Finding Leads (for Free) for Your Cold Calling Campaign (Part I)

Not sure where to start with your cold calling campaign? Not sure who you should be calling or where to find great leads? Never fear. Leads are everywhere and you can find them easily and inexpensively. Read on:

By Wendy Weiss, The Queen of Cold Calling

Leads are everywhere. No one should ever put off a cold calling campaign with the excuse of having no one to call. There are many excellent sources to find lists of potential prospects for your market. Many of them are online, some well-known ones are: Hoovers.com, SalesGenie.com and GoLeads.com. These databases, while excellent, require a fee. The following are some free resources to explore before you spend your hard-earned money. Read on:

First check out all of your competitors web sites. Many websites have client / customer pages. Bingo! You have a list of qualified prospects. Do a Google search to get all of the contact information.

**Alumni Associations

Looking for leads where you can establish instant rapport? How about alumni from your college? Most U.S. colleges have a searchable online directory for alumni. If you don’t know the web address, contact your school or Google them. Once you have the URL there is usually no fee for access. You can search by geography and possibly profession / industry as well.

**Chambers of Commerce

Looking for business-to-business leads in your area? How about your local Chamber of Commerce, which will more than likely have a membership directory. Membership directories are wonderful resources for leads. To find the Chamber of Commerce in your area do a Google search. Type in “chamber of commerce” and then your city name. I’m in New York City. When I Googled “NYC chamber of commerce” I found the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, Greater New York Chamber of Commerce, Greenwich Village Chamber of Commerce… On the chamber web site, look for a link to the Member Directory or Business Directory. It may be readily apparent or you might have to search around. Membership directories are not always available online, but many times they are and if you join your Chamber of Commerce, you will definitely receive a membership directory.

If there is a membership directory on line you can usually search by categories and / or industries / professions. You’ll find company name, address, phone and fax and probably the web site as well. You may also find the name of the actual member.  Here are two more sites to use to locate local chambers of commerce: www.2chambers.com and http://www.uschamber.com.

**Industry Associations

Industry Associations are another great way to find leads. Make a list of the various industries in your market and Google them. Type in the industry name plus “and association.” For example, if you want to reach attorneys you would type in “attorneys and association.” If you want to target associations for attorneys in your state, type in “and” plus your home state. For example, if I wanted to reach attorneys in New York State, I’d type: “attorneys and association and New York.” Again, many of these types of sites have membership directories that you can access for no fee. Or, you might decide to join the association to have closer access to those members. That way, you will definitely get a membership directory.

If you are not finding the associations you need, try another search engine, which might give you different results.

Wendy Weiss, “The Queen of Cold Calling,” is a sales trainer, author and sales coach. Her recently released program, The Miracle Appointment-Setting Script, and/or her book, Cold Calling for Women, can be ordered by visiting http://queenofcoldcalling.com. Contact her at wendy@wendyweiss.com. Get Wendy’s free Special Report, Getting in the Door: How to Write an Effective Cold Calling Script, at http://www.queenofcoldcalling.com.

© 2008 Wendy Weiss

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