3 steps to growing an A-list of quality prospects

Anthony Robbins, leadership and peak performance expert, famously charges $100,000 for one coaching session. Sounds a lot, considering the average life coaching session retails at around $200/hr.

So, pop quiz, how does he charge five hundred times more than the average person?

  • A. He drives around, 'popping in' to meet people for coffee.
  • B. He spends hours trawling through data and making endless calls to gatekeepers.
  • C. He has confidence in his offer, is a specialist in his niche and targets people who can afford to pay.

No surprises guys, it's C. And if you look at his past clients, you will see it is quite literally a celebrity A-list: Hugh Jackman, Leo DiCaprio, Serena Williams and Bill Clinton to name a few.

If you focus on working with premium clients, they are more likely to pay premium prices.

The problem is that most salespeople do not create or manage a quality prospect list.

They rely on lists of data given to them by their company, downloaded off the internet or fed to them by an outdated CRM (customer relationship management) system.

Top performers however, do not leave prospecting to chance. They don't spend weeks 'data-cleansing'  lists given to them by other people. They don't blame anyone for their lack of opportunity. They don't drive half way across the country to see people who end up spending less than the cost of a one-way trip.

Instead they take responsibility for their prospecting. They create, manage and develop their own A-list of quality prospects.


3 steps to creating your A-List of quality prospects

Firstly, what is an A-list?  Well, an A-list is a prospect list, full of large, high-value, ideal customers that are handpicked by you. It is worked, managed and updated daily by YOU. It is the lifeblood of your sales goal. And in just 3 steps, you can create one:


1.    Set the minimum spend

When creating your prospecting strategy, it is important to set a minimum spend. This allows you to benchmark every opportunity against it so you can decide if it is economical to pursue. Any higher and it is profitable to continue. Any lower and it it is not.

To work out your minimum spend, start by understanding your weekly goal: how much money do you have to bring in every week in order to achieve your target?

Then, look at your average close rate. How many sales do you close on average every week/month.

Now for an equation that may blow your mind: Divide your goal by your average close rate.

The result is the minimum that every prospect must be worth before they are allowed on your list.

E.g. Kiara has to close £1600 per week to hit her Top Performer Goal.

Her average close rate per week is 1 . £1600/1 = £1600. This means that every prospect on her list must be worth £1600 or more else she will be operating at a loss.  

2.    Choose an ideal Industry to specialise in

Next look at the types of customers who can afford to pay you your minimum spend. Look at your past clients. Who gives you the most amount of long-term revenue for the least amount of your time?

  • What is the company/team size?
  • What is their turnover?
  • What do they look like?
  • What industry are they in?
  • Are they located within a 1h travel time?

Write down one or two of the most attractive industries you would like to work with and dedicate yourself to becoming a specialist in this area.

By becoming a specialist you will become known in that (high-paying, ideal) industry, become easily referred, have high-level tailored discussions and develop case studies you can use to add credibility to your sales conversations.

E.g. Kiara decides to become a specialist selling in the tech and pharma industries. She targets IT directors in companies with a turnover of £5m+.  She builds up case studies with real results to name drop when connecting.

3.    Handpick your A-list, then develop strategies to connect

Finally, research your specialist industries, and create your own list of ideal customers. Think as big as you can. More often than not, it is just as easy to close a large deal than it is to close a tiny deal so challenge yourself to think bigger every day. What would someone with no fear do?

Once you have your A-list, let them know that you exist. Connect with them online, call them, see how you can help. Build up knowledge of their industry problems, concerns and drivers and let them know you are an expert in helping people like them achieve their goals.

If you do find opportunities outside of your ideal industry (but that meet your minimum spend) then of course you can take them. Just like when shooting darts, you can still find success if you miss the bullseye. Your ideal industry is there as a guideline, but it is not a rule

E.g. Kiara creates an A-list of ideal prospects on her company’s CRM system.

She adds 50 tech companies and 50 pharma companies in her area that are large enough to afford her minimum spend. She then researches other industries that she estimates can afford her minimum spend and chooses another 50 to add to the list. Every day she connects, grows, and develops the list, being sure to demote any prospects with no opportunity or no resources.

Remember, it often takes the same amount of time to close a high value prospect as it does to close a low value prospect.

Your success is determined by the choices you make.

  • Who you choose to put on your A-list.
  • Who you choose to converse and spend your valuable time with.
  • Who you choose to say ‘no’ to.

Think bigger than yesterday.

More revenue, bigger deals, longer contracts...

...Happy you.

Have a great week,


Jen Wagstaff

CreativeMind Sales Training

If you're not on the list, you're not coming in.

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