In a previous column I wrote about several resources for generating cold calling lists which cost next to nothing. Here are some other resources I´ve found particularly useful"?¦.
Chamber of Commerce- The San Francisco Chamber offers listings of members both on line and in their monthly printed newsletter. The listings are updated every month and contain basic contact information usually with the name of the owner or decision maker. And you don´t need to be a member to view the directory. The directory lists various industries and while not every chamber posts their listings for free, it´s worth it to do a bit of research to find one that does. Simply print out the names of the contacts you´re interested in and you´ve got an instant list.
Networking groups are also great for putting together a cold calling list. The beauty is that the list isn´t so cold because the list is of contacts you´ve already made; therefore you´ve already established a rapport. Immediately after attending a function, I send an e-mail thanking the contact for their time. I also send info on my firm so they have a better understanding of my services. Networking groups put you in contact with individuals you might not otherwise meet. For example, I recently attended the San Francisco Book of Lists Party at the very swanky Four Seasons Hotel. The function was a celebration of the top firms listed in the book in their various industries. While I was nowhere near getting into the book, I did manage to snag a free invitation thanks to my buddy C.P. And because I know how to work a room, I walked away with well over 30 phone numbers.
In an earlier piece I wrote about teaching classes at the Learning Annex and the Small Business Administration. Not only are these great opportunities to promote your work and firm, it´s a great way to gather business cards for your database. And surprise, it´s also a targeted audience because if they´ve come specifically to hear your presentation then they obviously have an interest in your industry (and possibly your services). If you conduct enough workshops, you´ll quickly discover that you´ve developed quite the database.
And don´t forget public records. Public records are great for those of you looking to put together a listing of residential phone numbers and addresses. They are often free or low cost and can be generated in a relatively short period of time (usually a few weeks).
Lastly, I like Craigslist.org as a way of mining leads. If you do a specific search for a particular industry (in the business services section) you´ll notice a myriad of listings will appear. For example type in" insurance" or "mortgage" and up comes at least 50 listings for mortgage brokers or insurance firms. And don´t forget associations and BNI Groups (business network) as a way of generating list.
Tony Wilkins is the author of "Telemarketing Success for Small and Mid-sized Firms available in most bookstores and online at www.amazon.com and www.xlibris.com you may also find out about his workshops and services at
http://stores.ebay.com/telemarketing-success via e: mail at email@example.com or phone 415-267-4872 .If you´d like to be notified of a new posting for this column ,please contact Tony Wilkins at firstname.lastname@example.org