Prospecting On A Shoestring Budget


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Do you want to get more targeted about prospecting?
Are you intimidated by the myriad of resources to get you started?
Would you like to prospect without buying into expensive databases?

Join us when Maria Semple of The Prospect Finder shares her secrets for prospecting on a shoestring budget. You’ll learn:

Which local and state library resources are available to anyone with a library card, from any computer anywhere in the world.
How to use LinkedIn for targeted prospecting of YOUR niche market.
How to stay on top of “need to know” news about your niche market.

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Prospecting On A Shoestring Budget

  1. 1. Prospecting on a Shoestring Budget Maria Semple, The Prospect Finder LLC June 9, 2010 Use Twitter Hashtag #npweb Special Thanks To Our Sponsors
  2. 2. Helping ordinary people raise extraordinary amounts for nonprofits is all we do, and we love it. A Proud Sponsor of
  3. 3. Free & Low-Cost Resources •  Your Library Card: Why it’s The Most Important Card in Your Wallet •  Local Business Resources •  Websites useful to grow your business
  4. 4.
  5. 5. Library Online Resources
  6. 6. New York Public Library Business databases
  7. 7. Apply Online for a Card @
  8. 8. At last count, there were over 80 databases available from your home or office computer. ( You don’t even need to visit the library in person!
  9. 9. ReferenceUSA
  10. 10. ReferenceUSA Custom Search page: Businesses
  11. 11. Sample search: Businesses within 5 mile-radius of 08807; Female Executive; 10-100 employees; $1mill-$10mill sales.
  12. 12. Custom Search Page: U.S. Residential Database
  13. 13. EBSCO Host: Links to Articles
  14. 14. Proquest: Newspaper & Magazine Articles
  15. 15. Encyclopedia of Associations •  Use this resource to find allied professionals •  Points to websites of the national organization •  Provides a general description of the association •  Visit websites & find local chapter meetings for the associations •  ATTEND THE MEETINGS! NETWORK.
  16. 16. Encyclopedia of Associations: Sample Search on “CPA”
  17. 17. “CPA” search yielded 23 results nationally. It’s worth your time to find out where your referral partners are congregating. Don’t forget to search on variations such as “certified public accountant”. May yield more results for you!
  18. 18. If all else fails…. •  Most states have Reference Librarians standing by to help you. •  Access them via chat online at your local or state library level. •  Accessibility is 24/7 !! •  They are an underutilized resource and now YOU know how to find them.
  19. 19. Example:
  20. 20. A transcript of your entire chat will be emailed to you with answers embedded!
  21. 21. Local Business Resources •  Chamber Directories – Usually searchable online. •  Regional Business News •  State Business News Business News resources like to highlight the SUCCESSFUL business owners.
  22. 22.
  23. 23. Profiling Top Companies with contact information on each:
  24. 24. Websites Sampling •  LinkedIn •  Property databases •  Charity databases/Family Foundations
  25. 25. LinkedIn •  Make sure your own profile is 100 pct “complete” before you proceed to invite connections. •  Be compliant with your firm’s rules. •  Use the Advanced Search feature to find prospective business.
  26. 26. Prospecting with LinkedIn Maria’s Top 5 Tips 1. Make sure your own LinkedIn profile is 100% complete (or as close as possible). LinkedIn will provide you with tips on making it complete.
  27. 27. #2 2. Broaden your own network by inviting those people you already know to connect with you. LinkedIn provides you with step- by-step instructions for sending invitations to your email address database and you can view those instructions by clicking
  28. 28. #3 3. Peruse the list of your First Degree Connections to determine who else THEY are directly connected to. Ask to be connected to people you identify as your ideal prospects.
  29. 29. #4 4. Join LinkedIn Groups! Find out where your target market has joined a Group on LinkedIn and join the group yourself. Share discussions and news articles that will help position you as an expert in your area and invite Group members to connect directly with you.
  30. 30. #5 •  Use the “Advanced People Search” tab to find anyone on LinkedIn who is in your target market. Use the “keywords” field and narrow your search results by geography, industry, degrees of separation, Groups, etc. You can even search by your alma mater, giving you an instant reason to connect with someone new. This technique alone will turn up a goldmine of new contacts. Last step: Extend invitations to connect.
  31. 31. LinkedIn: Advanced Search
  32. 32. Sample search: Rutgers graduates within 10-mile radius of 08807: 7,518 results; 321 are 1st or 2nd degree connection; 10 list “in transition” on their profile
  33. 33. Property Databases: Find Nearby Homeowners •  Sometimes accessible through local newspapers via their website. •  Often available directly by searching Google for the town name and assessor, e.g., +Dallas +Texas +assessor •  See if you can sort search results by highest home value to lowest
  34. 34., Data Universe Public Records including statewide property info
  35. 35. •  Search properties nationwide •  See pictures of home & surrounding property •  Access assessed value & tax information on the home •  Note: Homeowners names not available on this website.
  36. 36. Charitable Organizations •  Find local nonprofit organizations •  Find family foundations •  Refine results geographically •  Free & fee-based portions to this site
  37. 37. Guidestar: Advanced Search Tab
  38. 38. Sample: Keywords “family foundation” in New Jersey = 1,147 results
  39. 39. About Maria Semple: Maria Semple, Principal of The Prospect Finder, LLC, an experienced researcher, trainer, and frequent speaker on prospect research, consults with non-profit organizations and financial services firms interested in finding their best prospects for long-term business relationships. She is the author of two downloadable and interactive prospect research tools, filled with dozens of prospecting resources. The Prospect Finder is also a Constant Contact Solutions Provider, assisting small business owners and nonprofits with their e-marketing and surveying needs.
  40. 40. Find the listings for our current season of webinars and register at Chris Dumas 707-812-1234 Special Thanks To Our Sponsors