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MeL Minute

MeL Minute: Guest Post from Trevor Winn about AtoZDatabases for the Business Community

by Sonya Norris on 2019-04-04T10:44:26-04:00 | Comments

The local business community presents a unique challenge and opportunity for public libraries. While “business people” seem to speak a language very different from what we hear in libraries, once libraries identify the needs of their community, this group of professionals can become one of your best assets when you need their support. For years, the Michigan e-Library has made the promotion of library services easier with access to directory databases, and the 2018 addition of AtoZDatabases has made it easier than ever to get the attention of local businesses! It can also help your library reach new homeowners each month! 

Chamber meetings are prime locations for scouting new patrons and, in my experience, nothing works better with skeptical professionals than to promote your free lead generation service. You didn’t know you had that? Well, you do! Professionals expect a library employee to talk about books, so I enjoy throwing them off and promoting something many still don’t know we’ve done for years. Whether they call it prospecting, lead gen, or (gulp) cold-calling, many business professionals thrive on expanding their client base. Offer them something that could affect their bottom line and you’ll probably get their attention long enough to mention AtoZDatabases. 

So what sort of information does AtoZ provide?

  • Target local businesses that interest you and limit by geography, sales, industry, and more
  • Locate physicians, dentists, and other health-related professionals 
  • Find local homeowners by neighborhood, income, and hobbies (and more) for a mailing campaign
  • Contact NEW homeowners in your area and entice them to your business (or library!)
  • Locate competition in an area before selecting a location to operate

While many libraries have long had subscriptions to competitor products, AtoZDatabases offers flexibility that competitors can’t beat. While you’ll often ask where someone lives when you’re at an outreach event to determine eligibility, AtoZ’s statewide availability makes this unnecessary, removing a barrier to access. Second, AtoZ permits users to download up to 1,000 business or household records into a single spreadsheet, which makes exporting those leads much faster! 

Whether a business is looking to contact households or local businesses, AtoZ’s interface and options permit businesses to execute narrow searches to ensure relevant results.

While library staff are often focused on promoting our resources to our patrons, don’t forget that the list of New Homeowners is just as valuable to us! Consider reaching out to them early to offer your programs and services. 

This guest MeL Minute brought to you by Trevor Winn, Business and Marketing Librarian, Clarkston Independence District Library

#IMLSGrant


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