Risk & Business Magazine California Risk & Business Magazine Summer 2017 | Page 9

PROSPECTS FOR PENNIES Prospects For Pennies: Find Gold In Abandoned Advertising H ere’s an age-old business puzzle: You need advertising to get clients and make money, but you need money – and lots of it – to advertise. How do you solve it? Start by using ads abandoned by your out-of- business competitors. Count the signs listing phone numbers as you drive down the street in a commercial area or the number of ads you notice as you surf the net. Signs and ads are often paid in advance for a few months or more, which is why when a business closes up shop, their ads stay “open.” The same is true for classified ads that run for six months or more. To take advantage of their prepaid advertising, call the number listed on your competitor’s signs and ads. If you hear a ring, move on to the next ad. If you hear a recorded message informing you that the phone number has been disconnected, call your local phone company and ask them to redirect the abandoned phone number to your business line. Yes, it is that simple. And yes, it works. Once you redirect a former competitor’s old phone number, your phone will ring almost immediately. Prospects who are calling on those up and running advertisements will now be automatically forwarded to you. When prospects call, don’t be sneaky. Let them know that the company they are looking for is no longer in business, but you will gladly serve them. After you’ve checked all of the ads, start with the online phone listings for your local area. If you want to attract prospects outside of your region, check competitor’s listings in the toll-free directories, which you can also find online. Then, move on to other online directories. Search industry- specific directories for ads, sponsored listings and regular listings. For example, if you are in the party rental and supply business, you might find competitors in one of the resource directories for event planners. Don’t forget to check your old trade show directories. Most people hold on to their directories as a resource, so find out if any of your competitors listed in the directory have gone out of business and redirect all of their prospects to your company. And don’t stop there. There’s a lot of prospecting to be done. Redirect abandoned fax numbers, and then move on to web domains. You can often purchase dumped domains on the cheap, and then redirect the domain to your website. Besides the phone number and web domain strategy I just taught you, my favorite tactic is redirecting failed live events. If you know of a seminar, workshop or other live event that would attract your customer base, reach out to the event hosts two weeks before the event and find out if they plan to go through with the event as planned. Two weeks is right around the time events are cancelled due to low registration. If the hosts want to cancel, offer to partner with them to do a smaller, alternative event for those people who did register, and share in the revenue. You get access to the registrants who now see you as an authority (co-host), the attendees have a fantastic experience, and the original hosts save face by sending people to a more “intimate” event. It’s a win-win- win. So before you blow your budget on street signs, billboards, fancy websites, full- page ads or even live events, look around. It takes a few hours of your time to find abandoned opportunities, and just pennies (or nothing) to redirect prospects to your business. There’s a lot of gold out there. Happy digging. + PROFIT FIRST: A Simple System to Transform Any Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine by: mike michalowicz In Profit First, Michalowicz explains how this age-old accounting formula turns great businesses into cash-eating monsters, trapping you in a day-to-day, check-to-check struggle to survive. He reveals how to flip that “Frankenstein Formula” and take profit first without compromising your business, and why the Profit First Formula of Sales – Profit = Expenses actually forces innovation, supports sustained growth and skyrockets profits. BY: mike michalowicz KEYNOTE SPEAKER & AUTHOR Mike Michalowicz is the entrepreneur behind three multimillion dollar companies and is the author of Profit First. He is globally recognized as the guy who “challenges out dated business beliefs” and teaches us what to do about it. To learn more about Mike and get access to a treasure trove of entrepreneurial tips, visit MikeMichalowicz.com. 9