The Importance of Prospecting Lists

by Jacques Werth, Founder of High Probability Selling.  © 2005

As many sales managers and salespeople have discovered, the accuracy of your prospecting list is of utmost importance.

When we buy lists for our own use, or for client companies, we utilize skilled list brokers.  The standard commissions that list brokers get paid from list owners are 15 to 20 percent.  That commission rate doesn't even cover their costs - unless you buy at least 10,000 names.  Therefore, we often pay the broker research fees and/or service fees - in addition to the cost of the list - usually from $100 to $500.

Some list brokers also maintain lists for list owners.  They typically wholesale those lists to other list brokers, and retail them to list users.  We try to avoid using those brokers because they make a lot more money when they sell a list that they maintain.  Therefore, some may tend to be biased to steer end users into the lists that they maintain.

One good reason to use a good list brokerage firm is they can do what you can't do.  They can utilize the lists of several different trade publications in order to supply you with a custom list.  They have the software and knowledge to de-dupe multiple lists from several list owners.  In the event that two lists have different phone numbers for the same prospect, you can request both.  You only pay for the number of names that you receive.

The cost of your list might be 2 to 3 times higher than you have been paying.  However, the improved accuracy of the list should convert to several additional High Probability Prospects per month.  What is that worth to you?