Find and Be Found

Does the Internet offer an extension of traditional sales and marketing tools or is it a complete shift of a paradigm?

It used to be that salespeople worked within a limited circle of contacts and prospects. You networked within your social organization, church group, service club and perhaps with other salespeople in a "leads club" setting. Your corporation handled product marketing and client relations on a major scale due to the enormous costs of advertising and establishing a presence with a national scope. Today, at relatively no cost, anyone can make available to the world, information about themselves, their company, products or services. For those of us who make a living by contacting others, Internet search engines comb the web, indexing key words and retrieving a never-ending variety of homepages within moments. You can easily find out who to target and how to contact them with just a little bit of help.

What does that mean to you? Well, it depends on whether you are wanting to find, or be found!

Sales Research Tools

The Internet site for Sales and Marketing Management Magazine offers so many links to business research resources on the web that you will need weeks to explore them all. If you are wanting to target a company or category of business to offer your wares to, this is the place!

Find information by and about almost any business or industry

Get lists of companies and contacts by categories

Learn about trends in specific businesses

Keep abreast of current business news

Find the Prospect Via the Net

Are you looking for access to a particular person? Unable to get by their secretary? Can't discover the FAX number to send a message likely to be put on a decision maker's desk? Go to Chances are that a search of this comprehensive Internet "phone book" will pull up the prospect's E-mail address allowing you to take advantage of this medium's impact. also lets you search the entire U.S. white pages phone book listings, E-mail contact addresses for most U.S. Government officials (listed by state and branch of government), a celebrity directory of famous (and infamous) people and a service that allows users of Internet-based video phones to connect with each other without having to call by voice phone first and arrange to be "on-line" at particular times.

Services for Salespeople and Big Foot also provides services to salespeople who want to be found.

The iName service offers an E-mail forwarding ability where you keep one address for your lifetime and simply forward messages to wherever you happen to be working, perfect for the upwardly mobile

HotMail offers an ability to pick up your e-mail from any web-connected computer in the world, an especially useful feature for salespeople on the go.

Register your name, company name, past and present E-mail addresses, phone and FAX numbers into their multi-million name database so that other searchers can find you. Optionally, enter your school name, hobbies, etc. for others to find you via keyword searches. You can even set up a "blind" E-mail box where people

can send you mail without knowing your address.

And of course, just about everyone with a computer and an Internet account will sell you a homepage and help you design aa advertisement for yourself. Prices vary from free to hundreds of dollars per year, depending on how much work they do and whatever other agendas they might have.

Within the next two years, our computers will have 24-hour connections to the Internet, even from home. It will be as common to have an E-mail box as it is today to have a regular mail box outside your front door. The challenge then will be to filter out the unwanted information from the useful. But that is the subject of another column.