Q:My problem is in finding names and email addresses for companies that manufacture (design) products from high tech to aircraft. I tried doing it by hand with Yahoo Business, D&B, Fortune, etc. but could not seem to find a way to get what I wanted.
A:I've gotten to the point where I don't even open email that come from a source that I don't already do business with - I simple don't consider email to be a medium for sales pitches. Unless I contact a company first requesting information, anything they may send will simply be deleted. Spam is even affecting the way I deal with postal mail - I no longer feel the need to open a read everything that arrives. This has allowed me to go through a large stack of mail in just a minute or two. Of course this means a lot of companies are wasting a lot of money paying for those mailings. While they have a better chance of being read than over the internet, it is rapidly diminishing. The telephone is still the only good way to contact me as a new business contact. I'm a small business and open my mail through ATT.NET before going into Outlook Express because I can dump 9 out of ten emails from people and outfits I don't know. This, after my server has already cut out spam, which may run to over 70 a day. Networking is still your best bet. Spend time at trade shows, exchange cards, get out and knock on doors. Find the person most likely to help you sell your idea/product up the management chain, then help them sell! In California we have the Small Business Development and Int'l Trade Ctrs. at most Colleges. Some have a Business Resource Center where they spend money on professional databases where you can find the name of the principals, and a lot of company information. If you sign up as a client, most of them will do a zip code and Harmonized code sort for you and put it onto a .dbf file for you to use mail merge or fax merge. Although forget fax now days. Huge penalties for unsolicited faxes. Soon the same will be for telemarketing. That leaves you with the USPO. Who, by the way, have created a superb package on Direct Marketing called Direct Mail Delivers kit. It's backed by a great book "Being Direct" by Lester Wunderman, well worth studying.