You can generate more business from networking and social media than you will from a mass mailing, if you know how to make the most of it.
Looking for customers is kind of like looking for work. In 2010, results from a survey were released. The information showed that only 7% of people are successful at finding jobs by mass mailing their resume. 33% find success by asking for lead, 47% by going out and meeting potential employers. A whopping 84% of people are successful at finding a job through networking and doing information meetings.
Let's say you go with a marketing approach of simply meeting with clients and telling them about your business. You meet with them and, after politely waiting for you to finsish your sales pitch, they tell you they have no need for your service.
What's your fallback position? You don't have one because you know nothing of their needs. What they might actually be saying is that they don't need you today but next month might be a different story. However because you didn't take the time to learn about their business, you end up walking away feeling rejected and with no options. You can't even go back to them because they will just think you are being a pain after being told that they have nothing for you.
Meeting with potential customers to tell them about your company and the services you offer may get you an odd job here and there but a better approach is to go meet with them and take time to learn about their business. With that information, you can strategically position yourself to meet their business needs. Not only will you find out what you can do for them now, if anything, but you will be able to find out what you will be able to do for them for years to come and know when to contact them. This will not only be more beneficial to you but to them as well.
In the same conversation, not only can you find out about their business, but you can also find out about their competitors if you ask the right questions. Their competitors are opportunities to generate more leads.
If you can afford paper mailings, what would be more effective is if you meet with people and then follow up with them through mailings. They say that you need to get in front of people 7-10 times before they will consider doing business with you. That includes telephone calls, business card, meeting in person, pamphlets, email, website, and especially regular interaction on social media as you can imagine.
Remember, all your potential customers care about is their business. They don't care about you or your business unless it somehow benefits them. You need to get out of the mindset of trying to generate business for yourself and start thinking about how you can meet the needs of your customers.