Before Jimmy Johnson was a football commentator, he was a football coach; a pretty good one, too.
Jimmy led the Dallas Cowboys to two consecutive Superbowl wins, and he built the team that won its third in four years during the 90’s. He was well respected, if not all that well liked.
Part of the reason Jimmy was successful (and maybe part of the reason he was not all that well liked) had to do with his philosophy about players. He believed not that all players should be treated the same – they should be treated differently.
There was a running back in Dallas that was late to a couple of meetings during those glory years. He was a second or third stringer. He was immediately cut, even though he may have had some trade value. One reporter asked what would happen if Emmitt Smith showed up late to a meeting. Smith was the leading rusher of the team, and would go on to break the all-time leading rush record for the NFL. Jimmy answered, with all sincerity, that Smith could show up pretty much any time Smith wanted.
Jimmy’s philosophy has real application for B2B lead generation activities.
Some companies treat all leads the same. If they receive 200 leads from a tradeshow or conference, they put them all in the same bucket. They treat them all the same.
But should they all be treated the same?
Obviously, the answer is no.
Your best B2B leads are contacts that have a need, are in the position to make a decision, and to make that decision quickly. These leads deserve very special treatment, indeed.
Other leads, which show a propensity to buy, but not immediately, should be treated with great care as well. The rest can be nurtured until you receive a firm no, or move to one of the yes buckets.
Each of these three lead categories deserve to be treated the way Johnson treated his players – differently.
(Ed Trachier is Founder & CEO of OnTarget. He can be reached at 469-200-4901, or via email at email@example.com.)