Ep 30 – Why Should I Research Leads

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Shelly Miller  00:09

Welcome to the Mindwhirl Marketing Podcast with your host, Mike and Shelly Miller, your source for B2B business building information where we talk sales and marketing and give you the insider secrets you need to know to grow your business. We want to help you attract leads and sales and show you how to align sales and marketing. So you get more sales faster with less cost.

Mike Miller  00:28

And alignments the key. All right, every week, I’m gonna say that and Hey, I got the music fix this time. So I mean, you don’t have to mess with it. It’s just gonna roll.

Shelly Miller  00:40

Go out slowly. Yes. all by itself,

Mike Miller  00:43

it’s gonna fade out smoothly.

Shelly Miller  00:44

 You don’t have to do 12 things at once.

Mike Miller  00:46


Shelly Miller  00:47

it’s a benefit.

Mike Miller  00:47

I know. It’s already hard enough thinking.

Shelly Miller  00:51

Streamlined process.

Mike Miller  00:53

There you go. Yeah. And iteration Kaizen constantly.

Shelly Miller  00:59

There you go.

Mike Miller  01:04


Shelly Miller  01:05

there you go. International. Let’s use that word.

Mike Miller  01:07

Good. Okay, so, this week, we were thinking, and a lot of people have asked us questions. And, you know, one of the questions is, why do I need to research my leads, before I reach out to them? And it seems like it’s an, it’s impossible to understand why you would reach out and a researcher needs before you reach out to them. Because if you’ve ever had like a telemarketing job, right out of high school, or right out of college, they just hand you a list and say call these people. Here’s what you say, Get dialing.

Shelly Miller  01:50

Right, right.

Mike Miller  01:52

And you don’t know why. And you don’t know who these people are, or even if they’re interested.

Shelly Miller  01:59


Mike Miller  02:00

So you know, over the last 30 years, we’ve realized that, hey, if you know who you’re talking to know what they need. Right there. you’ve identified that they’re an ideal client, then you can say things that are interesting. Because if you reach out to people, and they say, I’m not interested, and you’re not saying anything interesting.

Shelly Miller  02:24

Exactly, exactly.

Mike Miller  02:27

Right. So think about what is sales? Any guesses?

Shelly Miller  02:36

About what sales is?

Mike Miller  02:37

Yeah, sales? Yeah. It’s a sorting. Not prospecting. Sales with sales. Yeah, overall, yeah, your prospect. But as you prospect and everything you do as a salesperson, you’re sorting, sorting, you’re filtering, you’re qualifying. You’re right. So why, why are you qualifying them? Why are you sorting and filtering them? Well, because you don’t want to go, you don’t want to have a list of 5000 people that you have to reach out to. You shouldn’t be able to get through 5000 people in a year.

Shelly Miller  03:16

Well, and and that kind of goes back to what we’re talking about today. Because I think that’s why some people have asked us that question, as well. Why do they need to research? It’s a time issue? Yeah. Because when you are expected to call that many people, you think you don’t have time to research? Right? So you’re like, why do I need to know them? You don’t have they do, but it’s also a time issue.

Mike Miller  03:42

Yeah, it is. Well, the thing is, you have to sales is spearfishing it’s not casting a net marketing casts, net sales, spear fishes. That means, really, so how would you be most effective at spear fishing? You’d have a small pond with a lot of fish in it. Yes. Right. And this is a like, this is what we think about when we think about pipeline. Right. So salespeople talk about pipeline marketing, people talk about funnels, salespeople, talk about pipelines. Well, you want a full pipeline. Yes. How do you do that? Well, that doesn’t mean stuff people in at the top, and then you know, yes, it’s going after an ideal client. So you have to have a specific someone that you want to reach out to. So, you know, why do you research them? Because in this, so you have a universe of, of buyers, but only some are suspects. Right? We’re filtering, we’re sorting we’re qualifying. Only some are suspects. A smaller group of that We’ll be leads. And an even smaller group will be prospects.

Shelly Miller  05:06


Mike Miller  05:07

Right. That’s how I look at it. Look at it.

Shelly Miller  05:09

I like that way of looking at it. It’s interesting. And it also helps you see how you dwindle them down to basically become your client.

Mike Miller  05:19

Right? Exactly.

Shelly Miller  05:20

There’s a process that you have to go through.

