What type of services do you offer and why do they work better than seo?
I would be interested in what you are offering as well.
Mobile marketing (sms), loyalty programs, birthday marketing, connecting their print to mobile, and Facebook ads is what I usually open with. Then I move to converting websites to mobile friendly ( I generally try to move them to my servers when doing web dev), making sure their information is setup correctly in the directories (especially the big ones), and then SEO if needed.
I do not open with SEO for a couple of reasons. First most small businesses I talked to have been burnt by "SEO Experts" in the past and talking SEO to them makes them twitchy. Second is that it takes awhile to see any kind of response when doing SEO, it is a slow burn which makes it harder to keep the client relaxed about what you are doing.
All my opening services have a quick turn around as far as results go. I can go in and setup a mobile or Facebook campaign and they will be seeing trackable (very important) results in a few weeks. Once I have delivered results like I promised it is much easier to sell additional services that have a slower payoff like SEO because they now trust me to deliver the results.
A good thing about local is referrals, once you have a few happy local business clients adding more through referrals gets pretty easy which cuts down the selling part which for me is good as that is not something I really like doing.
I have been going to do a post on the best way to approach local. I have started it a few times but other stuff got in the way. I will see if I can finish knocking it out.