Who's on Your LTBE List?

A quick note about selling that applies to other, big parts of life.

It seems like every day I get dozens of calls and emails asking me to buy something - or get in on some deal - that I could not be less interested in.

I'm not saying these proposals are worthless themselves. I'm saying they're worthless to me. And if the person on the other end of the line - or the email - knew anything about me, they'd know I'm not interested.

This is not the way to sell.

To be a good salesman, you need a LTBE list.

A Likely to be Engaged list.

In other words, who's likely to be at least interested in what you have to sell?

It almost doesn't matter if they want to buy right now. What matters is that you have a legitimate premise to be talking to them. That you know how they fit into the whole story. If you can make that organic connection, you can establish a relationship with them, and you can call them again and again and again; they'll be happy to talk to you, because they know you understand them. Eventually, you'll surely find something that fits, and you'll close that deal.

In other words, go for the fruit you like eating. Don't go for fruit just because it's "low-hanging."

But this is not just a principle of sales. It's a principle of relationships in general, and relationships are the key to almost everything.

When you're looking for a job - don't just chase after random classifieds.

I'll tell you this: It's better to have a meeting with someone who DOESN'T have a current job opening for you, than it is to meet with a company that has an opening that doesn't fit you. Eventually, the company that understands you will have an opening. But if you're already at the one that doesn't understand you, you'll toil for a long time without feeling fulfilled.

When you're looking for romance, it's better to look for people that complement your personality - rather than just looking at all single people. The former will lead to a good relationship. The latter will quickly fizzle.

And on and on.

Willie Sutton said he robbed banks because that's where the money is.

So my question to you is: Who has the kind of currency that you understand, that you're good at working with?

That's where you should direct your energies.

1 comment

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