Sales Leads for Colorado
When most people think of leads, they assume we’re talking about high-pressure professional sales–that couldn’t be more wrong. The fact is, the better your leads, the less pressure that’s needed to close a sale. TopLine’s founder and author Martin Howey once wrote that customers are on a “loyalty ladder,” starting out on the bottom rungs as suspects, prospects, shoppers, then moving up to customer, client and hopefully, eventually advocate. This is the lead development process, moving people up that loyally ladder.
Some business think they have the potential the sell to absolutely everyone. Grocery store owners, for example, will correctly argue that everyone buys food, so everyone is a potential customer (or suspect). That’s true, but only to a point; and that point is geographic. People will only travel so far from home to purchase groceries. So their market is limited by distance. So they can advertise to a list of leads that includes everyone who lives nearby.
Most companies, however, have many more limitations on who there potential customers (suspects) might be. A plumbing supply store sells mostly to professional plumbers, occasionally to apartment or hotel owners, rarely to home owners but almost never to any else. They have a very limited list of prospects, primarily just licensed plumbers. Those others we mentioned are really just suspects, not even prospects, as they don’t know which apartment buildings or hotels do their own plumbing repairs. Forget about advertising to home owners. Maybe one percent do their own plumbing work, so it would be an incredible waste of money to market products to the 99% that have no interest in plumbing supplies.
So, the first step any marketer must take is to determine who their suspects are. If you don’t know, ask your best customers a lot of questions until you understand exactly why they are your best customers. Now find more people just like them.
Do you have any natural prospects? Remember the plumbing supply store could call most all of the professional plumbers in town “prospects” rather than just “suspects.” Why? Because
- they knew that all those plumbers needed things that they sell
- they knew that all those plumbers were qualified (both by income & experience) to purchase their products
Wait, what do you mean by “qualified to purchase their products?”
Everyone’s qualified to by food from the grocery store, because it’s not a complicated process and even if they have no money they can get financial assistance. But not everyone knows how to fix a water heater, even with the parts in-hand. That’s the qualified by experience part. Qualified by economics or income means, “can they afford your products or services” I’d love to own a jet airplane, and I could learn to fly it, but I’m not “economically qualified” to waste the salesperson’s time, because I can’t afford to buy a jet plane.
Now that you’ve figured-out who your suspects are, and maybe some prospects as well; let’s look at who they are. If you sell to almost everyone nearby (grocery store, restaurant, gas station, pizza joint) resident mailing lists are readily available. If you’re the plumbing supplier, you can get all your prospect’s by simply looking in the yellow pages under “plumber.” Those are the easy ones. Here’s a much harder one, let’s say you run a massage therapy and day spa. Is everyone nearby a suspect, like the grocery store? Absolutely not! No mater how “affordable” you are, you’re never going to attract the bottom two thirds of the towns income earners. They see you as a luxury merchant, even on the therapy side of the business. You are only going to attract the wealthy and the wealthy-wannabees, so you should only market to those people. That’s going to save you a lot of money, since two-thirds of the town doesn’t need to see your ads. Now you can do a much better job marketing to your real suspects!
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