GPI 428 –Research your customers and industries, free of charge, online, through your library.

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Go to your local public library and get a library card.  Most municipalities do not charge for these.  You can use this card at home or the office to gather market information using your current or known potential customers.

Steps to gather industry information:  

  • Get yourself or your office a local library card.
  • Logon to your library website (city or county).
  • Go to the research section of the website.
  • Search for Reference USA (one example of many options for company profiles or company mandatory reporting data).
  • You will have options to search information about one company or a complete group of similar potential customers. At this point, choose to select a known company and enter their name and address.
  • On the information that will be displayed will be the company’s declared SIC code (Standard Industrial Code). If the firm is large and has lots of products or services, the firm may have several SIC codes. Select the first one which is supposed to be the dominant SIC choice and area of interest.
  • You have the option to enter one or more SIC codes for the United States and get hundreds or thousands of other firms that have declared that SIC code as their own also.
  • You will get a multi-page report with names, addresses, phone numbers and other corporate data to tell you how to contact these new potential customers.
  • You will have choices to sort companies by SIC code, groups of SIC codes, territorial areas or specific states, targets within certain mileage ranges and those over a sales size minimum. You will also find corporate organization charts for larger multi-branch firms that indicate the name and complete addresses of all of the subsidiaries and divisions of that selected company along with their respective sales totals.

IDEA:  As soon as your company takes an order from a new company, assign someone in sales to research that new firm, find all of its sister divisions and locations. Have them forward company literature to those branches building upon the initial sales order just received. Offer a corporate discount since those sister divisions are now included.

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