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How to build a responsive marketing database (for resellers)

  

If you are a reseller then this blog has been written for you.

It will provide you with practical advice which will help you to build a marketing database that is highly responsive.

A responsive database is a very valuable asset, because it is a necessary foundation for all successful lead generation programs.

Without a responsive database, your lead generation efforts will nearly always fail.

Why a list is not a database

A list is just a list. It contains field values such as name, job title, company, phone, email, etc. You can buy a list, but you cannot buy a responsive database.

A responsive database is much more than a list. It is a history of your relationships with your prospects. It contains individuals that have been "trained" to be responsive, because they have received a steady stream of high quality, value-adding, offers from YOU in the past.

This is because prosects, like all people, make assumptions. And if they have received high quality information from YOU in the past then they will make the assumption that YOU will send them high quality and useful information in the future.

They do not make the same assumption about OTHER people - that everyone will send them high quality information. This is why a prospect on your database might respond to you but then ignore a very similar offer from someone that they don't "know and trust".

A database is responsive to its "master".

The same logic applies in everyday life. If you go to a restaurant and receive a good meal, you will EXPECT a good meal the next time you go back and you probably will go back because you will perceive it as a "safe option".

A responsive database therefore contains an inherent value, which cannot be purchased and cannot be created "overnight". It can only be built in a slow, organic and authentic process.

This is how to do it.

Where to start

If you're going to go to all the trouble of creating a high quality database, then you really should think carefully about WHERE you want to build that database. So, as an example, building a database of high level contacts in the Financial Services industry is not going to be of much value to you unless you have products or services that are relevant to that market.

A good place to start, is to consider your IDEAL CUSTOMER PROFILE (ICP). Your ICP is simply a description of your best clients. An example might be:

"Companies in this industry or that industry, located in this geographic region, with between 100 and 200 employees, with these specific problems or needs."

It is important to understand that your "Ideal Customers" are probably ideal to you because you also do a very good job for them. So they value your service and pay you on time. They're also likely to recommend you to others, which is very important because this is one of the ways that you're going to be building your database - through personal connections.

Think of it as building a database through "friend of a friend".

Once you've decided on your ICP (and you might have multiple ICPs), the next step is to create a list of target companies that match your ICP. This doesn't have to be a massive list to begin with. It might be a list with only 100 companies. You can always extend on it later.

Once you've got your list of target companies, you then need to figure out which key positions, by job title, within those target companies you need to influence. These will be the people you normally talk to. So, if you normally talk to the head of IT Infrastructure, then please don't try to build a database full of CIOs.

Once you've determined the key positions you need to influence, you can use web research to identify the names of those individuals. You then need to contact them to obtain their emails, so you can communicate with them effectively and relatively inexpensively. Note that you can always outsource this task to someone like StrategyMix.

You've only just begun

So, you've now built a list of names based around your target companies. You have only just begun.

You now need to convert this list into a responsive database, which as previously stated, cannot be done overnight.

What you now need to do is to feed your new list with a diet of high quality information. This information must add value and must be USEFUL. You will have to give away a lot of your most valuable intellectual property. But it will be worth it, because you will be building TRUST.

You should use a mix of "information assets" because not everybody likes to consume information in the same way. Some like to read a detailed white paper, others prefer to watch a video, others like to read blogs on their phone and others prefer to attend an event or a webinar.

You shouldn't provide too much information because you might overwhelm your prospects, but on the other hand if your communications are too infrequent, then it won't work either. You need a "goldilocks" option. I'd recommend one high quality offer every 14 days.

How to jump start your database build with LinkedIn

If you're a sales person, you probably have 500 + connections. This is a sort of badge of honour.

The value of these connections will depend on the selection criteria you used to either invite connections or accept connections from others.

While with the benefit of hindsight, you might now wish that you had been a bit more selective, the reality is that most of your LinkedIn connections know you and may even have a real relationship with you. It is therefore a good source of data, which you can use to jump start your database build.

Your first task is to export your primary contacts.

This is actually quite easy. You logon to your LinkedIn Account and then copy this URL into your browser:

https://www.linkedin.com/people/export-settings

Once you've exported your records, you'll notice that you have all the primary emails of your connections. This is obviously very valuable.

You next step is to segment your list of primary contacts into customers, prospects and "others". The customers and prospects will go into your new database. You can ignore the "others".

How to reward your team

As you can appreciate, building a database is not a lot of fun. It's time consuming and boring yet absolutely vital.

It will also be even more valuable if your whole sales team joins in and you build your new company database together.

To do this requires an on-going commitment. It should not be viewed as a one-off exercise.

So, set yourself realistic targets. Do you think that each of you, in your sales team, can use web research and LinkedIn connections to add say 15 new contacts to your database every week? That's just 3 a day. On the other hand, if you have a team of 5 sales people, then it's also 300 new records a month (15 * 5 * 20) or 3000 + per year, which would be impressive.

Some incentive may be required to sustain the initial enthusiasm.

Why not try a prize - say a bottle of something nice to the sales person who adds the most records by the end of the month. Or how about a bonus month? Just roll a dice in the last sales team meeting of the month. If it comes up with a six, then the winner for that month receives a case of something nice. That will get everyone's attention and make the whole database building exercise a lot more fun. It would also be a very sensible investment.

Like to connect on LinkedIn?

If you'd like to connect with the blog author on LinkedIn, then please do so now. Click on this link: https://au.linkedin.com/in/jonathanccalver

   

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