on their mind. Feel like you’re done? It’s time to do it all over again!

Want to do outreach without lifting a finger?

Our outreach marketing team will do all the work for you – from creating a fantastic design to connecting with businesses in your area on behalf of your community.

Outreach Marketing Team



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