Your Prospective Advertiser Database Can Be a “Secret Weapon”

Depositphotos_77311110_l-2015Your Prospect Database is your most valuable “secret weapon” as a Media Sales Professional. It allows you to focus your sales efforts on prospective clients who are already advertising in  media similar to yours.

Copies of ads that prospects are placing in competitive media along with rich data about the prospect are your most powerful tool for pre-call planning and starting relevant sales conversations with the prospect. Conversations focused on the client instead of a typical “pitch” will make you stand out as a highly informed marketing consultant who cares about their business. This will, more than anything else, help you to gain the prospect’s trust and win the business.

The database also holds detailed information related contacting the prospect that goes far beyond a name and number, this includes social profiles, email addresses, and complete mailing addresses that enable marketing activities to be directed at these “high value” prospects very efficiently. This will land you more appointments and phone calls that will ultimately lead to more sales.

Once you’ve found a prospective client’s ad placed with a competitor, here’s how to put it into your prospect database in the Highrise CRM System:

1. Start with an image or photo of a prospect’s ad in a competitive medium

You can get the image by:

A. Taking a screen shot of a copy of the ad in an issuu or other online “flip book” of a competitive publication. Following are instructions for taking a screen shot on a PC Take-a-Screenshot-in-Microsoft-Windows and on a Mac

B. Right clicking on an image of an ad on a competitor’s website and save it to your computer

C. Taking a photo of a hard copy of the prospect’s ad in a competitor with your phone, tablet or digital camera and emailing it to your self or syncing it to your computer.

Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 4.15.37 AM2. Search for an existing record On the prospect

If you get a “No one matched” result (2.A), proceed to the next step.

If you find a match (2.B), click on it and confirm that it is the same prospect in the ad you are entering. If so, proceed to Steps 7 and 8. If the match turns out to be a different prospect with the same business name (same business in a different market, for example), proceed to the next step.

Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 4.14.56 AM3. Click “Add Contact”

Click the “Add Contact” button (3.A) and it will open the “Add a new person” form.

Do not start filling in the form.

Go on to step 4.

Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 4.14.16 AM4. Click “add a new company”

Find the words “add a new company” (4.A) next to the words, “Add a new person,” at the top of the form. Click “add a new company.”

You will now notice that the words “add a new person” and “Add a new company” have swapped places and sizes and that the form (4.B) now only contains fields relevant to the company.

“First name,” “Last name,” and “Title” are no longer on the form. If you do know or find a contact person, we will add it in a later step.

Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 4.11.34 AM5. Fill Out the Form With All Available Data… Be a “Data Detective”

Now it’s time to gather and fill in the “Add a new company” form (5.A) with all available data. It is very important to look at more than just the competitor’s ad for all of the prospect data.

If possible, we need to get the following data:

A. Complete Mailing Address: Many ads will not have a zip code and/or suite number included. We will need this information to support your sales efforts by marketing to the prospect with postcards and mailers.

B. Email Address: If it’s in the ad, GREAT! However, in most cases we will have to do a little digging to be able to reach out to the prospect with an email.

Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 4.12.03 AMC. Phone Number: Sometimes the number in the ad is a “tracking number” which the competitor and the prospective advertiser track and record to measure response to the ad. This is very common in the case of home improvement businesses or any other business that relies on phone traffic to drive sales. You will need to verify if the phone number in their ad is the direct phone number for their business and not a tracking number.

D. Contact Name: It’s good to know the Decision Maker or Owner’s name when reaching out to a prospect. You will enter the name in Step 6 of this process, but you will be on the lookout for a contact name while researching data to fill in the “Add a new company” form as completely as possible.

Here’s where to find the data we need:

A. The Prospect’s Website: Sometimes you get lucky and find all of the above data and more on the prospect’s website (5.B).

B. Google: Search for the prospect’s business name and city (5.C). A search for “PROSPECT NAME owner” or “PROSPECT NAME manager” can also be fruitful in finding a contact name. Even if it’s not listed on their website or social channels, the owner or manager name will often be listed elsewhere on the web, possibly in an article about the business or a chamber of commerce listing, for example.

