Thursday, November 15, 2007

Looking for St. Louis Businesses?
Bookmark This Site!

I recently found this site for searching St. Louis Businesses
and it's FANTASTIC!

If you are sales prospecting, or, for any reason, looking for information on a St. Louis business;
This is the 'Go To' Site!

There is absolutely nothing else like it on the web. offers information on over 50,000 Business in the St. Louis metropolitan area.

Search St. Louis businesses by general business category, SIC code and location.

View complete business contact information, maps and more.

At Business Research Bureau, Research is our middle name!

Now is on our A-List of tools for finding information on St. Louis's business community.

Check it out today!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

It's Hunting Season!

Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer, and it's coming!

Summer vacations are over.

Parents have delivered their older children to colleges.

Younger students are back in class.


Decision Makers
are back in their offices!

In most industries, August is one of the slowest months for closing sales.

It's tough to sell when the buyers aren't around, isn't it?

Well, they're back!

Now is the time to refill your Sales Funnel and get to work!

Here's the best way to fill that Sales Funnel:
Present Clients
You probably sell more than one product or service.
Are you cross-selling everyone?

Lost Clients
There is a reason they once did business with you.
Maybe they were in the Change Mode and you got blind-sided.
Call them now and see what has changed since you last talked.

Ask for them from clients and other people you know.
Practice the Law of Reciprocity; get referrals by giving referrals.

There are lots of networking events to take advantage of.
Two Rules for networking events:
1. Be there!
2. Work it!

Cold Calling -
for most of us, the only way to get to the proverbial 'Next Step'.
Target your Prospect List:
Specifically define who is and who is not a prospect.
Choose specific SIC Codes (Specialized Industrial Classifications, the government's way to classify businesses)
Apply Data Elements to further filter the list. (# employees, annual sales, sq. footage, etc.)
Define the Geographic Area for your prospects. (Zips, states, regions, etc.)
Purchase a list based upon the above criteria and your budget.

Catch companies in the Change Mode
Most companies are more open to change when their business is changing.
Changes like: New Business, Change of Ownership, New Location, Construction, etc.
Change is the Sweet Spot for gaining business and the Risk Spot for losing business.
Find this information by searching government records, newspapers, and networking, or subscribe to a service, like Business Research Bureau, that provides Daily Change Mode information.

Have a Plan and Work the Plan

Good Selling!

Monday, July 30, 2007



Daily Sales Leads

are the
Best Kept Secret In St. Louis!

"In our first year subscribing to the service, we've gained $11,000 in new business and major sponsors to our annual events.

One of the best benefits of the service is the time it has saved us.

Instead of networking and researching prospects, the service brings all that information to us Every Business Day.

For us, it's been a great investment!"

Ron Ameln, President, St. Louis Small Business Monthly

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The BRBs DON'T WORK . . .

Unless YOU Do!

Many know that before owning BRB I was a client for over twenty-five years.

I KNOW the BRBs Don’t Work . . . Unless You have a
System for Working
Them and
Work the System!

Because I love sales, and have studied and practiced selling for years, it's hard to admit, but sometimes the BRBs didn't work. However, it wasn't the leads not working, it was Fred not working the leads!

I know none of you have ever had Call Reluctance, but there were times when I just knew they couldn't use my products or services so I never made the call! (Pretty stupid, right?)

The Lesson is: No Mind Reading! Once you've determined that a lead fits the profile of your target market, they should be contacted! If they're not ready to buy now, they might be clients in the future.

Most sales are not closed on the first call. This is why it's so important to have a system to follow up, follow up, follow up.

Some of the BRB lead information, especially in the Construction Categories, is way ahead of when decisions for many products and services will be made. Unless there is a system in place for noting: contacts, dates, decision making process, competition, and other essential sales information, the BRBs are a waste of money!

A Contact Management System is the best tool for this, and there are many excellent ones available; ACT, GoldMine,, SalesLogix, HighRise, and others. (BTW, we can point you in the right direction for professional assistance.)

Daily, Business Research Bureau provides subscribers with Change Mode Information. This is important because most businesses are resistant to change, except when their business is changing in major ways. These major changes include: New Business, New Location, New Branch/Expansion/Remodel, Change of Ownership, Various Phases of Construction, etc.

My favorite Abraham Lincoln quote is: "Things will come to those who sit and wait, but only the things left by those who hustle!"

The BRBs Do Work . . . but only if You Hustle!

Monday, March 5, 2007

You've got Sales Leads! Now What?


You have Fresh Sales Leads from a just completed:
  • Mailing
  • Tele-Prospect Filtering Program
  • Business Expo
  • or Networking Event.
Now what?

