Having just set up a new business the phone has not stopped ringing! It’s not a tsunami of new customers though, rather a horde of cold callers trying to sell me everything from electricity to insurance (over a dozen in two hours).

The funny thing is that in every instance it’s a waste of time since they’re trying to sell me their services as business tariffs, which is completely irrelevant since I have a home office.

I did expect this to happen after registering the business, but noticed that a number of the callers were getting somewhat disgruntled, almost argumentative, by saying that I was listed on their database as being a commercial property.

Clearly what had happened was that one company had got my details, entered them wrongly and then sold this wrong information to other companies who are now wasting time and money trying to sell to someone who couldn’t buy even if he wanted to.

The point here is that business owners need to be wary of buying data and instead make an effort to build their own lists of people – people that are interested in your products/services and are in a position to buy.

There are various ways to do this, but here are two very simple and cheap things that every business should be doing.

1. Make sure that you retain the details of every customer. If they’ve bought from you once, they’re likely to buy again.
2. Offer a free guide on your website that can be accessed if someone enters their name and email address. If they’ve gone to the effort of downloading something that’s relevant to your business, then chances are they’re interested and could be a potential customer.

Lists aren’t about quantity, they’re about quality. By doing these two things, you can be confident that when you contact the people on your list they’ll not mind so much and you’ll not be wasting your time and your money.

To find out more on how we can help, visit www.carlhancockmarketing.co.uk