Lead Intelligently

darren-nolander-leadYou’ve heard me talk about lead generation a million times. Through those talks, you know that identifying and acquiring leads is only one part of the process. I was reminded of just how important this is at the recent Sales Mastery conference in San Diego.

We all have different skill sets. Some of us are great at spreadsheets, others are terrific at analyzing that data, while another set excels at acting upon that data. The same is true for leads. Some of us can easily collect contact names and numbers, others are better at actually making contact and some really shine after that first point of contact.

The problem is we really have to achieve a healthy, skillful balance at all aspects along the prospecting pipeline for our efforts to pay off. What tends to happen, however, is that we focus the majority of our time and energy around the particular part of the process where we feel most confident and, therefore, comfortable.

It’s great if you can generate hundreds of leads – but what good do they do you sitting on your laptop? It’s wonderful if you’ve got a knack for cold calling – a truly special skill to have – but how does this help you if you’re terrible at follow up? I’m absolutely ecstatic if your given talent is closing the deal – but just how many deals are you closing if you don’t devote any time to identify leads or initiate the process through cold calling?

I’m not saying sacrifice your strengths in favor of something you’re weaker at. However, the sales process is often referred to as a pipeline because it is just that: an ever-flowing system that must remain clog-free if the material is to get from Point A to Point B swiftly and without interruption. Take some time this month to rebalance your skill sets and improve upon areas where you may be lacking. Like water in a pipe, a lead can’t make it to the end if the pipe is held upward, where all the material gathers and stalls at the start. It can flow very fast in a downward direction, but how much of that water are you capturing if you’re rushing it through the motions? Give these thoughts some thoughts of your own as you become the best closer you can be!

Regional Vice President - Southwest

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