Mike Miller  05:22

Exactly. And so when you think about, and so this simple thing plays out in many, many different ways, within your business, even like marketing budget. Right. Okay. Yeah. So real quickly, that would be who if you had $100,000? Who would you put the most money on? Right, it would be the prospects, the people that are right there in the bottom of the funnel that are, you know, ready to, or really close to purchasing?

Shelly Miller  05:55

Yes, that you’ve already identified or obviously your ideal customer? Right, ideal client profile? You’ve already spoken with them. They know about you?

Mike Miller  06:03

Yeah, exactly. So some people, I think Dan Kennedy invented this shock and awe package. So he spends like, a lot of money on the people who are at the bottom of the funnel, know, people who are the ideal client, right at the bottom of exactly. So he’ll spend $500 on them, you know, to get them to purchase. And the reason why is because of customer lifetime value. And recurring revenue. Yes. Right. So it plays into your business model. But let’s go back to just sales. If we had to call, let’s say you wanted to call 1000 people because i’ve you know, people say this, I need to call 1000 people this month, if I call 1000 people, I’ll get 10 sales. Right? Yes.

Mike Miller  06:59

Well, that’s a lot of work. And that’s, that’s insane. Because if you call, like how many people 20 days, 20 work days in a month, how many people do you have to call every day to get 1000? People? You know what I mean? It’s like, it’s like, at least so. Well, 50. So, anyway, yeah. So, um, but think about that 50s 50s a good size number, right? But you’ve only called them one time. And it takes eight to 12. It’s a good point touches in order to get a conversation. So

Shelly Miller  07:38

if you’re calling that many people a month, there’s no way that you can get back to them to do your sales cadence your process, to hopefully get them to become your client. There’s no way you could do eight to 12 touches if you’re calling that many people, right? Exactly. Right. So

Mike Miller  07:52

if you’re gonna call it, contact them eight times, and you’re calling 1000 people before you start over, it’s gonna take eight months to call 1000 people?

Shelly Miller  08:01

Well, and let me ask you a question. I’ve noticed that people who have those kind of goals, sales goals, call goals, let’s put it that way. of 1000. It’s usually in an industry. Well, let’s, I mean, really, they don’t? Well, they don’t seem to do research, because like, for example, pos machines, yeah. Open the phone book, any business, you know, they think, well, I’m just gonna call everybody. Their sales goals seem to be unbelievably high, and they don’t do research. But that doesn’t that that is not the way that most businesses should do business, because most businesses don’t have they sell POS machines, like to everyone.

Mike Miller  08:45


Shelly Miller  08:46

So do you find it that it’s also by industry? Do you see a lot of people who are in the service industry who tried to make 1000 calls a month? Or is it mostly just like the POS machines and

Mike Miller  08:58

stocks? Like you just said, okay, to be honest. Yeah, I think it’s a mindset. Okay. I think it’s bro hemes. Oh, yeah, so bro, he’s Yeah, bro games, they have a lot of testosterone and they’re gonna frickin sell you, man. Come on, man. You’re gonna buy this, you’re gonna love it. It’s gonna be awesome. Right? That’s the kind of guy and so there’s two tactics that they have. And the first one is spam. 1000 people spam everyone make 180 calls a day. Okay, right. The second one is hunker down with them. I’m only gonna call one person and we’re gonna make this happen.

Shelly Miller  09:32

Okay, right.

Mike Miller  09:34

Yes. So I’m not letting you go, basically. And, you know, I’ve picked on Zig Ziglar. The last week and I don’t like to call it disrespect. I

Shelly Miller  09:44

wouldn’t call it picking on him. It was a great example.

Mike Miller  09:47

Yeah, I don’t mean any disrespect is just that. His style was to knock on doors and to hunker down. And he started that broking mentality of hunkering down with people Oh, I

Shelly Miller  10:00

never thought about that.

Mike Miller  10:01

Okay. Yeah, I mean, essentially, I don’t know if everyone’s heard this. But, you know, I grew up in the 70s. And I heard stories about the 50s. Where a vacuum cleaner, you know, Kirby vacuum cleaner guy would knock on your door, you’d open it, and he’d throw dirt inside on your rug, and you’d be mad. And he’d go, no worries, ma’am. I’m going to clean it right up and watch how good this Kirby vacuum sucks and, and sucks and cleans. And, you know,

Shelly Miller  10:30

yeah, how well it works and picks up all that dirt, I just throw in there plus Mark

