Names list anyone?
Did you know that if you are in need for contacts for your personal or business needs, there are a number of ways to achieve this and it doesn’t really matter if you’re fundraising, or just needing the names. We can look at a few different ways that may help you if you feel yourself struggling to find that next person. How do you start a names list? Where do you find the names you need? How do you work off of that names list? How do you maintain a names list? Going through these steps should help you in the long run when you may need it the most.

How do you start a names list?

Let’s start with who do you know? I bet you know hundreds of people, but how many can you actually name off the top of your head right now? I’m sure your struggling with getting the top 50. This is a common struggle that we share. So the next step to knowing who you know is to get that note pad out or an excel spreadsheet and see once where your list will begin.

Where do you find the names you need for your list?

A few most common places we can find our top 500 names, is in the most obvious places, believe it or not: Your cell phone address book, Facebook and Twitter accounts, or maybe previous invite or thank you lists that you had used in the past for celebrations. Also, create a category list or find one on the internet that supplies different professions or job categories. This will also help you brainstorm for people you may have forgotten about.

How do you work off the names list?

Names lists can be used for multiple purposes so depending on your need for the list will vary the reason on how you work off of it. For example, if you’re fundraising or working for a nonprofit, you need to be comfortable with contacting the persons off of your list. More than likely, a large number of contacts you have are family and friends, so your way of contacting them may be different than someone who is just an acquaintance. Cold calling can bother a lot of people, so a script that you can write or print out is always helpful. Practice the script and make in unique to your purpose and speak it like you’re really saying it and not just reading from a piece of paper.

How do you maintain a names list?

Some effective ways to maintain a good names list is to stay on top of it. Keep your note pad or spreadsheet readily available to make updates or changes. You can categorize your list any way that you would like: purpose, profession, needs, or who you feel fits a certain category of the names list. An important thing to remember is that even though a particular person may not fit the need for your intent, never take them off of your list, and it may not hurt to call them anyway. The reason for not deleting anyone from your names list is for the purpose of not knowing how many people the other person may know? I’m sure if one person can’t help you, they know someone that could.

Don’t get frustrated with the few responses; embrace it for moving on to the next step and finding that one person that fits the need for your personal or business purpose. In most cases, we survive and move forward in our lives or professions by the people we know. So use a names list to help you succeed in your goal. If for business purposes, join a networking group or chamber of commerce. Become involved in your community to get your name out there. You never know who you’re going to run into so keep your head up and not to the ground. If you have an outgoing personality, have a conversation with a stranger. Also remember that the word “NO” is only a word and not an ending to your business prospects. One hundred “no’s” can lead to one yes, and one yes can lead to hundreds of new names for your list.

 Blog post by GRAPE Social Media Contributor Ryan Elwell