Reach new customers
Now that you’ve determined which mix of customer is best suited to your local food distribution business, go get ‘em! Here are just a few sales tactics to get you started. Be creative, and remember that food is fun!
Start talking. People will love how easy your business makes it to access local food, and word of mouth is a powerful way to recruit customers. Encourage farmers, customers and other partners to spread the word. Consider more formal media, the press often responds well to stories about local economic development efforts. See our section on growing your relationship with current customers for more detailed tips on publicity ideas.
Search. Browse your local Edible magazine or social media sites like Facebook. Find food businesses who have donated to agricultural or environmental events. Check out the food section in the local newspaper or search online for articles about local food.
Attend events. Actively recruit from regional events that are focused on local food, or host your own meeting of growers and buyers.
Reach out. Create a short and friendly email template that you can send to prospective customers. Lead each email with a personal introduction, and invite them to further the conversation by phone or in person.
Set Goals. As you begin the outreach effort, set a goal of emailing 20 new customers each week. It can feel tedious, but this initial contact is how you build roots in your community. Remember that you are making it easier for food buyers to support local farms; many buyers will be excited to know you.