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Some of the leads you have been given are the biggest and best users of your goods, services, or solutions in your territory. But these companies are hard to penetrate. Sometimes we believe that what we need to succeed is new leads, better leads, leads that would be easier to “get in.”

Don’t worry! Mitch and Murray didn’t send me, and I am not a mission of mercy.

You don’t need better leads.

You Don’t Want Leads That Are Easy to Get In

The leads that are easiest to get in, that are receptive, usually aren’t the best leads.

In fact, your prospective clients that are easy to get in are often transactional purchasers who use a very small volume of what you sell. Their very small spending in your category means that it isn’t likely that you can help them with major problem, and so no breath-taking, jaw-dropping, earth-shattering value creation.

Leads that are easy to get in are easy to get in for a reason. Your competitors haven’t locked them up because there is nothing there to protect.

You Don’t Want Leads Who Aren’t Loyal

It might feel good to hear a prospective client say that they don’t have a preferred supplier or that they don’t have any loyalty to a partner. It sounds like this would be a sign that you have a better chance of winning their business. Most often, it means that they don’t use what you sell. If they do use what you sell, that statement surely means that they believe you and what you sell are commodities.

They aren’t loyal because they don’t value what it is you sell or the benefits of a real strategic partner.

Instead of easy leads, what you really want are the most difficult, most challenging, and most trying leads you can find.

The Best Leads Always Have a Partner

The best leads you are given always have partner. Because they use what it is you sell, they already have a relationship with someone they trust. The top 20% of salespeople invariably wins these accounts; they are what put them in the high end of the rankings.

These leads are the companies that value what you do, and they want a real strategic partner who is going to help them produce better outcomes than they ever imagined. They look for partners that help them create a real competitive advantage.

This means these aren’t the easy leads. And, as you might expect . . .

The Best Leads Are Hard to Penetrate

Because what you sell is important to their business success, and because they already have partners in place, the best leads you are ever going to receive are going to be difficult to penetrate; they won’t be easy to get in.

They are loyal to their providers, and it is certain they have deep relationships. These companies aren’t going to change until they are dissatisfied, and even then their current partner will get the benefit of the doubt and will be given time to make improvements.

The question is, when something does change, will you be known?

Playing the Long Game

The long game means nurturing and developing relationships with the most difficult leads you have been given over a long period of time. It requires that you continually call and continually find ways to create value. You have to pay for your dream client in advance of winning their business, and that means you have to be waiting in the wings—and they have to know it.

It’s a longer game to play. But it is a game worth playing.

Instead of calling on lesser leads, spend more time developing your plan to get in, building your nurture toolkit, and working on your ability to create value for your dream clients.

And forget about the Glengarry leads.


Are you unhappy with your leads because they aren’t good leads, or are you unhappy with your leads because they are known users and difficult to penetrate?

What does it normally suggest when a prospect is very receptive, has no loyalty, and easily makes time for a sales call?

Why are the best leads the most difficult leads to work?

Why are the worst leads the easiest leads to work?

How do you play the long game with the difficult leads?

Sales 2011
Post by Anthony Iannarino on June 28, 2011

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

Anthony Iannarino

Anthony Iannarino is an American writer. He has published daily at thesalesblog.com for more than 14 years, amassing over 5,300 articles and making this platform a destination for salespeople and sales leaders. Anthony is also the author of four best-selling books documenting modern sales methodologies and a fifth book for sales leaders seeking revenue growth. His latest book for an even wider audience is titled, The Negativity Fast: Proven Techniques to Increase Positivity, Reduce Fear, and Boost Success.

Anthony speaks to sales organizations worldwide, delivering cutting-edge sales strategies and tactics that work in this ever-evolving B2B landscape. He also provides workshops and seminars. You can reach Anthony at thesalesblog.com or email Beth@b2bsalescoach.com.

Connect with Anthony on LinkedIn, X or Youtube. You can email Anthony at iannarino@gmail.com

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