A well-maintained database of your ad agency prospecting list is one of the most important new business tools you can have. It brings order to a generally disorderly process.
Here are some important issues concerning your prospecting list.
Maintaining the list is the sole responsibility of your agency new business developer. This person regularly reviews and updates the list (at least twice a year).
Assemble your list from a variety of sources.
- Purchased lists of prospects.
- Chamber of Commerce
- Organizations (such as Sales & Marketing Executives)
- Personal knowledge
- Media reps
- Online search and media
Keep your list clean. Statistics show that advertising/marketing lists “churn” every twelve months. Contacts change, CEOs leave, addresses need minor updates, etc. Print “address correction requested” on all mail pieces.
Have “A,” “B” and “C” lists.
A list – A-1 Prospects – The companies that you determine through your criteria selection process are best suited to become your new accounts—NOW! This is a highly targeted list of no more than 50 to 100 names. These are companies with whom you really want to do business because they are prestigious, financially sound, highly visible companies within whose industries you have some expertise, or companies that are geographically near you.
B List – Qualified prospects you would be happy to work with. These companies and businesses could be bread and butter accounts for your agency, but not really reputation-boosting or particularly “sexy.” They help the agency’s bottom line—or could connect you with people on the “A” list.
C list – Editors, friends, influences, etc. These are people who can send business your way or who want to hear about your success.
Current software offers the flexibility to arrange names by different fields so they can be sorted many different ways. A good tip is to put each and every piece of individual data into a separate field. This allows you to sort by industry, location, financial stability, business-to-consumer versus business-to-business, etc.
Our good friend Mark Sneider at RSW/US have just offered a new list resource. Check it out and let us know what you think.
Here are some other list resources: