3 Reasons Why I’ll Never Sell To Local Businesses Again

3 Reasons Why I’ll Never Sell To Local Businesses Again

– Was on a call recently with a guy that sells Facebook ads and he was selling almost
exclusively to local businesses, so dentists, doctor’s
offices, restaurants, that sort of thing, and I had to tell him, I told him these three stories that I’m about to tell you today. Three stories that demonstrate why I’ll never work for
small businesses again, and why enterprise is the place to be. So, let’s jump into it, I’m Alex Berman. When I first moved to New York, I was doing cold calling
for a company called Vimbly, and we would go out, it
was an event booking site, so we had to go and cold call a lot of different local businesses to try to get them on the platform, and it was a slog. And mainly that was because
of the unpredictability, so here are three scenarios. Number one, it’s super competitive. So, I was in an Indian
restaurant a couple days ago and I had order my meal and everything, I walked over to the checkout and I looked over at the wall, and they had six different iPads. Well, two of them were iPads, I think the other four were Android, but they each were
running a different app. One had Amazon’s delivery service, one had Yelp’s delivery service, Seamless, Grubhub, they
all had their own app. And I asked the woman
who was running this, do the apps provide these iPads for you or do you have to buy them? And she said she had to
buy six different iPads to support the different apps, which paints a bigger picture which is, since restaurants
and other local businesses are frequented by basically everybody, everyone eats at restaurants, they’re the first to pop into our minds when it comes to business ideas, which means everybody’s
trying to sell to them. Having some competition in a market’s good but you never wanna be competing with thousands of other people, and I can only imagine, if they have six iPads
ready at their restaurant, how many people were pitching them that didn’t get their SaaS or get their order platforming bought? It’s an extreme example but in B2B it’s a lot more accepted. For instance, you might only
have one CRM at your company, we use Base, and there are dozens, if
not hundreds of other CRMs to choose from, Pipedrive, Salesforce,
there’s hundreds of them, and you can only pick one as a business. But if you are in the CRM space, at least you know the
biggest player, Salesforce, has a terrible quality CRM. So, there’s a weakness there, right? Selling to local businesses and trying to do an order taking platform, you’re gonna be competing with some very entrenched competitors. Seamless has an amazing platform, Amazon has an amazing platform, Uber is now building this
delivery platform that’s great, so there’s just too
much competition there. Point number two is, local businesses don’t check their email. I was talking to a client recently that sells to medical
doctors and he was saying, hey, cold email’s not working, what can we do to fix it? So, we took a couple steps back, did some market research, and we figured out that
cold emails aren’t working for doctors because one, if you do get a doctor’s
exact email address, let’s say he has two
chances throughout the day, at maximum, to check his email, so he’s probably gonna mouse right by it, or not even open the email. Or two, if you are selling
in a doctor’s offices, it’s most likely gonna
go to the receptionist, and that receptionist is also super busy. So, for local businesses
a lot of the times, and we were doing this at Vimbly as well, we tried a cold email
campaign, did not work at all, a lot of the times you
just have to cold call them because local businesses, they have to answer in
case it’s a customer. They don’t have to answer the email, and for us on this channel, I’m a big proponent of cold
emails for booking meetings. Cold emails will never work in a system where people don’t check their emails. That’s not saying that sales to local businesses don’t work at all, there’s other channels. So, for instance, for this guy, his solution was drop-ins. Literally walking into
the doctor’s offices and trying to get an appointment that way. Another client we were talking to, I went through all of
the lead-gen channels that were working for local businesses, and the winner for him
was going to live events. He was selling to chiropractors and if a chiropractor’s going to an event, usually they’re trying
to grow their business, so that was a good fit for him. Cold email might not be
the marketing channel that you wanna use for
these local businesses, but you can find another marketing channel where they hang out. And then the third reason I don’t sell to local businesses
anymore is weird drama. My cousin runs a medical supply business that he’s slowly taking
over from his father. The father still works in this business four hours a day doing back office work. The son is completely stretched thin, and the wife’s still in there, they’re employing a lot of family, and the reason why I
bring up that dynamic is, when you’re targeting a business that’s maybe five, six employees and a lot of them are family, like a lot of these local businesses are, you’ll run into these weird dynamics. So, for instance, one time at Vimbly we were trying to list a
cooking class on our platform and I had gotten the marketing
guy completely bought in on why it’s worth listing on our platform, why it was worth selling through, and then the deal just never closed. And I was able to follow up
with him a couple of weeks later and figure out why it didn’t close, and it was just, he couldn’t
get his dad on board, and he didn’t think we
should have a meeting with the father. So, there’s a lot of
weird dynamics like that that you never would run
into with larger companies. So, what’s the solution, right? Solution is to go after
enterprise companies, if you can target companies
over $10 million in revenue, but at least target two,
three million in revenue where they’re an established business, they’re real, you’re not gonna
run into any of these issues. If you find this video
valuable, be sure to like it to encourage this type
of content on YouTube. Subscribe for more B2B sales training, and if you need marketing support for your digital agency,
check out Experiment27.com. Thanks.

