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Do you recall the true definition of ASSUME?

I recently spoke with a caller regarding my take on customer-centric marketing, specifically customer information, and how it can help them with their lead generation.

Their company sells communication devices in the B2B market. Their list of customers and prospects contains about 2500 names and of those names, 1200 or so have an email address. The company prospects for new business using direct mail, email and on occasions, in person sales calls.

They use very little segmentation, such as geography, customer or prospect, some have SIC codes, and other data such as when the contact was last visited, what was bought, and what was communicated to them. They do use a contact management program, but not close to its potential. There is no keeper of the data. A few people use it sporadically other than him.

He said, “I know my list is crap but the boss keeps pushing me for results. Can you recommend a good list company to contact?”

Sometimes the lack of quality leads drives a person to a new and bigger list. Before we could discuss a few other options, he had to take another call, promising me he would call back.

Upon his return call, I’d recommend –

· Look at your present customers and see what industry they are in.

· Determine the sales dollars you made from each industry and rank them.

· What type of service or product is predominating in one industry, if any?

· Determine the company size in a common segment like sales volume or number of employees.

· Use a simple grading scale for each customer, such as excellent, good, or fair.

Depending on your company there could easily be other parameters to use, but this is a good start of a customer profile. Just by using simple segmentation and analysis you may be able to determine message relevancy for each segment.

What is the worst case scenario? If your list of contacts is crap, you now have a good idea what you need in a good list to rent.

Let me know what you think. I assume you may have a question or two.


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