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Unlocking Your Treasure Trove Of Contacts Can Uncover A Gem Of A Customer

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When we are setting up new telemarketing campaigns, one of the first questions clients ask is “will you provide the database”?

Probably the single-largest determinant of success for a marketing campaign is the prospect list: the potential customers you want to target. The initial reaction of most A&P clients is immediately to go out and buy a chunk of names by size of company in their local area. But often this is a very crude way of deciding where you want to get customers from.

By far the best source of new business is people you know. Perversely, many people new to marketing argue that, if they have not bought yet, well they won’t buy if I ask them again. No! No! No!

One marketing theory states that future customers need to be exposed to your company 7 times before they make the decision to buy from you. So you are far better contacting people that you have met at networking meetings, that are fellow members of a Chamber of Commerce, may have seen your advert, visited an event you exhibited at or in any other way may have been exposed to your company or product.

So the very best list is in fact your existing customers to whom you can cross-sell or up-sell. So always start with your own contact base.

Hopefully, as a consummate networker, you enter the details of every person you meet at networking events onto your contact database. Almost everyone has Outlook and that offers a great basic contact management tool. Even if you don’t think you will do business with someone, if you pick up their card, they should go on your database.

So let’s assume you have been systematic. If you meet on average 10 people at an event, you attend one a week, in three years you will have 1500 new people on your database. What a goldmine!

Next, before you market to them, you need to segment the prospects. Rarely is their location of prime relevance, even though A&P clients often ask for appointments near them. In most cases you probably communicate 90% of the time with your clients on the telephone or via email.

So pick the industry sectors and company sizes that are most likely to be interested in your product. The time you spend carving up your existing database will pay dividends. Because you will get a better response rate which means your money or time spent on telemarketing will reap you much better returns.

Andy Szebeni is director of sales training and telemarketing company A&P. For more information and free tips and hints go to


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  • Posted On December 16, 2006
  • Published articles 283513

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