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Dewitt, NY – Gases and welding equipment distributors often spend significant money researching leads and learning about new customers and competitive accounts. Much of the very same valuable information is available for free on the Internet. Finding this information can be difficult, given the large quantity of unrelated information. The summer issue of Welding & Gases Today features an article by sales expert Sam Richter, called “Know-More Selling,” that offers an array of cost-free resources to learn about customers.

According to a study by CSO Insights, sales intelligence is one of the most effective tools for improving a salesperson’s, and a company’s, sales effectiveness. In today’s value-oriented business marketplace, research—or “the fourth R,” as Richter calls it—is the tool that truly differentiates one business and one salesperson from the next.

From company proposals to vendor and client lists, companies think that the files they post online for colleagues to download are secure. But if not properly protected, Google can index the data and make them available to people who know how to look. Richter illustrates how Google’s advanced filetype search can uncover Excel spreadsheets and Powerpoint presentations hidden on a company’s website. A Google timeline search will show company news and press releases for any time period you select. Using advanced search functions will make Google your go-to resource for customer research.

Most people don’t know it, but one of the most powerful business research resources around is your local public library. Big companies with big budgets pay for expensive databases and list-building services. What you probably didn’t realize is most libraries have the same or similar databases that you can use for free.
Even better, you can often access most of these databases at no charge via your own home or work computer, any time you’d like.

Having a detailed understanding of your customer will better equip you to understand the company and will go a long way toward building a strong relationship. Want to learn how to harness the power of the Internet to learn about potential customers? Visit Welding & Gases Today Online, the leading journal for the welding equipment and industrial, medical and specialty gases industry.

For more information, contact Carole Jesiolowski, Editor of Welding & Gases Today, at editor@weldingandgasestoday.org or 315-445-2347.


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