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Seriously, I do have a "WISH LIST".

I have an ongoing list of companies that are not currently clients but I think I might like to have as clients. Throughout the month/quarter/year I pick up information on them and keep it in the “WISH LIST” file under their name.

When I talk with candidates who have worked at one of my Wish List companies I ask about what it was like working there. What did they like? What did they not like? What attracted them away? Would they work there again? I might tell them it is a company I am interested in knowing more about and they might refer me to the CFO or the president and say they had a good relationship with them and to use their name – can be iffy if they were fired!

I also ask my clients if they are familiar with companies on my Wish List. If they are familiar with some I ask who they know that I should talk within the company for further information. Sometimes they pick up the telephone and arrange a meeting for me. Sometimes they just say use my name.

Contacts that I have built the past 22 years are also very helpful in learning about companies on my Wish List. I meet with several of my contacts every quarter and we go over my list and discuss the merits of the companies they know or do work with. They can tell me the good, bad and ugly. Such as, stay away from these guys they not going to be around that long too much debt or this company is planning on expanding into XXX so they would be a good one to get to know now before they start their growth.

I am constantly updating my list as I gather information. I may take some companies off and add others. When I know that a particular company is one that I want to meet with I get it arranged through others or by cold calling into the company. I may then decide that I don't want to work with the company but I now know more about them. My list usually has 25 companies on it at any given time for various reasons - industry, new product line, expansion plans or maybe I just keep hearing good comments about them.

Do you have a “Wish List” of companies that you are tracking and gathering information on so that when you cold call them you know what is going on in their business? Or better yet when they call you, you already know a lot about them making them more impressed with you for knowing what is going on in your marketplace or industry.

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Tags: business development, calling, clients, cold, marketing

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