As VP/Sr. Consultant at The Center for Sales Strategy, I’ve worked with many customers over the past fourteen years. I would be a wealthier man if I had a dollar for every time I heard this line from sellers:
“All the good accounts are taken.”
It's easy for sellers to think this, especially new sellers who struggle to identify, connect, and close new customers, then convert these accounts to six-figure spenders. Easy to think this indeed, but not true.
Six Sources to Tap Into to Find Quality Leads
Note: before choosing which prospects to target as a new business prospect, it’s best to generate a long list of leads so you can narrow to the best leads. Using categories you’ve identified as a good fit your business, decide which sources on this list are right for you to generate your own list of quality leads.
Referrals from your best clients are your best source of quality leads. Ask your best clients if they know others with similar challenges that have the resources (money) to afford the types of solutions you sell. A referral implies that you are trusted and valued. Your referral source can also confirm what it’s like to do business with you. It's usually a good idea to ask your best customers as opposed to small spending accounts to avoid gaining a referral to another small spending account.
- Superstar sellers block time on their calendar each week to seek out referrals. Do you?
2. Former Clients
Find these inactive accounts by looking through old master account lists or billing reports. They could be your own former clients or unclaimed former clients that no one at your company is currently working. Another thought is to find out who some of their competitors are that may be more open to new ideas.
Who is working with your competitors? Study competitive media to see who is active in the categories you have decided to target.
4. Business & Sales Intelligence Tools
Use business intelligence tools like Hoovers and Winmo. To find resources best for your industry, do a search online for “sales intelligence tools.” Be creative with how you use these tools. For example, you might look for industry associations or board-certified companies in certain categories. Or try searching conferences for sponsors, speakers, and participants that are good prospects for your industry.
5. Google Resources
Google can offer leads in many ways.
- Google Alerts can send you email notifications about your prospects or clients.
- Google Maps can show you which prospects are in a location you are targeting.
- A simple Google search using key phrases such as “top plastic surgeons near me,” can yield results for locations, reviews, and blogs, for the category you are searching.
On LinkedIn, search for groups, job titles, and industries you’re are targeting. If you are in media sales, you might search for "Marketing Director" or "Marketing Coordinator" to see who has this job and then try to connect and message them.
Think of me the next time you think, “all the good accounts are taken.” Better yet, here is my email firstname.lastname@example.org. Drop me a note, and I’ll send you my address. Perhaps you can send me a dollar for your thoughts.