Mike Miller  10:35

Exactly. On your white rug, and it takes care of it in blah, blah, blah, right? The whole sales pitch? Well, there’s other methods of contact and just knocking on doors. So you could you could call in the 50s. You could call you could mail a letter. And you could I don’t know if Val pack was around. But if it was, you could have done Val pack. See what I’m saying? And you can knock on doors as well. So if you do all of these tactics, then you’re much better off because remember, the one thing in marketing that is dangerous is one thing you cannot you can’t do one thing, yes, you can’t just rely on calls, just calls don’t work. You can tell me that cold calling sucks. But you can’t say that it doesn’t work. You can tell me that email sucks. But you can’t tell me it doesn’t work. You see what I mean? I do. And when you put all of these together in aggregate, they they work. So that’s why you have to buy into marketing and sales, you have to say, Okay, I’m going to have a mindset where I’m going to consistently hit or touch these people over and over and over again. Until they buy.

Shelly Miller  12:04

Yeah, it’s the truth. And that’s, that’s why back to our the topic, you have to you do need to research them. This is your pool of, of people you’ve identified are your ideal

Mike Miller  12:17

client. Exactly, exactly. And, and that’s it, because so you’re not gonna have a list of 1000 people, you’re going to have a list of 100. And that list is going to be your 100 ideal clients, you have to research them so that you know that you’re they’re your ideal client, that they’re, that you should be spending time on them. Because if you just right, and this was my point, if you’re just calling them one time, you’re not building relationship, you’re not doing anything. No, you’re you’re just

Shelly Miller  12:52

wasting your wasting time.

Mike Miller  12:54

Yeah, one call does nothing. Right? Exactly, you’re gonna have to hit them eight to 12 times. And the sooner the faster, this eight to 12, you know, times takes, the better. And you could do it in, you know, 15 days a month. Right? You could have many touches over a month, and then they’ll get to know you, you know, they’ll know you and if you’re gonna get a meeting with them. It will happen in that month.

Shelly Miller  13:24

Right? I liken it to relationships.

Mike Miller  13:27

Yeah. So you

Shelly Miller  13:28

meet someone, and you call them or you go out on one date, but you don’t do anything else. I mean, what are your chances that anything else is going to happen further if you you know, enjoy it and like this person? I mean, if you don’t do anything else,

Mike Miller  13:42

right? You don’t it’s

Shelly Miller  13:44

not gonna happen. You know, you’re just gonna be like, Okay, well, something happened there. Somebody didn’t like something there.

Mike Miller  13:50

Right? Right.

Shelly Miller  13:52

If you like the person you’re gonna call you’re gonna show up at their house. Maybe not. Maybe that’s too stalkery but you’re gonna do everything that you can think of. To get back in touch with that person. Exactly.

Mike Miller  14:03

I can just hear I can just see it now. 50 voicemails later. Sorry, I keep leaving you so many voicemails are so much well it’s text to now so

Shelly Miller  14:13

crazy text but anyway, that’s a that’s a whole nother Yeah. All right, but think about it like that. So that’s what you have to do. If you think you’re going to just make one call and they don’t answer the phone you’re gonna leave a voicemail or you’re just going to hang up and Okay, that’s it. You need to go through your process of touches

Mike Miller  14:31

 Exactly. And the thing is, is that salespeople are like I don’t know what to follow up with I you know, what am I just touching base or checking in right? Should I say hi?

Shelly Miller  14:46

Hey, hello. How’s it going? I know we get it we get it but yeah,

Mike Miller  14:51

believe Find a reason to call them and follow up find a reason. right but but we’re out of the the original Should I research them first? Right So, yes, you should research them. Okay. So the the thing that everyone says is how much time should I spend? and experts will say, you shouldn’t spend any more than two minutes research in your eye, your prospects?

Shelly Miller  15:15

I’ve heard that too.

Mike Miller  15:16

Yeah. Well, that assumes that your boss gave you a list,

Shelly Miller  15:20

right? Yes.

Mike Miller  15:21

Right. So if your boss didn’t give you a list, and you have to find these ideal clients, or ideal, you know, client profiles, prospects. You need to spend? Well, let me put it this way. If you’ve been doing this a while, and you know that your target is an attorney, or law firm that has between 10 and 15. lawyers. And they work with insurance companies.

Shelly Miller  15:53

Yes. They’re very targeted, you know, you’ve you’ve nailed them down.

Mike Miller  15:58

Yeah. And then all you have to do is go, is this an attorney, a law firm that has between 11 and 15? clients and works with insurance companies? Yes, there are target.

