A steady supply of qualified prospects feeding the sales funnel — it’s the key to success for many businesses. Without prospects, sales dry up, and you’re soon out of business.
How’s your current prospecting strategy working? Are you satisfied with it? Do you have a steady supply of high-quality leads that lets your business run at maximum capacity?
For most sales professionals I talk to, the answer is that things could always be better, even if they’re pretty great right now.
Aged leads — discounted leads that are 30, 60, or 90 days old — offer yet another way to diversify your prospecting strategy and grow your business.
If you aren’t using aged leads as part of your strategy already, you should! In this post, I’ll tell you how aged leads became my personal favorite prospecting strategy. It might just become your favorite as well.
What You Need to Get Started
The key to enjoying working with aged leads is to make sure you set yourself up for success. You need three things in place to get started:
- Get a dialer
- Use a system
- Buy some leads
If you’re going to maximize your ROI and stand apart from your competition, these are the raw materials to get the job done.
Why You Need a Dialer
Compare your real-time leads list and your aged-leads list and you’ll know why you need a dialer. You may have a few hundred real-time leads you need to work through this month, but for an effective aged-leads strategy, you’ll need a list of several thousand leads.
The lower cost of aged leads makes this strategy a numbers game. A predictive dialer setup makes it possible to work through a large volume of leads efficiently and productively. To make a good return on your investment, it’s essential to work through a high volume of aged leads quickly.
The predictive auto dialers on the market these days are pretty sophisticated machines despite their affordable prices. Some users prefer a standalone piece of hardware, others a cloud-based software app that connects you to a call center.
Either way, you’ll save time using a dialer. Most models can call up to three leads on your list at a time, screening out busy signals, no-answers, answering machines, and disconnected numbers automatically. You’ll spend more time talking to live prospects, touting your products and services, and focusing on closing the sale.
Why You Need a System
An aged-leads strategy works for those who are disciplined enough to develop a system and stick to it. Without a system to work a large volume of leads, you’ll end up buried under the sheer number of leads you must sort through.
With any outbound phone sales, the majority of people you’ll speak to aren’t going to buy. You’re looking for that needle in a haystack — about 5% of aged lead prospects will become your customers. If you’re going to find them, you need to get organized.
Along with using your dialer, you need to:
Develop a script and stick to it. The familiarity of your script helps you sound more confident. Those first moments speaking to a lead are no time to second-guess yourself. Certainly, you can and should refine your script over time. But the time for that isn’t while you’re on the phones.
Commit to working through your aged leads. Consistency is key. Set aside 3–4 hours each day, five days a week to get the most out of your prospect list.
Call your list multiple times. One pass through your list won’t be enough with aged leads. A qualified prospect could’ve missed your first call. Make sure you leave no stone unturned and call through your list at least five times.
Keep track of your efforts with a CRM. Use a CRM database to track every contact you have with those interested prospects. You don’t want to let a potential sale fall through because you forgot to follow up or couldn’t remember what they needed. Use your CRM notes to your advantage to build the necessary trust and close the sale.
Why You Need a Healthy Supply of Leads
There are two factors that make aged leads work as a prospecting strategy: cost and quantity. You need a healthy supply of aged leads to make your sales quota. The significantly discounted price-per-lead of aged leads makes this workable.
You may purchase real-time leads that are $7, $10, or even $25 per lead. You’ll close a higher percentage of these leads, which justifies the premium cost. With aged leads, you’re looking at cents — not dollars — per lead. You’ll use your dialer and system to breeze through a high volume of leads quickly to find those qualified prospects that are ready to buy.
A starter plan that works well for a lot of folks is to purchase 2,000 aged leads to start. With the volume discounts available for aged leads, starting with a larger pool of leads also makes financial sense.
I recommend a healthy supply of aged leads to beat variance — that tricky problem that comes with any lead pool. Sometimes you’ll close 10 sales out of 1,000, other times you may only close three. With enough volume, aged leads are a sustainable prospecting strategy, even with variance factored in.
Why You’ll Love an Aged Leads Prospecting Strategy
Some of you may be asking: Are aged leads worth it? In a word: Yes!
To be sure, with aged leads you must use a dialer, you’ll need to work through a large quantity of leads, and you’ll need a disciplined system to do so. Why go to so much trouble?
The key is that aged leads can offer a better bottom line than other cold-calling strategies. A sale is a sale is a sale. You’ll earn the same commission from a two-day old lead as for a 30-day old lead who buys the same product. But aged leads offer a better ROI — even when the cost of getting set up with a dialer and the need to buy in bulk. It’s for this reason that aged leads have become the favorite prospecting strategy of me and so many others.