Building a Prospect Database
HOw to build an effective customer and prospect list
There are many ways to build a prospect database, but none can add new prospects as quickly as buying a list. Still, these methods are worth trying since they don't cost much and they generally result in better prospects than commercial lists. In addition, unlike buying rights to use a commercial list, leads you generate yourself belong to you completely. You can use them however you see fit.
Note: Databases are critical.
The value of your business is quantified by the quality of your customer base.
The more detailed and accurate the better.
Use these techniques to build your own prospect database:
1) The old-fashioned cold call is a surefire way to build a database of customers and potential leads. But don’t stop there. Remember that every time a person on your staff comes in contact with a prospect, their information should be added to your database
2) Join prominent community organizations: Chambers of Commerce, convention and visitors bureaus and charitable groups. Participate in community events where you can reach your target market.
3) Cross-pollinate with businesses that target similar markets. For example, a hair salon and a clothing boutique or an accounting firm and law firm. Share lists, swap brochures and promotional materials, offer discounts to each other’s customers, or co-sponsor events such as an educational seminar for clients of both businesses.
4) Provide registration cards at events and conduct periodic surveys.
5) Business card fish bowls at tradeshows and online registration forms are other ways to capture information on your prospects to build a database.
6. Collect business cards everywhere you go, with new people you meet, make sure you gather their contact information and qualify what level of a lead that they are for you.