We can get fancy and call this “busi-
ness source analysis.” But when you peek
behind the curtain, you see that it is based
on a common-sense principle: “Birds of
a feather flock together.”
While the origin of this phrase goes
back to the 1500s, its modern definition
is: “People of the same sort or with the
same tastes and interests will be found
This principle is the foundation for
my entire approach to list development.
In my first book, “Prospecting Your
Way to Sales Success” (1986), I formulated it this way: “Your best prospect is
someone who looks like someone who
already buys your product or service.
So, we’re looking for a list of people who
resemble people who already buy your
product or service.
“Obviously, I don’t mean resemble physically. I mean resemble demographically.
(Demographics is the study of population
characteristics such as gender, income,
and occupation, especially as these characteristics may affect buying decisions.)”
Let’s do some more “Little Data”
Where Do Your Best Clients Live?
We will start by showing you how to see
where your clients live.
You: Bill, this is ridiculous. I know
where each of them lives.
Me: I have news for you. You may think
you do, but there are pockets that you do
not realize because you cannot visualize
more than a few locations. If you have
400 clients, you would have to conceive
of 80 locations. Sorry, friend. The human mind just does not work that way.
In this Little Data exercise, I’m going
to suggest you export information on all
your clients and your prospects and then
import it into a Google Map. Let me reiterate: You need to see the examples on
If your heart did a flutter over the idea
of posting a map of your clients to Google
Maps, I would not worry about it. When
you import your lists, just import first
names only. Or you could set up a col-
umn of ID numbers. No name would be
displayed. (Unless you share your map, it
can only be viewed by you. I am entirely
happy with Google’s privacy controls.)
But before you import this informa-
tion, let’s add a little bit of data to the
Little Data you already have.
Let’s divide your clients into quin-
tiles. We will use extremely scientific
1 = The top 20%
2 = The next 20%.
You get the idea.
We are going to make separate im-
ports into Google Maps. Each of your
quintiles will be assigned a different
Among other things, you will be able
to see some little clients who live right
next door to big clients. Now, what would
that suggest? Might it suggest you don’t
have all the assets?
To give you a little bit more to think
about, let’s also import information about
You: OK. Now what am I supposed
Me: Just download the directions
from my website. Create “My Map.” Play
around with it a bit. Click on various lay-
ers and then unclick on others. Learn how
to visualize different categories of your
Let’s see what we can learn.
Turn off quintiles two, three and four.
Do you see any of your little clients liv-
ing next door, or nearly so, to your top-
quintile (or number one) clients?
Let’s do another example. Unclick
everyone but your top-quintile clients.
You want more of them, right?
What if you hire a high school intern
to look up each of your best clients and
then get the name and address of all the
people on that street? You could invite
these individuals to seminars or other
events. Wouldn’t you then have a list of
“birds of a feather?”
Now turn on your list of prospects. As
you look at your map, odds are some of
your prospects will be very close to one
of your clients. A quick call to a client
could go like this:
You: Hey Martha, I’ve been talking to
someone who lives just a couple of doors
from you. They might become a client.
When you peek behind the curtain, you
see that it is based on a common-sense
principle: “Birds of a feather flock together.”