Last week, I had an AMAZING week of dialing. I contacted several qualified leads and set a handful of appointments. That also means that I absolutely destroyed my qualified leads list (and that’s a good thing)! So now I need to allocate some time this week towards replenishing my “100 Strong List.”
I call my qualified leads my 100 Strong List because my goal is to always have a list of 100 qualified leads ready to call (having the number right there in the name ensures that I am always mindful of how big it should be). If 100 isn’t your number, that’s OK – decide what your number should be and stick to it.
When you have a plentiful, qualified list, you know you aren’t going to run out of good leads when you sit down to dial. You can concentrate on calling and setting appointments, and your results will go through the roof.
Conversely, when your list is too small, you’ll find that your productivity (and your morale) starts going down because you are trying to reach the same people over and over again.
Building Your List of Qualified Leads
Your leads should be coming from a wide array of sources. At a minimum, you should be getting leads from referrals, networking activities, and current & past clients. Many of you will also be using cold call lists you’ve purchased, pulled from a book or association, or built from canvassing a neighborhood.
If you have a lead’s contact info and you know they’re the decision-maker, then add them to your 100 Strong List. If it’s not the decision-maker or you’re not sure (or you don’t have the direct phone number and extension) – then it’s just a new lead, and you need to qualify it first. I have several tricks and tools that I use to get the decision maker’s name and number – here are the 3 methods I use the most:
3 Ways to Qualify Leads
- Google. It’s amazing what you learn just by using the Internet. Managers and owners often have their names and numbers on their website or business registry somewhere online.
- LinkedIn. You can get an endless amount of information using the advanced search (in the upper right-hand corner) if you use it properly.
- When all else fails – PICK UP THE PHONE! I love the challenge of cold calling a company because I can usually get the receptionist to give me all the information I need. Here are a couple of sample scripts you can use (replace [sales manager] with whatever makes sense in your case):
“Carol, I’m planning an event in the area, and I wanted to be sure to send the invitation to the correct person. Who is the [sales manager]?”
“Greg, I think the information that I have for the [sales manager] may be out of date. Can you tell me who your current [sales manager] is?”
Once you know you have the decision maker’s name and number, you can consider it a fully qualified lead and add it to your 100 Strong List.
Deplete and Replenish Your Qualified Leads List
Now that you’ve got a full 100 Strong List – it’s time to dial. These are your most important leads, so block off your most productive dial time, and don’t let anything else distract you. But remember, every time you reach someone, you have to take them off the list and move them to the proper prospecting category. Each person you reach and move to another category will need to be replaced on your 100 Strong List.
Make it a priority to always be 100 Strong. Transform the way you think about prospecting, and you’ll see a big increase in your sales.
Until next time—go sell some stuff!