Prospecting Online For New Business Using Free Database

Database Prospecting For New Business

Having come from a multi-billion dollar online marketing firm in sales and customer service there are some really solid take-a ways that I have brought with me when I began Adwebvertising. In the world of commission sales, you live and die by the pay period and so it is important to learn ways to get in front of as many potential clients that you can. Because my experiences in sales and marketing were the primary source of my livelihood, I had to become quite resourceful in the way that I prospected new clients. If you are in sales and marketing then this article is for you.

Hunting & Gathering At The Library?

In the world of sales we are required to consistently build a sales pipeline or sales funnel and begin filling it with prospective clients. There are a number of tools at your disposal but one that I wanted to share with you that is completely free has been by far one of the most resourceful tools I have used. Now, just to be clear, I was ranked in the top ten in sales in the nation for the company that I came from. I tell you this so that you will understand that the advice I am sharing comes from experience and success.

Building a list of prospects is a priority. In my line of work I was looking more towards service oriented companies as my primary target as these kinds of companies were the most plentiful with the largest disposable incomes. Our core products were online advertisements, website development, search engine marketing and direct mail. So how do you find prospects in an organized manner without using a phone book as your source of prospects?

The public library is a great source of information about prospective clients. A lot of people do not realize how valuable the public libraries can be as a resource for business owners. What I used to do is go to the online library and tap into their database of businesses. You don’t have to be a resident of Harris County to access the Harris County Library’s Online resources; however, you will need to register for a library card. No worries though, you can apply for the card online too!

Accessing the Harris County Library Databases

Your public library system may or may not have access to the particular database that we are going to explore in this article, but if you contact your local library they may have some other useful resources that you can use that are similar to the one we will be looking at here. For the purpose of this article, the first thing that you will want to do is visit the main website for Harris County.

The primary parts of the HCPL website that we want to focus in on are the Get A Library Card and the Database links (as shown below):

Harris County Public Library

Let’s begin by applying for a Library Card online. Select the link that says Get a Library Card Today. You will want to select the “Online Self Registration” link.

Applying for a library card online

You will then be prompted to enter in your library card barcode and 4-digit PIN. But wait…I don’t have one of these! No worries, just select the NEW USER button and you will be able to create one for yourself.

Fill out the registration form and submit. You will then be given a code that you can use to access the databases. Below is a shot of what it looks like when you have successfully registered. I have replaced my code with the #####’s below. Your ID will be unique to you. Keep it in a safe place and keep in mind that it is a temporary registration. You will have renew your card periodically.

Here is your temporary barcode. You can use it to place holds or access to the library online databases. BE SURE TO WRITE DOWN YOUR PIN NUMBER AND PRINT THIS PAGE FOR YOUR RECORDS. (NOTE: Always type in the following temporary library card number with NO SPACES) ##### #######-#

Now that you have an online library card you can move on to the database section of the website and start accessing the valuable information provided within.

Finding the Correct Database

Now that you have your online library card you will need to locate the appropriate database. Select the database tab from the main menu. You can search by alphabetical listings or other methods. Whichever you choose, you will want to  look for the following database (ReferenceUSA):

database website

After you have selected the ReferenceUSA link you will be prompted to enter in your library card number. You will enter in your library card number with no spaces but you will need to include the dash [-] mark followed by the last number in order to access the database.

From here you will be prompted to choose which type of database you want to use from the available databases choices in RefUSA.

database selection

You will want select the U.S. Businesses tab here. You could select the U.S. New Businesses; however, from my experiences the best resource is the first one.

selection 2

From here you will want to select the custom search. You could do a quick search; however, you will limit the results that you can get. Once you have clicked on the custom search tab you will be prompted to begin narrowing down your choices.

making your selections

For this example I chose to look up all of the plumbing contractors listed in city of Houston, Texas. You will notice that I selected the Business type using a Keyword search and for geography I chose city. In the resulting windows I was able to type in Plumber as my keyword and a drop down of related keywords  appears. You can select multiple choices which will appear in the selected boxes below or beside the results boxes. You can then update the count and in this case you will notice that there are 378 plumbing contractors in represented in this database for the Houston area.  Next, you will want to view your results.

Business Listings

From here you can drill down into each respective listing or start dialing from here! If you prefer you can print up to (50) contacts at a time. You will find that the cut and paste option is not functional in this database, but you can still print and do screenshots. However you want to grab the data and use the data from this point is entirely up to you. There are some ways that I used the data, but I don’t want to give away all of my secret sauce in one article. I save some of my best sales and marketing advice for my Marquee retainer clients.

Hope this will prove to be a helpful tool for you. Remember to contact Adwebvertising for all of your online marketing needs!

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