What is needed to build a quality client database?

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This post is in collaboration with Cordell

My first real job was as a telemarketer in a sales team for a transport company. My role was to ring Warehouse Managers and organise appointments for our Sales Reps.

To build the potential client database I would search for different industries on the Yellow Pages and print off the listed phone numbers. The other way to build the database was to go ‘eyeballing’ with a Sales Rep in their area. The rep would drive up and down every street in a particular suburb of their area and I would write down every business name on the street. When I’d get back to the office, it was my job to search for the company details on the internet and give them a call.

When I started working with my Dad in our plumbing business, I was surprised that he did a similar thing when building up clients for our interior fit out work. Due to his past experience in the commercial fit out niche, he knew most of the main builders that also worked in that niche. But dad learned from a previous past experience that you couldn’t have all your eggs in one basket, so he would always keep an eye out for new shop fitting builders and would give them a call to find out if he could provide a hydraulics quote on any future fit out jobs.

Dad didn’t know how to use the internet so if he saw a builder’s name on a work site he would look them up in the Yellow Pages or call Call Connect.

Tenders would be sent by Australia Post or by courier to my Dad’s home office or he would pick them up on the way home from a builder’s premises. Sometimes if work was slow, Dad would look at the tenders section of the Courier Mail. Eventually snail mail was replaced with email. Builders and hydraulic consultants would email plans and my mum or I would print them off. The year we decided to focus more on maintenance was when tenders became available online. For a small fee a contractor could download any plans they required for tender as well as see any other tender opportunities to quote on.

Cordell Tenders Online is one such company that keeps their customers informed of the latest tender opportunities across nearly every industry sector. The Tender notification gives the contractor access to a huge array of potential opportunities from small local jobs right through to some of the largest Government contracts. It saves time cold calling builders for new tenders, although I don’t think a contractor should stop ringing their builders for new tender opportunities as not all jobs are advertised online.

An open minded approach is what is needed to build a quality client database which will form the foundation of future work contracts.

How has building your client database changed over the years? Do you find technology makes it easier to find tenders and get new work?

This is post has been written in accordance to my disclosure policy.