Suspect vs. Prospect

There are two types of people in the universe of lead generation: Suspects and Prospects. Some people don’t know the difference between the two – and it’s an important difference to note when you’re shopping lead development and prospecting services.

Maybe I’ve watched too many episodes of Criminal Minds (when you think they couldn’t profile a more gruesome crime, they do), but the word suspect even makes me suspicious. I suppose that’s why suspect is a derivative of suspicious. Do you know who that person is? What they do? What they need? What they want? What their budget is? What authority they have to spend money?

A suspect is someone about whom you know very little. The only thing you may know is that they work at a company that is in your target market, and they have a phone number attached to their record.

Not very helpful.

You should know certain things about a prospect. You should know their name, title, phone and email (and that they are in fact, correct). You should know that they have a need in a product or service like yours, that they have a budget to work with, a timeframe to work within, and the authority to do it.

That is helpful.

When you are seeking prospecting help, make sure you know the difference between the two, and articulate your needs to the lead development guy.

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