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How to create a good customer prospect list

The cornerstone of any successful marketing campaign is a quality customer prospect list.

With a quality customer prospect list, you’ll drive new clients, customers, and sales. Without it, your message won’t reach the right people and will fall flat.

Creating a customer prospect list can seem a bit daunting, especially if you’ve never done it before. This is why many businesses purchase their lists from third party vendors. Unless the list is highly targeted to your specific niche or industry, there’s a good chance it won’t be any good and you’ll have wasted your money.

We’ve put together a few tips on how you can start building your customer prospect list. Keep in mind that it will take time and effort to create a viable prospecting list, but the result will be more clients, sales, and customers.

Identify Target Customers

You’ll first need to identify your ideal target customers. Otherwise, you’ll be marketing to people who either don’t need or want your services or products. Age, income, location, and industries are all critical components that you should take into consideration when determining who your target customer is. Any new prospects you find will be very similar to your current set of clients or customers.

customer listsLook at Past Customer Data

Looking at who your past clients were can help determine who you should market to in the future. Look at your sales records, correspondence, data, and customer databases for clues as to what these people or businesses have in common.

If you haven’t created a customer database already, now is the time to do so. Try to segment past customers into buckets or groups that share one or more commonalities. This will help you laser-target your marketing efforts in the future by allowing you to send out a customized message using variable data printing to each bucket or group.

Build Out Customer Data

If you have compiled a list of inactive or past customers, there are most likely gaps in the data or outdated information.  You can fill in these gaps by using Google, LinkedIn, or Facebook to locate missing info on the prospects.

While this may seem like a slow, manual process, the more time and effort you put into it, the better your list will be. You can always task a low-level office employee with working on filling in the gaps for an hour a day.

Search Within Your Network

Do you have an extensive personal or professional network that you can tap into? If so, start adding these prospects to your list. The people you put on this list should closely match the ideal customer profile that you created in step 1.  

The thing about networks is that even if someone you’re connected to isn’t the right demographic, they might be willing to give you a referral.  You can always create a 2nd list of contacts from within your network who might be open to giving you a referral. Any new leads can then be added to the primary customer prospect list.

LinkedIn, Facebook, Google

Three of the most powerful online prospecting tools are Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Google

If you know the industry, niche, or demographics of your ideal prospect, try to find where they hang out on the internet. For example, is there a particular website or blog that they read? Try reaching out to the editor and see if they’ll let you write an article or pay for advertising.

Google can also be used to find contact information for your prospects. Familiarize yourself with the more advanced Google search operators to turbocharge your search efforts.

Facebook

There are millions of professional and niche Facebook groups that your prospects hang out or participate in. It should be noted that blatantly advertising your services or products is generally considered a “no-no.” Try participating in the groups and giving advice and the clients/customers will come naturally.

LinkedIn

For many industries, LinkedIn is the go-to online tool for client and customer research. They offer a paid version of their service which enables you to get in contact with your targets. Their search tools are very powerful and can help you find who you’re looking for quickly.

Client and Prospect List Building in Raleigh

The above few tips are just scratching the surface when it comes to building a high-quality customer prospect list. If you’re in need of new clients or customers, or you have allowed your old list to become stale and outdated, give us a call.

At AlphaGraphics, we’ve helped many local businesses in the Raleigh area create and improve their customer prospect lists. To learn more about how AlphaGraphics of Downtown Raleigh can create a list that will help drive new leads and sales, you may email us or request a quote or call us at (919) 832-2828.

Mike Linden

Posted by Mike Linden

Mike Linden is the Vice President of Operations at AlphaGraphics of Downtown Raleigh. He focuses on client relationships, daily operations, business development and digital marketing initiatives. Mike joined the firm in 2008.

Mike is a graduate of the University of North Carolina where he earned a degree in Economics.