Impulse buying is bad. Period. But if you think that this psychological disease is only limited to consumers, think again. It's still a risk for B2B shoppers as well. For example, if you're the head of a startup company, be careful about impulse buying when you're looking for a contact list. If you're a much older company, your buying decisions should still remain rooted to what your business really needs.
A contact list can serve various purpose for both marketing and customer support. But whether you're just starting out or need a new market, there are three things that you need to do:
- # 1 Know your own industry: It's a basic step but you can lose sight of what your business is originally about once you've seen the variety of industries being listed in the catalog of a contact list vendor. If you're in charge of a mall for example, you should stick to locating establishments that most likely fit well in a mall. This may include clothing retailers, restaurants, bookstores but not farms, business software vendors, or heavyly, B2B niche businesses.
- # 2 Know the industry of your contacts – If you're a startup, identifying your market is part of growth. If you're a much older company, you need to familiarize yourself with the industries of your contacts. Once you've determined the industries that make a most suitable B2B market for you, learn as much as you can about each one. Many list vendors have a brief description when categorizing their information by industry but it's better to go beyond that.
- # 3 Know how one benefits the other – All right, you know the needs of your own industry and you know the needs of theirs. Now what? You know need to see how your industry can serve to benefit those of your target market. Going back to the mall example, you are offering a space for them so that they can open up shop and attract plenty of new customers.
The consequences of buying a contact list on impulse can be costly and at the same time embarrassing. The lists alone are already expensive. Do you really need to buy that many just to get a good start? What if you bought all those lists but your lead generation efforts only end up benefitting from lists bought under a competent of industries? The other lists become nothing but waste (along with the money and time spent on them).
There's also no point in buying a list that corresponds to your needs but you have no idea how your calls or emails will correspond to the needs of your contacts. Identifying needs is a critical step in both B2B marketing and sales. If you're not familiar with the industry of your prospects, how can you say that your business benefits them? What needs can you determine without that knowledge?
And without knowledge of needs, how can they be qualified for sales leads? Without sales leads, you can not have sales. And without sales, you can not get back the amount of money you just spent on your contact lists. Impulse buying is not only limited to consumer shoppers. B2B shoppers can still be sooner and the stakes are much higher if you give in to those urges.