We get many questions about how to expand the customer base when you are a small business. This is a key part for most small businesses since failing to attract new clients constantly will prevent you from generating more sales and profits.

In this guide, we are going to talk about one method that can significantly boost your client list and encourage growth.

There isn’t much information about the Results In Advance (RIA) marketing method online, and there’s a good reason for this. You’d be surprised at the amount of money that people pay for this kind of marketing know-how.

Why do they pay money for this knowledge? Because it’s so much more effective than any type offoot-in-the-door’ technique.

We’ll explain the entire strategy in detail below, but here’s the short version: The RIA method is about getting the prospect to react initially with ‘Okay, what’s next?’.

If you open the conversation by providing value for FREE, you significantly boost your chances of converting local businesses into loyal clients.

The advantages of using Results in Advance

By opening the conversation with a measurable result, you and your business will benefit in a couple of ways:

  • You show the potential client what you’re talking about and that your business has the solution.
  • You boost your chances of building a lasting relationship with the prospect since you’re willing to help them without expecting anything in return.
  • You put yourself in a position where you can make a business proposition that looks like a no-brainer.

It might sound like bad business to out value for free, but this will help you create a loyal mass of local customers.

The key to using the RIA method successfully is to offer it at a personal level – this makes it ideal for prospecting local businesses because it allows you to establish trust very early in the conversation.

PS: DO NOT confuse this tactic with a regular freemium strategy.

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Results in Advance (RIA) – How It Works

The Results in Advance (RIA) method is designed to build faith by providing value before walking the prospect from point A to point B – point A being their current state and point B being their ultimate goal.

By giving the potential customer positive expectancy and letting them see how attainable their goal is, you are opening all doors to a successful product pitch.

The effectiveness of this method is by no means an accident – it leverages several principles of influences that top-tier marketers use to sell their products: Liking, Commitment, Consistency, Reciprocity and, Authority.

By now, you might be wondering how you can apply this RIA method to your particular business. We’ll get to it in a while.

Using the RIA method to convert local businesses into clients

The good news is you have your work cut out for you.

There’s a reason why traditional marketing strategies are not as effective as they used to be. Prospects are no longer responding to pushy pitches and foot-in-the-door (FITD) techniques.

This is why honest marketing is slowly becoming the norm. I can guarantee you that almost every business has received at least a dozen “stellar opportunities” from marketers promising to take their business to new heights.

But because most of these pitches require money in advance and there’s no apparent guarantee that the investment will produce results, most are not even considered.

This is why we decided to create a guide that will teach our customers how to sign local businesses using the RIA method.

Below you have a series of steps that will teach you the basics of RIA. Try to adapt them to your business operation and your particular client persona.

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Step 1: Choose the leading result

Positive expectancy is the number one emotion that causes people to BUY. If a prospect can visualize the result, they believe that their end goal is within their grasp.

Faith is the ultimate closer when it comes to converting leads into clients.

Regardless of whether the prospect actually ends up using your result or not, they can visualize themselves using it.

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PS: It’s important to understand that the goal is not to trick the prospect into believing that your product or service is amazing. It’s genuinely about providing value in advance to convince your prospects that they need whatever you’re selling.

With this in mind, think long and hard about what your business has to offer and decide on something that you can use as FREE value, without giving too much away.

FREE value can be anything from a boost in their rankings to good advice – it depends on the services that you offer. The goal here is to identify a selling point capable of helping prospects visualize their end goal.

Step 2: Sketch out your plan

Now that you decided on the result that you’ll offer for free, it’s time to create a viable plan that applies to your business and it’s prospects.

The best way that you can do this is to stretch out a timeline with hash-marks. The hash-marks represent those milestones that the potential customer has to reach on his way to the end goal.

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*Step 1 is leading with the result and Step 4 is extracting the value. It’s up to you if you want to provide additional results until the closing moment.

Note: If you decide on using a four-step plan, think of a couple more additional milestones that will keep the prospect interested until the final pitch.

The ultimate goal is to create a plan that will encourage your prospect to move up the timeline gradually and gain trust in your business at every step of the way. 

Because you will open the conversation by delivering results, the prospect will naturally want more in his quest to reach the end goal. But there’s one more thing left to do before we establish contact…

Step 3: Research your prospects

Taking the time to research your prospects before using the RIA method on them is essential. 

It’s helpful to know your particular client persona, but it’s crucial that you form the habit of researching the background of every prospect, their operations, and the marketing strategies that they deploy.

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Dig for areas in which your product (or service) can genuinely help the business. Then, think of a way to present it in the form of the solution.

This information will help you position your product or service as a natural stepping stone for the prospected business.

Practical Example

Let’s say that the service that you’re offering is about helping businesses rank higher in search results.

Take the time to research how much money the prospect is currently spending on paid ads. Then, start thinking of ways to convince the prospect that you have a better way, and it costs less.

Step 4: Use the leading result

This step is highly dependent on your type of business and the type of result that you decided to go with.

Regardless of the result that you’re leading with, make sure that it’s of genuine help to the potential client. It’s essential that you catch the prospect off-guard. Remember that you’re looking to get that ‘Okay, what’s next?’ reaction.

Now that you have your things in order, prepare yourself. It’s time to acquire some new clients.

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Step 5: Establishing contact with the prospect

You have the plan and you’ve armed yourself with the required information. It’s time to put things into motion.

PS: We previously stated that the RIA method works best when deployed at a personal level, but don’t take it too literally. You don’t have to go knocking on your prospects doors in order to present the result. Well, you can if you want to…

Feel free to use social media (Facebook, LinkedIn) or via email, but don’t stick to the official channels of communications (business account, support email address, etc.). Instead, try to contact the business owner directly or at least someone that is qualified to hear you out.

When opening the conversation with the prospect, try to be as natural as possible and don’t say anything that will give the impression that you’re eager to pitch something.

Practical example

Let’s say that your business offers SEO services to local businesses. Now, imagine opening the conversation with a prospect by asking them if they noticed an improvement in their website traffic during these last few days.

If the answer is Yes. Why?’ and you reply with That was us’, we guarantee that you’ve just made a huge leap towards closing them as clients.

This is what the Results in Advance (RIA) method is all about. You’re massively boosting your chances of closing them as clients before pitching them your service or product.

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Step 6: Turn the prospect into a long-term client

Now that opened the conversation with the potential client by providing value without trying to extract money, pitching your product to them is so much easier.

Since the prospect already saw palpable results, he is now wide open for the closing stage.

Often times, you won’t even have to pitch them your product or service since they will naturally ask if you can deliver the same results on a regular basis.

In case your service is not requested, make sure that you leverage the results researched at Step 3 and casually mention that you deliver those same results for a number of other businesses. But don’t mention any competitors!

Because the potential client can already visualize achieving the results, there’s a high chance that you’ve just closed a new long-term client. Congratulations!

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We really hope that this guide helped you understand the know-how behind the Results in Advance (RIA) method.

Of course, you’ll have to tailor it to accommodate your business and your client persona, but the results are just as effective regardless of the business niche.

Keep in mind that RIA is not limited to leading with actual results – the same effect can be achieved by helping your prospects mentally visualize themselves achieving the results.