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Monday, January 23, 2006

IT Marketing: Using Prospect Lists

As an IT consultant, the process of drafting a long and detailed sales letter to that expresses the mission and services of your computer consulting venture is only the beginning of drumming up business. Once you have a letter that makes you happy, you’ll need to know exactly who to send it to, and where to find comprehensive advertising and trade organization lists to further boost your IT marketing efforts.

In terms of advertising lists, there is a plethora of options, particularly if you are looking to do business primarily in the U.S. There are companies that specifically handle list compilation, like Zap Data and InfoUSA (please see the original article for more details) that provide an excellent marketing touchstone for all types of consultants.

If you think your major client base will be outside the U.S., or if you are just looking to expand your reach to include some international individuals or companies, there are some simple starting points from which you can rent mailing lists. In major global IT business hubs such as Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, many list providers can help start the process of locating future clients (please refer to the blog link for specific website and company details). When you’re ready to delve deeper into the world of potential clients, you can browse through the contact information of local chambers and industry trade groups, or even local newspapers and other business journals.

With time, your IT marketing clients will grow, and you might even gain a few clients in the same industry, and you may gain very specific experience and even eventually become an expert in the technical aspects of a particular profession, such as perhaps the medical or legal field. It would make the most sense to, when searching for new clients, look for others that are just like your existing clients because you will have an easy time marketing for them; the best way to do this is to make yourself visible at their trade group meetings and conferences or to even set up a special table at their expos to make yourself as accessible as possible to that particular market. However, it is important not to over expose yourself; joining more than three industry organizations at a time can start to take time away from your business after a while, and you will have an impossible time juggling too many meetings and too much involvement.

Finding potential clients is the most important aspect of IT marketing. Start with buying or renting some advertising lists from reputable companies and then work up to attending the industry events of the customers you acquire. Being active is one of the first steps to building a successful referral business.

Added By: Joshua Feinberg