I have a member of my local Chamber of Commerce for about a year. On top of that I am also a member of a few other network group including an inventors group.
I would say that I do spend a tremendous amount of time networking.
Networking is a great place to find leads, however being in the sales training and consulting business like I am for a number of businesses it may not produce enough leads.
Some businesses need to cast a wider net. As an example my own Sales Training in Atlanta classes need a larger net than just the Chamber of Commerce. The reason, most of these businesses are fairly small in terms of the number of sales representatives employed.
The Chamber is an excellent source for me to find vendors. I have found a bunch of vendors that are now doing everything from producing my business cards to checking on the insurance premiums for my local Home Owners Association.
But for producing leads to support my Sales Training in Atlanta that particular group isn’t a great fit. Also I have notice that a lot of the members understand this point… most local business need more leads.
The traditional place for local lead generation has been the yellow pages, but with so many people turning to the web for everyday products and services the old yellow pages is quickly losing its luster.
The new tool for local lead production is local search. Local search is a method of Search Engine Optimization or SEO that allows your website to be found when someone types in a service you provide in your local area.
As an example here is one that my Atlanta Internet Marketing company produced for a Remodeler in Lawrenceville, GA. I created a site called RemodelingLawrenceville.com and then submitted it to Yahoo.com. The result… my local customer in Lawrenceville is now #1 on that search term. Google and Bing will ultimately pick up on this keyword search term as well.
It takes time to produce a good local leads using SEO practices but it can be done and should be done as the Internet quickly replaces the phone book and its yellow pages.