Earlier today I received a copy of 50 Ways and Places to Find New Business, a 63-page e-book by Jim Gould and Sam Parker, the co-founders of Just Sell, an online sales lead service. Paging through a printout of the guide, which is a relatively basic and straight-forward prospecting handbook for salespeople, several ideas struck me as slightly simple and silly — but perhaps worth remembering.
- Relationship Referrals Consider who sells the products and services that are sold before, at the same time as, and after you. Approach third-party influencers.
- Company Cars Vehicles driving around town often advertise businesses. What does it mean if a company has delivery or service vehicles? Funniest quote in the book: “It’s not recommended you follow your direct competitors’ delivery trucks around town.”
- Building Directories Use building directories to identify new companies. I’m not sure if I’d recommend walking each floor in a building, taking notes on tenants, but I do know that during Company of Friends Roadshows, I’ve often been interested in what organizations have offices near the people and companies I’m visiting. Businesses cluster.
- Tradeshow Directories While Just Sell recommends you focus on exhibitors, I’m always more interested in the attendee directory if the organizers make it available. Chances are good you will have interests and needs in common with people attracted to the same conference.
- Incubator Buildings See Building Directories, above.
- Association Web sites and Membership Directories See Tradeshow Directories, above.
I’m not overly keen on the volume’s Willy Loman-style approach to cold calling and approaching potential partners every time a new exec is hired — or tracking birth and death announcements — but some of the content (most of which comes down to being aware of your environment) may jog a new idea. And if you’re a sales and marketing newcomer, you might even find the book’s chapter on how to find leads using news releases, opening statement tool, and old-school networking guide useful.
In the end, however, while 50’s a relatively big number — and nice to put on the cover — this e-book contains little that’s new.