Offline Marketers How Do You Find Out The Names of Your Potential Customers?

11 replies
Buenas tardes Guerreros!

I've got this little problem.
I've got a list of potential customers, but I don't know their
names... I've checked out their websites, I've done a
database search and I've found nothing.

How do you write to people when you don't know their names,
because "Dear owner, blah blah blah" approach
kind of sucks.

Any suggestions?

#customers #find #marketers #names #offline #potential
  • Profile picture of the author TimCastleman
    I bought a list of every business in the US that included the business owners name that had been updated within 30 days. That way I can personalize the stuff I send them.

    It cost me about 4k but it is was worth it. I offered the list for sale for your city (if you're in the US or Canada) for $20 or $40 for the entire state via a WSO.

    Another way you could do it is call each business and ask for the owners name - most of them will give it up.

    Good luck.

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  • Profile picture of the author artwebster
    Hi, Robertas,

    Prospecting seems to be a dying art although for the offline sector it definitely needs to be revived.

    It isn't enough, sometimes, to find out who owns a business - you need to discover who the decision maker is. Far and away the easiest way to do this is smply to telephone the company and explain that you have a new idea about marketing and finding new customers and that you would like to send some information in the post to the right person.

    Just walking in to a company and asking can pay huge dividends if you have a nice laid back approach.

    If they are all reasonably local, you could walk round them all and, if they have reserved parking spaces, you might even get the names from the notices.

    Visit your local library and check on Kompass - this is an annual publication and is seldom out of date or visit your local Chamber of Trade and check out their directory.

    One sneaky way to get the name is to walk in to the business and say that you have an appointment with Mr. Wagner, their sales manager, about better use of their web site. You will almost certainly be told that Mr Wagner is not their sales manager and Mr Brown deals with the web site. Handle it from there.

    You might not like what I say - but I believe it.
    Build it, make money, then build some more
    Some old school smarts would help - and here's to Rob Toth for his help. Bloody good stuff, even the freebies!

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  • Profile picture of the author Robertas
    Thank you very much Tim and Arthur!

    Arthur all I can say is "WOW" this is some serious advice. thanks one more time

    "Money doesn't make you happy. I now have $50m, but I was just as happy when I had $48m." Arnold Schwarzenegger

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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Robertas, since you are simply mining for information at this point, the telephone is your friend.

      At this point, you may not want to tip your hand. Rather than saying, in effect, "I have something to sell you," you may want to simply be an assistant doing an assignment.

      Something like...

      "Hi, I sure hope you can help me. I'm supposed to mail this packet to the person who handles your marketing, but the name is missing. Who should I address it to, to make sure it gets to the right person? Joe Blow? That's B-L-O-W? Got it. Thank you very much, you sure helped me out. What was your name again? Jane, thanks again, have a great day..."

      The whole call usually takes less than a minute. You haven't lied - you are supposed to mail the packet and the name is missing.

      When you send the packet, include a hand-written note - addressed to Jane - thanking her for her efficient help and pleasant manner. The person who gets the packet will pass the note along to Jane (or Jane's direct superior), and you'll have a friend in that company for as long as Jane works there.

      If that doesn't work, there's almost always a unit of local government who can tell you who the company principles are. When you send you packet, put your sales materials in another envelope. Another hand-written note - this time to the company principle - explaining that you've sent some information on making the company website more effective, and asking him/her to give the details to the right person.

      Three possibilities here...

      > Your packet goes in the round file.

      > Your packet lands on the right person's desk, with the boss's implied endorsement.

      > Your packet already reached the decision maker, and curiosity will likely force them to at least open the packet.

      More information than you asked for, but, hey, I aim to over-deliver...
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  • Profile picture of the author Gabe77
    Usually the corporate websites list the contact number of the business. Try calling them first before buying a list of businesses in your locale. Or you can try the yellow pages. All the best to you.
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  • Profile picture of the author absolutelee
    The telephone works well. Business owners appreciate someone with enough moxie to just pick up the phone and call. You can ask the receptionist who owns the company and who should you contact about marketing. If they actually send you to the owner, then be prepared with an "elevator" speech. Something you can tell them in 20 seconds or less. If you're nervous, don't go for the close. Just say that you've got some information that will help them slash their marketing costs. Be bold. All you have to do is ask if you can send it to him or her. 99% of people will say yes. Now you've got a relationship going. Mail the stuff, then call back in about 4 days "just to see if it arrived". Go for the appointment then.

    (Before the "Do not call list" stuff, I was a face-to-face salesperson for about a decade. I got most of my leads myself through cold calling 100+ people a day.)

    Hope that helps.

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  • Profile picture of the author Pete Egeler
    Directory Assistance Plus - Yellow Pages, White Pages & Reverse Phone Search Put in the name of the company, and away you go. #2, check your local Chamber of Commerce website and look at their members directory.

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    • Profile picture of the author Kyle Tully
      You can always call up and ask
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      • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
        For US businesses you can try using (you can often get the name free).

        For the UK

        And for Australia you might try the yellow pages online.

        The advice here is good.

        Many internet marketers forget that for most small business owners the preferred way of making enquiries and doing a lot of business initially is over the telephone.

        As long as you're not coming across like a sales person business owners are usually happy to talk to you on the phone.

        And with any amount of ingenuity (or just straight out asking) it's not difficult to get a business owner's name if someone else answers the business phone...

        Kindest regards,
        Andrew Cavanagh
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  • Profile picture of the author Robertas
    I just came back from school, I've checked this thread and... I am amazed! Seriously guys - I am really thankful for the advice!

    At the moment I've printed out 25 letters and I am about to go to send those letters out. I've decided to stick to "Dear owner of" approach... I know that the response rate won't be high, but... at least I took action

    If I won't get any responses till' Thursday, then I'll try every tactic you've mentioned over here to see what happens.

    "Money doesn't make you happy. I now have $50m, but I was just as happy when I had $48m." Arnold Schwarzenegger

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  • Profile picture of the author GoPeterB
    how did your response rate go?
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