13 Strategies to Build an SMB Prospect List
When you’re selling to the smaller side of the SMB market, it can often be a challenge to find a list of prospects to target. You know you want companies who have 10-50 employees, but list companies may only include a handful of all the prospects in the market.
Frequently these smaller companies don’t find it necessary to do a lot of promotion. Often they don’t have a growth strategy so beyond managing a website and possibly listing themselves in the phone book, they may not promote themselves. If they’re progressive, they may have a Facebook Fan Page. But if you don’t know to look for them, you probably won’t find them in a Facebook search.
So how do you find the names of these elusive prospects? Here are 13 strategies to help you expand your prospect list. Some will take longer than others, but each one will garner you new contacts.
- Conduct an event at your local Chamber of Commerce or other business association. Let the association pull people in and expand your list with interested members. If possible, do this quarterly.
- Conduct a lunch and learn event for customers and prospects. Suggest they bring a peer. Technology fairs and educational topics draw the most people.
- Have your sales and service staff diligently ask customers and prospects for referrals. While you know to do this, is your team doing it consistently?
- Meet with your top vendors and ask for their list of contacts in your target market for a prospecting campaign.
- Publish a regular e-newsletter or technology tip. People will forward it on, and over time your list will expand.
- If you sell a product, start a Special of the Month email where you highlight a product at a slight discount. Send it to your top customers each month and allow people to subscribe. When peers mention challenges they’re having, or new equipment they need to purchase, your customers will forward it on as a favor.
- Partner with a peer who sells a complimentary solution to your target market. Send an email to his contact list offering a valuable video, guide or e-book. Offer to do the same for your peer in return.
- Conduct a joint event with your partner. Each of you invite your list of contacts. Share the final registration list.
- Offer a video, guide or e-book on a compelling topic for your target market on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Capture email addresses as people request the offer.
- Write an article for your local business journal or an association publication. Provide a link to a brief video expanding on the article topic. Have people provide their email addresses to access the video link.
- Identify influential people in your target market. Ask them what business associations they belong to and join. Ask who else you should know that they network with and get a referral.
- Walk the streets. Get out of the office and visit office buildings and business parks to identify potential new prospects.
- Establish a formal referral program with clients. Give a reward for referrals that become new customers.