25 thoughts on “3 Reasons Why I’ll Never Sell To Local Businesses Again

  1. Alex, Great as always. Wouldn’t you think the appropriate target market is dependent upon the product. It feels like your organizations best value is in volume with cold emails (which I agree with). I wouldn’t necessarily pigeon hole all sales opportunities into 2 million plus. If I’ve taken the wrong meaning with your video I apologize but that seems to be the messaging.

  2. Hey Alex, I'm in the same boat. I stopped marketing to local businesses last month. I'm in a weird position right now where I want to market to enterprises but I dont have a the required infrastructure to support that (employees, automated systems etc).
    I'm planning to shore up those deficiences over the coming month or two and then target enterprises..after going through your channel extensively I understand that the best way to get enterprise clients is by acquiring or scraping emails through places like LinkedIn or buying it off directories such as infousa and then cold emailing them for a meeting for outbound marketing?
    Also whats the best way to get enterprises through inbound? Speaking engagements/Being a guest on podcasts and blogs and being featured in other media sites?

  3. This really hit the nail on the head as I'm in the same exact position (selling to local businesses) – I really want to tap into the enterprise system, but I don't really have much knowledge of that market, and that's what's holding me back from tying to enter that market

  4. Your #3 is, unfortunately so true, and a massive factor. Its why I pivoted out of it too and never looked back!

  5. Alex, I'm glad to have found your channel. Seems like some solid advice from real experience. I am completing my second reputation marketing app at Wombot.io (Word Of Mouth BOT) within the next few weeks and really need to switch gears and concentrate on distribution and sales, I've got an awesome marketing tool and now I just need the awesome megaphone to spread the word. Take a look and let me know if you can help. Your videos might have just gotten your next client!


  6. Best way to sell to enterprise is as easy as setting up coffee with someone that's in charge of the department of the company you're selling to.

  7. Alex…Man! You just said it as it is here! I've been trying to sell Facebook Ads to local businesses and haven't had much success since I begun 2 months ago. I'll really have to revisit everything to make sure I'm reaching the right businesses. Thank you for this!

  8. Hey Alex,
    A question for someone just starting out, no clients so no experience. How would you make an effective website? I'm starting a social media management agency. (probably be more freelance for a bit)

  9. I've also noticed the same while selling my ad services to small businesses. Another point is- They don't have budget.

  10. Brilliant. I completely agree. Also, employees at larger companies are more often bored instead of frantic. They have more time to talk to strangers.

  11. Wow man, I've been binge watching youtube vids on selling internet marketing services last few days and came across this vid with skepticism but you brought up solid points. While I don't believe in absolutes and every market is different, it's good to know what potential issues might arise and if possible, avoid all the bs that might come with it. Subbed to your channel. Keep up the good work

  12. All of these are very specific problems that any sales guy will deal with regularly or look to avenues that avoid. I guess it depends on what you're selling and how your prospecting is going. I get 60%+ email responses from "local and small business owners" but in different niches with higher margins. These are cold emails – i'm even getting replies from "[email protected]" emails. These are all very specific issues that will only effect a small amount of your pitches, if any, depending on the niche. Of course Doctors aren't answering emails, but roofers, landscapers, luxury tour guides, solar installers, etc are answering emails all the time.

  13. What if you’re a fairly new freelance copywriter? I’m working to build my business part time while I continue supporting myself with my day job. What market if not small businesses should I aim for?

  14. They ask you to wait for 2 or 3 hours. They think you are a sales man came to sell some common stuff that they already have.

  15. The fucking owner of dealership made me wait for 3 weeks and failed to attend the conference call when he said he would.

  16. In a previous video you said SMBs live in their email. This video you say the complete opposite. Has something changed for you?

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