This was a question asked on a VA forum. The new VA had suggested she might go cold calling and wanted suggestions on what to do. This is my answer to her.
I would recommend, that rather go out and doing cold calling, you actually spend time meeting people and getting to know them. Networking is what you want to do, rather than recruiting. Networking is about meeting people, getting to know them and their needs, developing relationships.
If you don’t already know a number of business people you can let know what you’re doing, then find out about local networking groups where business people meet together, whether formally or informally. Take an interest in who they are, what they do and you’ll find they will return the favour. And if you make sure you turn up regularly they’ll get to feel they know you and trust you and will not only ask you to assist them, but will also refer you to others.
Over the years the most successful way to get a client has been through word-of-mouth (otherwise known as WOM Marketing) and you’ll find business people the world over say the same thing.
If you don’t know of any business networks, then start thinking about the people you meet/see regularly. If you have kids then this might be through a nursery, playschool, kinder, school, college, i.e. the parents – what do they do and where do they work? Or it might be a sporting club, gym, church or anywhere else. Be engaging – get people talking about themselves. Because it’s through that, you learn about their needs and eventually (hopefully sooner than later) you’ll be able to show them ways you can assist them.
Hope this helps.