There are a lot of database companies out there, and most of them are legitimate businesses that want to develop lasting customer relationships by providing quality data and service. But a small percentage of these companies are definitely not reputable, and if you’re not careful, you can lose money on a bad deal.
To help you determine if a database provider is legitimate, I’ve compiled a list of the top 3 things that you should do before signing any contracts or paying any money.
- Look up their physical address.
Chances are a company run out of somebody’s garage isn’t going to have good quality data. Make sure the address on Google is an actual business, and not a residential home on Zillow or a fast food restaurant.
- Research them on LinkedIn.
Every reputable, legitimate company these days either has a page of their own on LinkedIn, or at the very least, their employees have profiles there. I would be very leery of a company – database or otherwise – that didn’t appear there at all.
- Set the specs for a sample.
If you ask a data company to give you a sample of their data, you can bet they’re going to give you the most pristine, clean, perfect records they have available. But you can also bet that these records will not be representative of the actual quality of their data as a whole. Give them a set of criteria that allows for companies that you know to come up in their sample. If those companies are not in the sample, or if the data they have on them is outdated, that’s a red flag.