Shelly Miller  16:09


Mike Miller  16:10

Right. But if you don’t know who you’re going after, right? Like if you if you’re selling cleaning supplies, to schools, there’s a lot of different schools, there’s a lot of different kinds of schools. Right. So who are the best ones for you? Is it colleges and universities? Or is it like pre k? You know what I mean? Right? There’s a lot of different niches within an industry there

Shelly Miller  16:38

are but even if you haven’t nailed down, you should still you should still research. Oh, yeah, that’s true. I, I found things listed on websites, like a new hire, or something that the company just rolled out. So I was able to talk to the prospect about that. And that brought us that built report quickly, because I had just found out that Oh, they had rolled out this new playbook. And they had just hired this new VP. So even if you know, your ideal client, there’s things that you can find out, you know, within five to 10 minutes of your

Mike Miller  17:11

search. Yes, that’s that’s true. Absolutely. But will not. But But and think about LinkedIn Sales Navigator, they only allow you to have 1000. They do records in the CRM they do. So why, why would they only allow you to have 1000? Because I need to send 10,000 cold emails today. Right? No one needs to do that. No, no one needs to do if you want, no one should ever do that. But their whole, they know, right? Their CRM is built off the fact that you are looking for a specific, someone who needs what you sell. Not everybody, just the specific someone. And that if you had like, 400 of these people, you’d have a five to $20 million business.

Shelly Miller  18:08

It’s true, and I believe it. And I you know, I’ve started to see that, that those things do make a difference that it’s not the amount of calls, it’s the type of calls and the quality of the call. Yes. And your system that you have to set up to continually be in contact. Because, you know, it’s been it’s not new, that everyone’s completely sick and tired of just this barrage of crap that you get on your phone and your email every day. I mean, it’s too much. Yeah, I you know, I’m getting texts. And you know, it’s every every device I’m on and even tried to get away from, I’m still getting sales messages. And I know, I didn’t ask for three quarters of them. There’s just no way. And so when you when you appear to be one of those kind of people you call once or you’re really aggressive or abrasive in your call. You didn’t do any research, so you don’t have anything to offer or to say, right, you’re just you are those people, those spammer people. You mentioned it today. I liked what you said what you called it, spammers and protesters. Yeah, broadcasters and spammers, because that’s what it is. I mean, they, they seem desperate. And they also are completely annoying. It’s in someone you don’t really want to build rapport with at all, or no. Right? So the more information and that you have on somebody, the more research that you do, the more caring it shows. Yeah. And also when you keep your numbers to a correct amount a day instead of like you were saying 1000 a month, you keep them to a number like 20 where you’re able to run your sales system. Yes, you then become you look professional. So you’ve called somebody you had you done some research and you let’s say you had to leave him a voicemail, then they hear from you in three days. So it also shows them your your diligence and your organized fashion in which you approach them. Right and try to keep in touch with them. Right. And that’s, that looks more. Oh, there’s so many words there that we could use. I mean, it looks more professional and like somebody would want to work with instead of somebody that’s desperate to sell you something.

Mike Miller  20:24

Yes. And aggressive about it. Exactly. Yeah. Like that’s what you want to prevent. You want to? You want to not look aggressive, sweaty. suit on.

Shelly Miller  20:35

Don’t look sweaty.

Mike Miller  20:37

Yeah. You know, you don’t want to you don’t want to look desperate. You don’t use Sandler talks about? I don’t why am I going here Sandler talks about Columbo and how you want to be Colombo sometimes? Oh, yeah, that kind of works that you know, because it’s unassuming.

Shelly Miller  20:54

Yes. Well, that was Columbus whole whole thing to look unassuming.

Mike Miller  20:57

Yeah, well, he was an idiot. So you’d let you share things and let things out that you didn’t want him to know.

Shelly Miller  21:04

Right? And the thing I always thought that was wrong about that? Yeah. Was that it worked for him. And we all know why. Yes. You know, so perspective of the industry that you’re in? Yeah. I mean, I don’t think that that I never liked that example, from Sandler, because who’s a, you know, a private investigator who’s trying to figure out who killed this person? So they look stupid and unassuming?

Mike Miller  21:29


Shelly Miller  21:30

I mean, half the time you look drunk, and he did it on purpose. And we know that, well, we don’t want any of those things.

