My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.


Who Are Your Clients?

Get to know potential customers with market research.
2 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Q: I need to reach potential clients for our environmental engineering consulting firm to learn about their buying habits, styles, personality types and favorite ways of receiving advertising or communications. How do you recommend I learn about them?

A: Telephone surveys are a terrific way to gather in-depth information on B2B prospect groups, as they often have a higher completion rate than written surveys. It's best to rely on the services of a qualified research company, though finding one with expertise in your field may take a bit of legwork. You can start with the searchable database of research firms published by Quirk's Marketing Research Review or by contacting the leading trade publications in your field for specific referrals and published lists of research companies.

Once you've selected a research firm, you should provide an outline of what you want to learn from your survey and discuss the most logical order in which to present a total of about eight to 10 questions. It will be the firm's job to design a 10-minute telephone survey that relies predominantly on closed-ended questions (those that can be answered with yes or no or a multiple-choice answer) but also incorporates a few open-ended questions that allow your prospects to answer in their own words. Focusing on closed-ended questions will make the survey results easier to analyze, particularly if you have a large survey group. If you're looking for predominately qualitative information, you may need to talk with as few as 50 prospects, but if you want projectable data with a low margin of error, several hundred completed surveys will be required.

Is your prospect base quite small? If so, you may choose not to hire a research firm and instead approach this as a sales challenge. Design a call report (a form used to record the outcome of each sales contact) that includes all your most important questions, and use it diligently when calling on your prospects by phone or in person. This is the best way to build relationships while gathering the vital data you need.

More from Entrepreneur

Kim's expertise can help you become a strong leader, pitch VCs for capital, and develop a growth strategy.
In as little as seven months, the Entrepreneur Authors program will turn your ideas and expertise into a professionally presented book.
Are you paying too much for business insurance? Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out.

Latest on Entrepreneur