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Prospecting and Avoiding the Trap of Bad Leads

Just because a lead looks like a customer and smells like a customer doesn’t mean it is necessarily going to become a customer.

Recently a person showed me all of the “leads” they received from a trade show. I should correctly state, leads the salesperson received from the Marketing team that was at the trade show.  When I asked what made them leads, his response was, “Last year we got a lot of new customers from this same show, so they must be good.”

Well, that settles the issue, right?

If the trade show was great one year, it must be great every year thereafter.  I’ll remember that next time I walk into a Sears store. I’ll just keep repeating to myself, “Years ago this store used to have to what I was looking for.”

Leads change and, more importantly, customer expectations change.  You can fall into a deep hole pretty quickly thinking all leads from a specific source are all good.

This issue runs rampant with Marketing Departments that are quick to mimic over and over again lead generation tactics that are simply not effective.  This is a big reason why I say Sales must own the prospecting process.

If there’s a change in the quality of leads, the group that is going to find out first is Sales, because they’re the ones charged with turning leads into customers.

Who owns the lead generation process?  Check out my 2-minute “rant” on this issue:

Bad leads come from using the assumption you can build a profile as to what a lead looks like.  Big mistake!  Don’t build it based on the profile of who they are, etc. Build it based on the outcome they receive.

When you base your leads on outcomes you provide, you will get yourself much closer to the perfect customer.  Question you’re asking is, “How do I go about doing that?”

It’s quite simple. You ask as part of the lead generation process.  The last thing you want are leads you can’t do anything with, so the earlier you cut to the chase, the more time you will save.

Let me share an example from my own lead generation process.

A key part of my job is speaking at sales kick-off meetings.  It would be easy for me to say anyone who is having a sales kick-off meeting would be a perfect lead for me.  Bad assumption!

A company having a meeting may fit the traditional profile of having a meeting, but it doesn’t address the outcome.   The outcome I want to see in a potential lead is one where they’re challenged in finding new customers or minimizing the need to discount. These two outcomes are what I deliver. It’s not the meeting. That’s merely a physical activity. When I find this is the outcome they’re in need of, then I know it’s a great lead I can most likely turn into a customer.

Your objective is to use the same process I use to narrow your leads.

Focus on the outcome, not the traditional profile. When you do this, you’ll find yourself with better leads for one simple reason — you’ll have fewer of them.  Yes, you read it correctly — fewer but better leads. And this is why Sales must own the lead generation process. As long as Marketing owns it, they will play the numbers game.

To you it’s not numbers. It’s quality.

Back to my example about sales meetings and having an outcome of getting better leads or avoiding the need to discount.  If this is you, let’s talk about how we can work together to get your sales team identifying the right prospects they can close at full price.

And don’t forget that a coach can help you excel in your sales career! Invest in yourself by checking out my coaching program today!

Copyright 2018, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results

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2 thoughts on “Prospecting and Avoiding the Trap of Bad Leads”

  1. Outcome. That one word provides great direction and focus while prospecting. If I understand the outcomes I am able to deliver and articulate the how that outcome is derived, Bingo! Great leads will be generated by matching my outcomes with their needs. Actually that is also a great approach to effective marketing.

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