Not All Customers Are For You: Prospecting 101

Posted on by Beth Negus Viveiros

Wisdom on prospecting can come in interesting places. For example, I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few days with my young sons and my elderly mom. When viewing their choices in entertainment, I often just have to shrug and think “this just ain’t for me.”

B2B marketers would also be wise to take that approach when considering potential leads. Not every customer is a good fit for your business, and it will do both them and you a world of good if you realize that early in the process.

During a keynote at last week’s B2B LeadsCon in New York, Sales Lion founder Marcus Sheridan told attendees that he vets potential new customers by asking them to read a 230 page ebook before the first meeting. If they’re willing to do that, then they’re serious about working with him and accepting his advice. If not, they might be better suited to another firm.

He noted that the same prospecting approach works on the B2C side. For his other business, River Pools and Spas, he asks prospects to read a 30 page ebook. The company sells fiberglass pools, and they’re a good choice for some people, but other folks might end up preferring concrete pool.

Providing this type of content online can help marketers help prospects self-identify themselves as good or bad prospects, before a salesperson shows up at their door.

“Stop spending time educating people face-to-face,” he said. “Become the Wikipedia of your industry.”

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