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Monday, June 14, 2010

The Myth of Qualified Leads

Years ago, I was an officer in a national, direct sales driven, marketing consulting company. I made an emergency trip to our St. Louis office after the local management walked out.

The sales corps had taught themselves they needed fresh leads. I didn’t have any. I did have a four inch folder of previously used leads. I started reading them and began giving them out to my guys, with my instant analysis of why each one was great prospect.

We started selling way more than previously, and now my guys were fighting for “Dick’s leads,” as their secret weapon.

Most “qualification” is matching new prospects to previous sales. Just because they bought in the past doesn’t mean they should be our continuing clients. There is a feeling of personal safety in matching to an approved pattern. Looks like a great way to dig a terminal rut, which can become a grave.

Instead of looking for qualifications, which are starting to look like reading chicken entrails,  how about concentrating on making the person in front of you want to buy what you are offering? The unintended benefit is you will develop new applications for your existing resources…some of which will be more profitable than what you are doing now.

Can you add any other examples for this kind of thinking?
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