Use business classifications to find potential customers: In order to target your marketing efforts, you might try tracing current customers through their declared federal business classifications and categories (SIC and NAICS codes). SIC or Standard Industry Classification codes were established in 1937. The newer codes, (the NAICS codes, North American Industry Classification System) were established in 1997.
These are categories are not chosen or assigned by someone else, but by the firms themselves. Companies are asked by government agencies to choose one or more codes that describe their activities. For example, for less than $100-$200, you can quickly buy a listing of every company that has ever had a federal contract in your state or area of the country (available through the freedom of information act – governmental activity). Most companies have, at one time, worked for the federal government; so many times, the listings are fairly long and worth reviewing. You can buy this information off the internet and download the database with a credit card. These
lists generally will entail five to ten years of history (the longer period the better because more are included if they did at least one job).
As an alternative, find a current customer, and then sort through his code group to discover more: Find, within this governmental database, a few of your current customers, and notice the classification category names under which they declare their business. Sort the list by this classification and then within this group, sort all of those other participants within city or zip code, which makes it easier for your representatives to create target lists to call on. This is one idea which may or may not work for your company, but for the very minimal cost, it will at least tell you other potential companies in the same market segments or industries some of your current customers operate.
Try using SIC or NAICS Codes to identify sales targets – buy a list and start searching: A second list you might want to purchase is a SIC code listing. This is the governmental code by which all companies categorize themselves. The secret is to obtain the listing (excel or a sortable database format), and find several of your current customers within that listing, note their SIC codes, then look for other companies in your marketing area within those categories; more than likely they are more apt to buy your goods or services versus other nonrelated categories.