If you have a contact manager, (ACT!, Goldmine, OnLine Agent, etc) and have been using it for several years, then you have probably wondered how you could create more customized searches in order to lookup specific contacts.

While even a novice can query a database to find past buyers, prospects, and other simple searches, there's much more power, and profit potential, when you can create specific searches to find the needle in the haystack, so to speak.

For instance, let's assume that you have just listed a condo in the $150,000 price range that has access to a private golf course and is located on the West Side of town.

Wouldn't it be productive if you could isolate and contact just those buyers who are interested in such a property? While you're at it, what if you could send "Just Listed" postcards to current owners that you know who have similar properties, and could possible refer potential buyers to you?

While every salesperson should recognize the value of such activities, getting your contact manager to quickly find just the right prospects for this prospecting can be complicated.

While each program has its own unique way of executing database searches, and its own limitations, you can easily create even the most comprehensive custom queries, once you know how.

You don't need to be an extreme technology guru to achieve this wizardry, you just need to follow a few simple steps.

First of all, either create a custom field within your database, or simply use an existing one that you don't use for data.

For this example, we'll call our custom field, "Select" though the name is entirely inconsequential.

Next, simply execute a "global replace" so that the value in every contact record will be "NO" for your entire database.

Once you have done this, you simply execute additional searches, and then replace the entry of the "Select" filed with "YES" in order to segregate just these records from your entire contact list.

Following our example, you might first search for just those buyers that have visited Open Houses for similar properties, other listings on the West Side of town, or those that have golf course access.

After each search, simple use the "replace" function within your contact manager to change just the "Select" field to "YES" for the records that matched your lookup.

Then move on to searching your contact manager for current owners of condos, those who live in the West Side or who have golf course access properties.

Again, after each search, replace the "Select" filed for those records with "YES".

Once you have completed all of your searches, (however many this may be) and replaced the "Select" field with "YES" after each one, all you need to do is create just one more query. As a final step, lookup all the records where the contents of the "Select" field equals "YES" and you're done!

There you have it, a highly targeted list of just the right prospects for your new listing.

Now you can either create a custom mailing, labels for "Just Listed" postcards or simply start dialing the phone, whichever is most appropriate based on your preferences.

While this may sound like a daunting task at first, after you've acquired the habit, assembling such a custom lookup, even as complicated as our example, won't take more than a minute or two, and will likely be among the most profitable time you spend using your contact manager.

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Copyrighted with all rights reserved by Stephen M. Canale