Sources and Tips for Building Your Prospect List
Your prospect list is your most critical asset. This database may be dozens or thousands but includes the contact information (name, title, email, phone number, company background, etc.) of people who have the need and ability to purchase your product or service.
How do you build your prospect list? Some businesses build their lists themselves through the free sources below and their own contacts. Other businesses invest in paid subscriptions or services where the vetting process (verification of contact information) is done by someone else. Most businesses do a combination of outside paid lists with inside contacts:
- Jigsaw (paid) packages available with salesforce.com
- Hoovers (paid)
- Infousa (paid)
- Sales genie (paid)
- Experian (paid)
- US Data Corporation (paid)
- Industry Associations (free and paid)
- State Departments of Commerce, Local Chambers of Commerce (free and paid)
- Yellow pages (free)
- Industry Directories (free)
- Local business libraries with access to ResourceUSA database (free)
- LinkedIn (free and paid)
More is Not Better
While is may seem that more leads will eventually lead to more sales, the quality (especially for small businesses) is even more important than the quantity.
- Focus on narrow, targeted prospect definitions rather than large sweeping markets. You will save money on paid leads and your time in chasing prospects where you do not have a compelling advantage.
- Look to your own contacts. Your warmest leads are those that know you or are referred by a trusted source. Linked In is a fantastic free source for building your network and seeing where you can easily get introductions. It is also a wealth of detailed information about company structure, issues and needs.
- Start with smaller campaigns. Rather than starting with a large list of thousands of target prospects, test your sales process with a select group of leads and grow from there. Take advantage of free trials with lead list services and test the leads (call or email) to make sure the contacts are accurate and not “stale”.
To learn more about selecting and converting sales leads, join us July 28th for a free webinar at 1pm ET with Jill Konrath, author of Selling to Big Companies. Register here – you’ll have access to the recording and you will get a free copy of the Sales Call Planning Guide.