Mike Miller  21:38

We don’t. Exactly and, and that’s the thing. And and that’s why you’re qualified. That’s why you’re researching them too. Because you want to be talking to people who are interested in what you have to sell, who you could actually help who you provide a value to. So you, you don’t have to hard sell them. You don’t have to do a trick, right? You don’t have to look any way. You just speak to their needs. Right, right. And there’s a book I suggest everyone read called the challenger sale. And it basically talks about how you’re not a vendor. And you’re not really you know, so there’s vendor selling their solution sewing, there’s consultative selling, but really, but if you if you go beyond that, you’re looking at the challenger model, where you’re a partner with your client, and you understand their business at a deep level. And you’re the voice of reason. You’re the the gadfly. To take Socrates, you’re you’re the guy who goes, Hey, you know, did you notice this is happening? Or did you? Did you realize that if you did this, you would get better results? Or? Or? I mean, I liked Nancy, she’s a nice person, but you could get rid of her. If you just automated that. You know what I mean?

Shelly Miller  23:07


Mike Miller  23:07

So the challenger is somebody who goes in and says, Look, I know about your business, I know your struggles and what you need. And here’s how you could do it better.

Shelly Miller  23:19

Yes, I think that maybe it’s just, you know, from a, you know, female point of view, I think these sales systems are named improperly, challenger sounds completely wrong. It should just be called, here’s how to become a partner with your client, which is what you should be you shouldn’t be a vendor, or preferred vendor, you should be a partner. Yeah. Because that’s when you and your your ICP grow the most. And that’s when you have lifetime customers. So I get the challenger sale is just that. Yeah, it’s those kind of things just seem, you know, wrong, or they’re worded incorrectly.

Mike Miller  24:02

Yeah, no, it’s true. It’s true. And what it really means is that you have to research your targets, yes. Ensure there your ideal client profile persona. And once you’ve identified Yes, this is the person I want to go after. Do they also have these seven challenges that our ICP has, right? Yes. And now we have something to talk about. Because I know the point, everybody who’s your competitor, or who have I’ve helped to is just like you has these seven issues. Right? Five of them, I can help with two of them. I can’t because that’s HR, you know, or something like that. That I know, I know. Or I know the industry. I know why you’re having those challenges, or it could be Because the business is at a certain level, maybe their startup or maybe they’ve reached their peak, you know, there’s there’s all kinds of difference and variation.

Shelly Miller  25:09

Yes, there is an endless. Yeah. And conversely, the good thing about knowing your ICP and doing a little research is let’s say you do the research and it looks like they are your ICP. Yeah, but you and you give him a call. After you’ve talked to him, you realize they’re not, that’s a good thing, too, then you’re not spending all kinds of times doing proposals and sales presentations, because you realized I did the work, but the information or the data I had wasn’t correct. And, and I know now from the couple of minutes I spent talking to them that they’re not. And that’s when you say, Well, looks like we’re not a good fit, you know, so the benefits of research and knowing your ICP are I mean, you just have to do it, they benefit you both ways, getting new clients and knowing who aren’t your clients? Right.

Mike Miller  25:55

Yeah, exactly. So, in my opinion, you know, I don’t want to go against the best of the best in the in the sales industry, because I’m a marketing guy. But when they say, you know, don’t research for more than two minutes, I think the sales blog, Anthony annarino said that he’s a really smart guy, you know, he knows, but but do you know that this is your ideal client? And I would say, pick a number like 20, right? 20 people a day, like Shelly said, if that’s your target, you know, outreach, then make sure you do that 20. But understand who it is you’re talking to? Yes. personalize the outreach. And if you understand what I’m saying, I’m not just saying about the call, right? There’s multiple forms. This is why I started with Zig Ziglar. There’s multiple forms of outreach. Every one of them should be personalized. And if you do that, you only have to do 20 a day, you’ll get business,

Shelly Miller  27:08

you will, you’ll get all the business that you need. Yeah, you’ll get more than you will. If

Mike Miller  27:11

you can call 100 people a day

Shelly Miller  27:13

you sure well, we can guarantee that I can guarantee

Mike Miller  27:15

it. Exactly. So with that. I think we’ve covered it. If you have any questions, let us know.

Shelly Miller  27:21

Definitely. We’re here whenever you need us. That’s right.

Mike Miller  27:25

All right. Well, thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next Thursday.

Shelly Miller  27:30

Thanks again for listening to the Mindwhirl Marketing Podcast. Make sure to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google podcast Stitcher, and wherever podcasts are sold. Plus, check us out on YouTube. Grab some marketing tips and insight and subscribe to our channel while you’re there.

Shelly Miller

Shelly Miller

Entrepreneur, marketer and social psychologist - I help you make the most of your business with marketing, online and offline.

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