Looking to contact the real decision makers at companies? So are reporters who cover your industry. And when they find them, they usually quote them. You can compile a strong list of qualified buyers simply by reading.

Margaret Rodenberg, vice-president of sales and marketing for $7-million Viteq Corp., a Lanham, Md., maker of uninterruptible power supplies for computers, does just that. She goes through the same business publications her potential customers read, culling names as she goes. "It's one way to build up your list," she says. And when she contacts the prospect, she has a natural icebreaker: "I read your remarks in the latest issue of . . ." -- Tom Richman

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