Hate cold calling? I don’t blame you, most of us do, yet it’s something that the majority of us have done at one point or another. You have a new business and you’re in desperate need of some clients and customers; what are some things you can try besides cold calling?

Direct Mail:: Rather than spending your time knocking on doors, send potential customers a pressure-free advertisement. Of course, do your research first and target your mailing audience! Send them a coupon, an invitation, something that will get them to take action. Make sure your piece is attractive, easy to read and of value to them. Then, if you don’t get any response, you have a conversation starter if you decide to call on them. “I’m just following up on the flyer you should have received in the mail last week about our buy one get one special …..”

Where can you find your type of customer? Trying to start a business relationship is not much different than trying to establish a personal one. You want to meet people who fit into your target market. If you’re selling baby products you don’t want to be spending your time at the local senior citizens facility. However, you may want to visit the local daycares with free samples and promotional materials.

Media Relations:: Being part of a feature news story is free. You can’t beat that price. In order to get media attention you need to fine tune your public relations skills. Establish a strong contact list and form relationships with them. Write strong pitches and press releases. Give them something to write about! Things like hosting an event or donating to a local charity are great reasons for the media to write about you and your company!

Display:: By participating in already established events, you can take advantage of the already captive audience. Purchasing space at trade shows and expos can be great exposure for your products. Do your research first and select events that pertain to your niche. Be chatty and talk with as many potential customers as you can. Be sure to offer brochures or giveaways that they can walk away with. Also, don’t forget to talk with other vendors, you don’t want to miss an opportunity for excellent networking!

Network:: Network, network, network. Always network. It doesn’t matter if you’re at the local farmer’s market or the monthly meeting of your town’s Chamber of Commerce, be ready to talk about your business. You never know when the opportunity may strike. You can make plenty of opportunities for yourself by joining groups and community committees.

Don’t these things sound a whole lot better than cold calling?