Everyone wants leads. Specifically, they want ready-to-buy leads. Selling is easy when your prospective client is trying to buy. If the leads come from marketing, whether it be traditional or inbound doesn’t matter. What makes leads attractive is the fact that they come to you. You don’t have to start from nothing.
Targets are different. They’re anything but ready-to-buy. When you target your dream client accounts, there is a high probability that they already have a partner who helps them with the outcomes you’d like to provide. What makes targets unattractive is that they are not delivered to you.
Targets are better than most of the leads you will ever receive. You know that they’re qualified and that they spend in your category. If they’re dream clients, you know that what you sell is strategic, and something your target values because it is necessary to their strategy or business model. Because what you would provide them is important, it’s likely that your target cares enough about it to improve their outcomes, allowing you to create opportunities, even if it takes time. More still, when they choose a partner, they tend to be very loyal–as long as that partner continues to deliver new value.
Leads are attractive because you believe they’re interested–even when they’re not. The fact that they raised their hand (or clicked a link that you choose to believe suggests an interest), is no indication as to the value of the lead. Some will be very good, most will be something less.
If you are provided leads, you still need targets. Whatever time you invest in the leads you are provided needs to be matched with an equal or greater commitment to pursuing your targets, your dream clients. The Gods of Prospecting smile on salespeople who take action and punish those who wait.