Three Google Web Search Secrets for Getting Insider Prospect and Customer Info


A couple of years ago I noticed the book, "Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling," by Sam Richter.

It wasn’t a sales tips or technique book, but rather the most comprehensive collection of web search ideas I’ve ever seen for getting information about people, companies, and industries.

I was blown away! At the time, I was in the process of planning my entire Smart Calling system, including the book, of which gathering intelligence is a major component. I had to meet this guy, since what he teaches needed to be part of the toolbox of any true Smart Caller.

We connected, and even did an Audio Seminar together. In fact, until next week, as an introduction to Sam and his material, I’m offering the $49 downloadable one-hour seminar, full of great secrets at $35 off, just $14. Go to

Sam and I will be on stage together, offering interactive customized workshops for companies, associations, and nationalsales meetings, showing exactly how touse his secrets to gather intelligence, andplugging it into my Smart Calling process to get through to buyers, engage them, andturn them into customers. (For more info,call me at 402-895-9399, or email me at

Sam also is now writing a regular columnfor my monthly Telephone Prospecting and Selling Report. Here is one of his first columns with us.

Three Google Web Search Secrets for Getting Insider Prospect and Customer Info
By Sam Richter

In March 2010, there were 15.4 billion online information searches conducted via popular search engines, with more than 65% of it done using Google. And in the business world, it’s my experience that Google has a 95% search market share.

Yet even though Google is very easy to use, most people only access a small portion of what Google has to offer.

The standard call where you give the same pitch or voice mail message to everyone just doesn’t cut it (yet it’s surprising how many people still "smile and dial"). In his book, Smart Calling, Art calls that the Dumb Call.

It’s imperative that prior to any sales call, that you find information about your prospect so you can customize your message.

And I’m not talking about just visiting someone’s Web site. Rather, a good search can reveal detailed information that helps you better personalize your entire call and your examples to things that your prospect or client cares about.

If you’re a true Smart Caller who understands that the intelligent use of information is power, these three Google Web Search Secrets can help you get the inside information on companies, industries, and people.

1. Google Advanced Search
For most people, receiving millions of Google search results has become a way of life.

It doesn’t have to be that way.
Think of Google as a virtual vacuum cleaner, looking for Web pages with words that it can vacuum up and put in the Google database.

When you type in words into the Google search form, all it is doing is returning Web page results where your words have appeared most often.

The trick, then, is putting better information into Google so you can get better information out.


Use the Google Advanced Search form. You’ll find the link right next to the search button on Google’s home page.

Once in Google Advanced Search, you can enter in words, phrases, words that are not important to you, and more. Take a few moments and think about exactly what you want, and use the fields to enter the information. Click the search button and notice how much better your results are.

2. Google Timeline Search
Type the name of a company in Google. If the company name is more than one word, put the name between quotation marks (e.g. "acme corporation").

On the Google results page you’ll see a link that says "Show Options." Click on the link.

This allows you to sort your Google search results using a number of criteria. One of the options is labeled "Timeline." Click on is and you’ll see a graphical timeline by decade, with certain time periods blocked out. Click on one of the blocked out periods and you’ll see articles featuring your search results from your chosen time period.

On the left side, you can also click the "Latest" link, which will show results featuring your search criteria mentioned in blogs, current news, and even instant Twitter messages.

How can you use this information?

Imagine prior to a sales call that you conduct this sort of search. You click on the current month and pull up press releases and articles. You reference this information during your call.

For example, you might say: "I saw in your company press release from last week that you are…" or "I thought that article from last month where you were quoted was…"

Even the historical information is valuable, as it will show you how the company has progressed over time, past partnerships, and it even might reveal past or current vendors.

3. Google Filetype Search
Imagine finding a competitor’s sales proposal, an association’s membership list, or a high-end research report online. It’s truly amazing what people post to the Web. From company budgets to vendor and client lists, companies think that the files they post online for colleagues or clients to download are secure, but if not properly protected, Google can index the data and make it available to people who know how to look.

a). Enter the information you want and/or the company name (use quotations around phrases).

b). Enter filetype: (filetype colon) and then choose a filetype extension e.g. pdf = adobe acrobat; xls = Excel spreadsheets; ppt = PowerPoint document; doc = Word document.

For example, "paper industry" + "membership list" filetype:xls will search for a paper industry membership list in Excel format. "Widget corporation" filetype:ppt will search for a Widget Corporation PowerPoint presentation.

"Plastics industry" + trends OR issues filetype:pdf will locate research reports and/or articles related to trends or issues in the plastics industry.

If you’re looking for additional search resources, please make sure to visit my Know More! Warm Call Center where you can also download my Warm Call Toolbar The site is completely free and it will help you to stop "surfing" through Google search results and instead start getting the information you need, the first time, every time.

(Sam Richter is an internationally recognized expert on sales, marketing, and leadership. He’s author of Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling, now in its fifth edition, and he presents his customized Know More! keynote and training programs to audiences around the globe. Get his book, and contact him at )

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