“It’s not what you know but who you know”. That’s what they tell us.

I bet some of you reading this blog have previously found a job through a contact you’ve met at a business event, or recommended a friend for a job that they may not have got otherwise.

Many believe that social connections are more important than “what you know” when determining how people advance in life. But making connections is important in another aspect of business other than just employment: Selling.

That’s why business exhibitions, trade fairs, conferences, summits – or ‘events’ as they will now be known – are great ways to introduce your services to new potential customers. The only problem is that sometimes all you’re left with following a successful chat is a business card.

Not Enough Info?

So when you’re back at your office, sorting through the business cards and the filled-out forms that you’ve collected – how do you know which leads you should call first?

Easy: the ones who expressed a direct interest in buying. But what about the rest that you didn’t have time to speak to? Do you know enough about their business to target them correctly?

Industry sector, employee size, turnover, email address – this is all information that you could be missing from a business card alone. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could throw all of these business cards into your customer database and have the gaps filled in for you?

Well, you can.

Here’s The Answer

A Business data provider can take your existing database of leads and append any missing information. The more information you have, the easier your follow ups will be:

Industry – During the hustle and bustle of a business event, many people may hand you a business card or jot down their details on a form without realising that your offering isn’t relevant to them. The ability to breakdown your new leads using industry list references lets you pick out those who will be the most receptive, and lets you tailor your message accordingly.

Employee Size – Is the company the right size for your business to target? If you manufacture work wear, for example, it may be best not to target companies with only 5 employees.

Turnover – Can this company afford your offering? Sometimes it’s best to focus on businesses with larger turnovers, as this often means bigger budgets.

Premise Type – Does this company work from a head office or a stand-alone site? It’s important to know what type of business you’re dealing with (such as franchises) so that you can adjust your message.  If you offer factory and warehouse security services, for example, avoid embarrassment by ensuring they actually have a factory or warehouse!

Email address – Sometimes you try calling the number they’ve jotted down, but you just can’t get through. It’s always handy to have more than one way to contact a new lead.


This appended information is at its most valuable when you start profiling your existing customer database. Have a look at who your best customers are, and then use this to pick out those who are just like them.

Related Topics: Consultancy and advice