Follow up – Follow up - Follow up!

Unless there’s a plan for following up on these leads, and the plan is worked, these leads will fall through the cracks.

Time, money and effort spent for sales leads will have been wasted.

There must be a plan in place and it must be followed for results.

If it is a Prospect, the process is:
  • Initial follow up / "What do you want to accomplish?"/ "How can I help you?"
  • Decide on, and schedule next step / Meeting, Next Phone Call, Not a Fit, Etc.
  • Secure a definite Yes or No / Maybe is not acceptable
If the result is a Sale, the follow up is:
  • Post Sale follow up
  • Account Maintenance
  • Sell more products into the account
  • Getting Referrals.
If the process leads to No Sale:
  • Determine if it’s a No Sale this time around or a No Sale forever.
  • If No Sale this time, update to revisit at an appropriate date
Almost mandatory to making your planned process work is CRM, Contact Relationship Management Software.

There are a variety of excellent programs available.

Several, including and SalesLogix are web based.

There are also several that can be loaded on individual computers and servers. The most popular are ACT, GoldMine, and Now Up To Date/Contact 5 (cross platform for MAC & PC).

Locally in St. Louis, there is excellent support and sales for ACT available through Lori Feldman, the Database Diva.

GoldMine is sold and supported by Kevin Varnon at Clienttrax and Kevin Simpson at CT Innovations.

The important point is that these Contact Management Systems give the ability to:
  • Make time and date stamped notes
  • Directly send emails, (some integrate with word processing programs to address letters
  • Schedule alarms for call backs and other follow up activities, and
  • A variety of other sales and customer related activities.
Because most sales are a process, and not an event, these systems are important to moving prospects through the sales funnel.

They're also efficient for giving reminders for 'touches'; letters, phone calls, e-mails, schedule visits, etc, to present clients.

Some of the programs can be automated to do many of the followup activity.

When server or web based, these products can be a tremendous Management Tool.

The sales manager can monitor the activities of their sales force and give help where and when needed.

They help implement Four Important Rules of Management:
  1. Inspect what you expect.
  2. What gets checked gets done.
  3. If you keep score you do better
  4. Most important of all: To delegate and not check is to abdicate!
Many potential sales, and clients, are lost because a sales process and method for tracking it were never used.

This great group of software products can prevent that from happening!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Referrals By Email - This Way Works!

Referrals are a great way to grow your business.

One strategy to receive more referrals - is to give more referrals.

It's the marketing mantra,
'Give To Get'. And it works!

The referrals to you will be more frequent and stronger in direct proportion to the referrals you give.

One of the keys to being effective with this is to Be in the Moment! Keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities to connect people and solve their problems, help them make a sale, and give them information of value to them.

The best referrals are done in person;
Introducing Contact A to Contact B.

Other referral methods include: phone calls to each, conference call, and letters of introduction to each party.

Email Referrals have some benefits, also.
  • They're quick - email is almost instant.
  • They are in writing.
  • Easy for each party to click on links for more information.
  • In tune with the way lots of communication is conducted these days.
Guidelines for Email Referrals
that bring the best results for all parties; the people you are connecting and you!
(Thanks to Karen Hoffman, The IDEA Coach, for her input.)
  1. To:
    The person you are referring to. Sometimes both people should be put on the same line.
    You Two Should Meet!
  2. CC:
    The person being referred.
  3. Subject:
    The Why of this email. You Two Should Meet, Prospect For You,
    Wanting Information on Your Services, etc.
  4. Body:
    A good way to start is: Cheryl meet Cathy.
    Cathy meet Cheryl
  5. More Body:
    A few sentences describing why this introduction is being made; qualifying the introduction for each person.
    I met Cheryl the other day at a networking event.
    She mentioned she needs help getting organized.
    Cathy, I know this is your area of expertise and asked Cheryl if it would be OK if I connected you two by email.
    Cheryl thought that would be a great idea and is expecting your call.
  6. Contact Information:
    This is important, very important.
    Give the full contact information for each person, including, if available:
    • Name
    • Company
    • Address
    • Phone
    • FAX
    • Email
    • Web site

    Doing it this way puts each party on notice that you expect them to make contact.

    Sending your email in this form gives each party easy access to information (website link) about the other person and their business before having a conversation.

    They can view each other's web site and contact other people they know who might furnish additional information.

    If you've matched these people correctly, they will each gain a valuable connection and possibly new business.

    At a minimum, they'll know you are looking for opportunities for them, will appreciate your efforts, and eventually reciprocate.

    What better way to get, than to
    Give First!