How do you contact small business owners?

edited January 2013 in How Do I ?
Say I want to sell my services or products to Internet business owners [ Like ecomm sites, internet business etc] and considering that products are very useful for business owners. Then how should I contact them? I belong from a small town so it won't be possible for me to setup meeting offline.
A] Cold Email ?
B] Cold Calls?
C] What else?

What should be the proper approach?


  • A lot of entrepreneurs have bought email database (that's not the most optimum approach, but gives a sense of starting on the right track).

    First: identify the buyer. In most of the cases, it's not going to be the CEO. You can start with LinkedIn - works beautifully well.
    Second: Go via referrals. Make 1 marquee customer super happy and request them to introduce to others. 99% cases, it works.
    Third, think inbound (read this VisualWebsiteOptimizer story of how they cracked 1500 paying customers
  • Outbound sales i.e where you initiate selling, is very expensive. The reason is that your prospect may not be at the frame of mind where they find your solution useful to them even though you may think so.
    So lot of effort has to be made to bring the prospect to the frame where you start selling.

    Inbound strategy is the best as mentioned by sinha above. Idea is to be present wherever your customers could land up looking for the solution you are selling. The problem would be if your solution is so new that people are not even looking for it, even then you need to find the relevant context and be present at all of these contexts
  • @sinha VWO case study is amazing. Started with linkedin and getting response :) I need to focus more on content marketing. Thank you :)

    @RaksWeb Exactly, I faced this problem for sometime where people were not looking for my stuff. Wasted a lot of time ;) Thank you!
  • Spray and pray would indeed be very expensive. Market to problems - the exact point/context in which your product is useful. Could be online/offline/a physical market, through an intermediary.

    For a certain section, for instance, I once tried reaching out to SMEs through their hardware vendors - and got enough feedback within a short time!

    Check out what guys like Exotel, JustDial etc do.
  • you can make contact them through local directories or mail given to their websites.
  • Justdial has a huge on the foot salesforce means Justdial spends huge ammount of money on sales. The reviews by small business on their sales practice though is not very good.
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