How to find your ideal customers

Knowledge level: Beginner

You know you need customers, but you’re stuck on how to find them. Don’t worry! In this guide, you’ll learn:

How to figure out what your perfect customer looks like

The best places to find these customers

How to build a list of contacts

When it comes to finding potential customers, it can be tricky to know where to start. We can whittle the process boils down to two key steps:

  1. Understanding what your perfect customer looks like
  2. Building a list of people who fit this ideal mould

So how do you actually do that? Read on to find out.

Picture your perfect customer

You don’t need to be a marketing wizard or data scientist to start finding new customers. But before you do anything at all, you need to know who you want to target, which means figuring out what your perfect customer looks like.

Ask yourself:

  • What industry are you trying to sell to? What’s the ideal company size?
  • What job roles do you want to contact? Are they the decision makers?
  • What challenges are they facing that your product or service could help with?
  • What’s their budget?
  • Where do they spend most of their time online??
  • What are their goals and objectives?

With a clear understanding of who your ideal customers are, you’ll be better equipped to start looking for their contact information.

Build a list of people to contact

Next, it’s time to create a list of people to contact (also referred to as your “prospecting database”). You can do this in one of three ways:

1. Find contacts yourself

This approach takes a lot of time and effort. It can be done by manually searching through company websites, LinkedIn, and other social media sites. Make sure you give the data a good clean before adding it to your final list; that means checking for things like generic email addresses that won’t get in front of the right people (e.g. info@ or support@ addresses) and finding more specific details.

Once you’ve gathered all the data you need, compile it into a spreadsheet, ready to start reaching out. Most businesses start out prospecting this way, but it’s not very efficient or sustainable in the long run.

2. Buy a list of contacts from a data broker

Buying sales lists can be really tempting as a way to save time and effort, but doing this presents a few issues. That company you’ve paid money to? They’ve sold the same list to many other businesses. And they’ve done none of the legwork to make sure the people on that list are a good fit for you (something you really need to be able to prove to stay on the right side of the law).

Also, those people have been contacted many times before, and their details go out of date really quickly. So you risk paying out every few months as people change roles and join new companies.

3. Use a sales engagement platform to keep your prospecting in one place

The smart choice. If you’re spending more time trying to find customers than actually running your business, then using smart tools to do the heavy lifting is the next logical step.

A good sales engagement platform (like Outbase 😉) is a one-stop-shop, giving you access to a constantly-updating database of prospects, along with all the tools you need to start reaching out to them.

Prospecting tip
Don’t forget to include all the different variations of job roles!

Other companies and industries have loads of different names for the same job roles. Make sure you’re not accidentally excluding a huge bunch of potential customers by not searching all the possible titles!

E.g. let’s say you want to get talking to HR bosses. Your company might refer to them as “HR Directors”, but other businesses might use names like “Head of People” or “People & Culture Director”. By covering all bases, you won’t miss out on groups of potentially perfect customers.

Finding your ideal customers on Outbase

It’s ridiculously easy to create a bespoke list of contacts on Outbase!

With just a few clicks, you can start building an audience for your very first prospecting campaign and get talking to potential customers:

  1. We’ve got literally millions of potential clients and businesses in our database, and you can use our easy filters to weed out the ones that aren’t relevant.
  2. Once you’ve applied all the filters you need, you’ll be left with a list of perfect people for you to start reaching out to.
  3. You can then save this list as an ‘audience’ to use in your prospecting campaigns. Got different products for different people? No problem! You can create as many audiences as you like to use across your campaigns.

What makes our database different? We use lots of different sources to make sure each contact is current and legit, meaning your emails won’t end up in a deserted inbox or blocked by spam filters.


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