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How To Profit From The Advertising Done By Other Businesses

Mar 12, 2008
Inside other businesses right in your locality are people, and those people could benefit from the goods and services you offer. In other words, business people are customers too, and what makes them so easy to reach is that businesses are continually handing out their contact details. Take advantage of this by picking up prospects from advertising information.

This is a great way to expand your prospect base which, as all serious business marketers know, is the basis of an effective marketing effort and finally their sales success. Sales are based on the percentage of successful prospects, so it is a numbers game. The more prospects you have the greater the chances of being able to set up an appointment to meet with them and gain their business.

Ideally you should computerize your prospects' names and contact details in a contact management program on your computer, but if you do not have access to a computer yet you can create a manual card file using plain 3" x 5" index cards. You could also use a ledger. One way or another you are going to have to keep control of the information you will gather because there is plenty of it out there.

Here is a good way to go about getting the information you need from the advertising efforts of other businesses:
1. Know what you are looking for
You will be looking out for the name of the business, the full address including the zip code, the telephone number and the names of the owner, management and staff with their titles.

2. Keep a handle on the leads gathering process
You will be amazed at the number of business leads there are out there. Get a notebook or a recorder or just use your laptop to record all the details while you are on the road. You can transfer the information to a contact management system later.

3. Use the yellow pages and other business directories
When you have a spare couple of hours visit your local library and use either Contacts Influential, Inside Contacts or any other printed directory. Then create leads using the geographical section (by zip code) or the SIC (Standard Industry Code) Section. Where the businesses are grouped together by type e.g. electricians, undertakers, etc.

4. Make the most of the local newspapers
Newspapers are just packed with leads waiting to be cherry-picked. In addition, you can learn a lot about your industry from the newspapers. Take note of what other businesses in your niche are advertising and what they are advertising. Read the business section for announcements of new businesses that may be targeted to your niche.

5. Make a point of picking up every free business directory you can find
There are plenty of free papers, flyers, brochures and local businesses directory available free on stands outside of frequently visited businesses, like real estate offices and restaurants. These are often well-targeted e.g. senior citizens, sportsmen, etc. so an appropriate free advertising sheet could be just stacked with potential leads.

6. There is gold in your junk mail!
Even businesses who dump junk mail in your mailbox or inbox could be a prospect for your business. Keep adding them to the database.

7. Here are many more sources of potential contacts.
Magazines, radio ads, junk emails, local TV advertising, chamber of commerce directories, business directories, direct mail coupons, billboards, church bulletins, business cards displayed in supermarkets and restaurants, trade show brochures and mobile advertising units

8. Differentiate your leads from your contacts.
You might want to have one database for your leads or potential contacts and another for those that you have already contacted and are one their way to being customers, or are already your clients. This is a good way to get plenty of targeted communication going with prospective and existing customers.

9. Business-to-business cold calls can be a pain in the neck.
Don't call a restaurant during the peak times like breakfast, lunch or dinner. If you aren't sure of the schedule of the business you are contacting at least be sensitive. Ask the person who answers the phone when the best time would be to call your prospects.
About the Author
James Copper is a writer for http://www.marketinglinx.com where you can find out how to do your own low cost advertising
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