My old man has a friend who, as a young man, worked very hard to position himself for a job with a large investment-banking firm. He interviewed with his dream firm, and during the process they asked him if he had any questions about the potential position. He did.

This young man, knowing that he was going to be required to bring on new clients to succeed, asked if he would be provided with leads. The interviewer responded: “We will provide you with more leads than you can possibly handle.” Question answered, he was satisfied and took the position.

When he showed up for his first day of work, eager to get started, he asked if he could have his leads. Without a word, his manager grabbed a phone book and threw it on his desk. He had his leads.

It’s a true story, but that was a long, long time ago. Today’s equivalent would be someone pointing your browser to Google. A limitless supply of leads, but nothing in the way of targets. But there is a lesson here.

Hunter Culture, Part Two

A few weeks ago I posted about a conference I attended. At this conference a large consulting firm presented their research to a group of their clients. That research showed that companies that used cold calling as a primary prospecting method grew faster than those that didn’t. It also showed that companies that required their sales force to develop their own leads also grew faster than those that provided all of their leads.

There is something to this. Salespeople that believe that it’s someone else’s job to provide them with leads don’t do well. Those with a hunter mindset do better.

Hunters believe that it’s not marketing’s job to provide them with their leads, even though they hope they do their part. They don’t believe it’s inbound marketing’s job, even though they hope they provide some leads, too. Instead, hunters believe that they are going to have to hustle their own dream client list. They believe that they have to make their number on their own or not make it all.

Chances are, you know who your dream clients are already. They are just difficult to obtain, and they already have a partner providing what it you that might provide them (except that inimitable, unique value proposition that is YOU).

You are safer and more certain to make your number if you find and target your dream clients and build your own pipeline. Anything you are given is icing on the cake, not cake.

There is no metric for “waiting for leads.” You have to develop your own leads if you want to succeed in sales.


Who is responsible for providing you with leads?

What if they fail?

How does it help you to have to develop your own leads?

How do you develop a target list of dream clients that insures your success?

Sales 2012
Post by Anthony Iannarino on April 22, 2012
Anthony Iannarino
Anthony Iannarino is a writer, an author of four books on the modern sales approach, an international speaker, and an entrepreneur. Anthony posts here daily.
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