The idea of expanding your business and finding new customers can be overwhelming if you don't have a solid foundation for it. Just like anyting else, it can be hard to jump into it without at least some base of knowledge. That brings us to the importance of list building, for all types of businesses and brands. List building can help you target the clients that your business really wants, rather than trudging through the muck with hopes of stumbling upon them.
Add Needles to the Haystack
Without a foundation for your expansion, you are putting your business at a disadvantage. The days of interruptive marketing techniques are numbered, if they haven't already passed. No one is listening to radio jingles or watching commercials on TV anymore. It's all white noise. With these interruptive marketing techniques, businesses are just grasping at straws, hoping someone will come to them.
Today, businesses need to actively find their customers if they expect a steady client pool. With list building and overall develpment research, a business can target specific customers that fit their needs and cater content specifically to them. Makes a little more sense than hoping for Waldo to come strolling out of the crowd. See here why you too will fall in love with inbound marketing by employing some of these techniques in attracting customers that are a mutual fit for your agency.
You Don't Need to be Shallow
You wouldn't want to date just any person that you see strolling by the office would you? So, don't settle for just any customer. With a prospect list, you can narrow down prospects from a seemingly endless pool to focus on specific factors that are key to the needs of your business.
Whatever your brand values most; be it how far away a customer is or what their website looks like, it's all about the overall fit. A list allows you to judge a prospect by how much you know about their business, its size, its potential income as it relates to actual income, what your role and relationship will look like, and similar factors. Ask yourself these questions, and if a prospect doesn't meet your criteria, scrap them. Don't just canvass the market with a broad sweep, pick your spots to scoop up the best of the best.
Tip: you can start this process by meeting with your team to come up with your ideal customer, or buyer persona. Then focus on building your list around prospects who fit this buyer persona. Read more about making buyer personas here.
You Won't Get Blindsided
Similarly, you wouldn't want to blindly agree to any sort of relationship without doing your background research, would you? With list building, your business will get to know at least something about a prospective company or individual before they walk through the door. Even if further research is necessary later on, you will at the very least have a good idea about your prospect's role within their company, the hierarchy of that company, and perhaps an idea about what they do there. These tidbits of information can even help you start to brainstorm ideas for your eventual sales pitch, and will also go a long way so you aren't blindsided in your first meeting.
Keep it Fluid
Lastly, a list simply gives you a concrete record of your potential clients that you can, and should, update constantly. Keep a record of how often you have contacted a prospect, the way you contacted them, and the dates. This can give you an idea if they are progressing with you or if you should cut the cord. A good rule of thumb is if there is no response after three attempts at contacting them, then pack it in.
You should also revisit your list to make sure the specifc contacts are still relevant. People leave jobs, are promoted, and retire all the time. Make sure you keep your contacts updated so you aren't disturbing recently-retired Ron on the golf course, but you are reaching his replacement.
The importance of list building should not be ignored. It is key to expanding your business and keeping it thriving. So go on out there and get to building that list!