A prospect list is a list of potential clients who could benefit from your products/services of a business. These are the people that you will want to target with your marketing campaigns, with a view to turning them into clients.
You should aim to have a pipeline of prospect clients so that whenever one prospect is closed, you are already marketing to the next one.
Here is our step-by-step guide to building a prospect list for your business.
Identify what your ideal prospect looks like
- Who is your ideal customer?
- Review your existing client base to determine commonalities
- Consider company size (turnover, employees, number of premises), market sector, geographic location etc.
- Identify who is the key decision-maker within the company for your products/services – e.g. Finance Director, Director of Sales, Managing Director, HR Manager etc.
Build your prospect list
- Identify potential prospects that meet your criteria above. Useful sources include:
- Social media: LinkedIn and Twitter
- Professional membership associations – membership directories
- Local Chambers of Commerce – membership directories
- Trade magazines and business press – advertisers and editorial content
- Trade shows and exhibitions – exhibitor and delegate lists
- Google search
- Mailing houses – generally not recommended as the quality is often poor but these can be a useful starting point
Hone your prospect list
- Research each company to check they are the right fit and gather all relevant contact details
- Identify the key contacts – find out who your key contact is by telephoning the company or using the web (telephone is often quicker)
Develop a database for your prospect list
- Record all your prospects in a CRM database – preferably one that will enable you to keep track of your business development activity
Identifying prospective clients can be a time-consuming task. However, building a list from scratch will ensure that your data is accurate and highly targeted. Your marketing campaigns will be more successful as a result so you will reap the rewards.
If you have any tips to share on how to build a prospect list please comment below.