Every day, I look for new and better ways to improve my prospect database.  Accurate information in my database will increase the chances of a prospect responding to an email blast or direct mail piece.  If I have enough data, I can make my email blasts so personalized that the recipients think I wrote to them individually.  Good data also makes a cold call go a lot smoother.

To effectively reach and persuade a prospective client, it is necessary (but not sufficient) to first determine several facts:

  • Who is the decision maker?
  • Who are the other important parties (influencers, gatekeepers, etc.)
  • What is the direct contact information of the decision maker (email, direct phone, and cell phone)?
  • What are the milestone dates that may lead to or force a decision (eg, lease expiration date, end of fiscal year, end of tax season)

As a general rule, the value of information is indirectly proportional to the time required to find it.  The emails of business directors and secretaries are readily available, but the cell phones of CEO’s are harder to find.  Only the latter, though, is worth the investment in time.

I found that prospects are more likely to deliver their contact information and milestone dates once they joined my networking group (for more on how to start your own networking group).  I cover several other methods for finding email addresses in my article Handy Tricks for Finding Contact Information.

In my personal experience as a tenant representation broker, the best way to start a prospect database is to export information you can find in free or pay-for lead databases.  I used and A to Z leads to start my database.  After you export the leads, download them into one system (more on that below) – I used Salesforce.  Then, you’ll need to eliminate all of the inaccurate entries (there will be many).  I cross-referenced the leads with my canvassing notes.  That is, I walked through office buildings and noted which businesses where located where, and made sure my database reflected that information.  Finally, call through your database and ask the questions that need to be answered (and to pitch your services).  I called through every prospect, verifying the decision maker, introducing myself, determining the lease expiration date, and pitching my services.

Going through the process described above will generate a large amount of data, and you will need to create a system to keep it organized.  When creating a system, be sure that it can be scaled up as more information is added or you incorporate other people into it.  Make sure that your data will be safe and secure no matter what – plan for computer crashes, terrorist attacks, hacker viruses, industrial sabotage, and your own mistakes.  Take advantage of ‘cloud’ computing to secure your information.

For my database management system, I subscribe to an online cloud service and customize the data fields to my own needs.  Salesforce is my provider, the company has a quality cloud CRM (customer relationship management) software program that works for me.  Salesforce has done a good job, so far, of helping me organize my hundreds of tasks and thousands of accounts.  But there are other good programs out there that may be specifically designed for your industry.

With enough time and effort, you will develop a robust, accurate database that will ensure your marketing message reaches the right person at the right time.  And in doing so, you will have won half the battle!  The remaining half is writing a message that persuades the recipient.  For more on that topic, read my article, 5 Golden Rules for Effective Email Marketing.

I use the tools discussed in this article to develop my tenant representation commercial real estate business.

At Golden Group Real Estate, we specialize in tenant representation for office users in the Chicago area, helping local business owners find office space and negotiate lease and purchase agreements. We never represent landlords, so we are prepared to negotiate aggressively on behalf of our tenant clients.

For more on Golden Group Real Estate, read about our real estate services.  Let us know if we can help you find office space for rent or buildings for sale.  Call us at (630) 805-2463, email us at, or enter your office space search criteria below.


June 19, 2019

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