Too many prospect lists I come across resemble clothes wardrobes; too many out of date items that people should have let go, items that are stopping people seeing the reality of what is useful to them moving forward.
If this sounds like your prospect list, maybe it’s time to declutter!
The illusion we create
The problem with having a large number of out of date prospects is that it gives the illusion of an abundance of future clients, customers, sponsors and donors.
A reality check
The effect of decluttering will be, I suspect, to identify a list of hot prospects that is not as long or as hot as you thought it was.
This has a dual benefit:
First, it enables you to focus on current prospects that have real potential.
Second, it allows you to define the amount of new business development activity required to fill the pipeline with fresh new relevant prospects that can assist you in achieving your goals.
Be ruthless; remove those prospects which have been sitting on your list for ages and where no action is taking place. Like that old shirt you haven’t warn for 10 years… Let go!
Focus on action
The key is to create a list which is focused on actions not names.
Create a list which outlines:
- The name of the prospect
- The specific action to be undertaken
- Who is responsible; and
- When it will be done
If there is no action, get rid of them (like clothes to the local charity shop)
Your future success is your current prospect list
Your future success will be determined by the quality and quantity of your prospect list now.
Don’t be satisfied until you have a large prospect list that is well researched, up to date with specific actions.
Once you do, you have satisfied an important area of the business development process and are ready to move onto the next stage of approaching and attracting those prospects.