C. Angie’s List / Houzz: For home improvement and home services businesses, a Google search for “PROSPECT NAME angie’s list CITY” or “PROSPECT NAME houzz CITY” will give you a link directly to a business’s Angie’s List or Houzz profile page which includes a contact name.

D. Facebook: Go to (5.D) and search for the prospect’s business page in the Facebook search box. If you find a page for the business, click on the “About” link and then click on “Page Info” (5.E). Here you will often find the business’s address, email, web address, contact name and more.

Tips on entering all of the data you found:

A. Capitalization and Formatting: The data you enter will be used to support your sales efforts with marketing campaigns. Therefore, it is very important to pay careful attention to capitalization and formatting.

B. Phone Number: Needs to be in the hyphenated 555-555-5555 format. If it appears on the web in the (555) 555-5555 or 555.555.5555 format, please change for form.

C. Twitter Handle: Only enter the Twitter User Name (5.F), not the whole twitter url. In other words “PDQFreshFood” vs “”

Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 4.12.23 AMD. Facebook, Pinterest, etc…: In the “Websites” section of the form (5.G), click “Add another” to create a field to enter urls for the prospect’s Facebook, Pinterest, etc… profiles. Change the website type from “Work” to “Other” for these social profiles. Unlike the Twitter field, enter complete url for the web and social sites, for example: “”

After entering all of the company data:

A. Who can see this company?: Leave the default “Everyone” selected under “Who can see this company?” (5.H)

B. Save this company: Click the “Save this company” button (5.H).

Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 4.10.06 AM6. Add Contacts

If you were able to find a name for a contact:

A. Click the “People” tab (6.A)

B. Click “Add the first person to this company” (6.B)

C. “Add a new person to…” form (6.C): You only need to enter the first name, last name, job title, and email unless they are at a different mailing/physical address and/or have a different phone number than their company information that you entered in the Company record.

D. “Add the person” (6.D): Leave “Everyone” selected under “Who can see this person” and click the “Add this person” button.

E. Repeat if more than one contact person

Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 4.08.52 AM7. Add Tags

Create “tags” to allow you to view data by AE, Category, Market and Competitor:

A. Click “Add tag” (7.A)

B. Add Tags (7.B)

• All tags are in this format “TAG TYPE : TAG INFO” (“Competitor : Valpak,” for example). Notice there is a space before and after the colon separating the tag type and tag info.

• Start typing the competitor tag for the competing medium where you found the ad (“Competitor : Community Impact,” for example).

• Notice tags that already exist will show up as an option to click on and auto-fill. If it’s a new tag, keep typing and hit enter to create the tag.

• A business can have more than one category tag. (“Category : Restaurant” and “Category : Pizza,” for example).

• The prospect tag (“Prospect : Austin,” for example) is to indicate which markets the company is a prospect for, sometimes this can be more than one market.

• The AE tag indicates which Account Executive is assigned to the company.

C. Click the red “Close” link when you have finished adding tags.

Note: Your prospect database is only as good as your ability to find and sort prospects quickly. Consistency in creating Categories and Diligence in Inputting them make our database a “secret weapon” to beat our competitors in the local media markets you serve (7.C).

Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 4.05.29 AM8. Upload Image or Photo of Competitor Ad to Business Record

A. Click the “Notes & Emails” tab on the business record (8.A)

B. Click “Show options” at the bottom of the “Add a note about this company” field (8.B)

C. Enter the name of the Competitive Media and the ad size or format in the “Add a note about this company” field. (8.C) This text is important, so we can know and remember where the ad came from when looking at the note and company record in the future. Especially when there are lots of competitive ads in the company’s record. If you don’t know the ad size or format, just enter the competitor name.

D. Click the “Choose File” button and select the file you want to upload. It the ad is Front & Back, add both sides in the same note. (8.C)

E. Leave “Everyone” checked in the “Who can see this note field. (8.C)

F. Click “Add this note” at the bottom of the “Add a note…” form (8.D)

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