There’s an article by my colleague and fellow columnist Ilana DeBare which appeared a few weeks ago in the SF Chronicle (Section C-1) and on line which discussed mailing lists for small business owners. There’s a nice mention of my firm and first book, Telemarketing Success For Small and Mid-sized Firms as well as some great tips from me and other consultants on obtaining those lists. Be sure to check it out at
This info may come in handy whether you own a business, are putting together a mailing list for a fundraiser (Aids Walk) looking for new contacts or planning a company event and need the name of some key contacts.
Ilana’s column got me to thinking of other resources that you may want to check out.
Here are some of my top resources for finding leads that cost next to nothing. You’ve probably read a few of these in previous articles but since I am always on the hunt for new resources to share, view this as a more updated and comprehensive list.
1.Check out www.Craigslist.org and other free on line postings
Check on www.craigslist.com for prospects looking for services. While most of us use Craigslist to post a free ad, many of us forget to mine the ads listed for prospects looking for your services. This makes these leads warm instead of cold. And yes, while many of the postings request not be contacted by companies, many of them don’t mind at all. Why? Think about it. If you’re looking for a telemarketer and have posted an ad for over a month without much luck and you receive info on an affordable alternative, would you toss the info? I thought so. I’ve heard from many people who say they post and never get a response but here’s why. Consistency has to play a role in generating business. You can’t post a few times and expect to generate tons of leads. You have to post on a regular (weekly) basis to get results. The theory here is to not only mine the site for people looking for you but to also post enough times on the site to generate interest. In other words, allowing the prospects to come to you.
2. Search job postings like www.monster.com for leads
Leads come from many different sources and while many companies that post are looking for employees, it doesn’t hurt to send information on your services as well. Decision makers have become more flexible when it comes to finding the right person to handle projects. And while they may want to keep everything in-house or hire an employee sometimes it’s just not feasible or practical. In which case hiring an outside contractor makes more sense
3. Start conducting workshops to promote your business as well as to generate leads
One of the benefits to doing my job is that I get to teach people what I know. As an expert in my field for almost 30 years I am often called upon to share whatever cold calling tips that are pertinent to the needs of my workshop attendees. When you conduct a workshop in your chosen field you open the door to a world of new contacts and prospects. Whenever I conduct a workshop for the Small Business Administration, I generally get 30-40 attendees. Out of those attendees I will typically close 2-3 accounts. I also make sure that I get contact info from all attendees to add to my mailing list. This also helps me to build my database.