You Don’t Need the Glengarry Leads

Some of the leads you have been given are the biggest and best users of your goods, services, or solutions in your territory. But these companies are hard to penetrate. Sometimes we believe that what we need to succeed is new leads, better leads, leads that would be easier to “get in.”

Don’t worry! Mitch and Murray didn’t send me, and I am not a mission of mercy.

You don’t need better leads.

You Don’t Want Leads That Are Easy to Get In

The leads that are easiest to get in, that are receptive, usually aren’t the best leads.

In fact, your prospective clients that are easy to get in are often transactional purchasers who use a very small volume of what you sell. Their very small spending in your category means that it isn’t likely that you can help them with major problem, and so no breath-taking, jaw-dropping, earth-shattering value creation.

Leads that are easy to get in are easy to get in for a reason. Your competitors haven’t locked them up because there is nothing there to protect.

You Don’t Want Leads Who Aren’t Loyal

It might feel good to hear a prospective client say that they don’t have a preferred supplier or that they don’t have any loyalty to a partner. It sounds like this would be a sign that you have a better chance of winning their business. Most often, it means that they don’t use what you sell. If they do use what you sell, that statement surely means that they believe you and what you sell are commodities.

They aren’t loyal because they don’t value what it is you sell or the benefits of a real strategic partner.

Instead of easy leads, what you really want are the most difficult, most challenging, and most trying leads you can find.

The Best Leads Always Have a Partner

The best leads you are given always have partner. Because they use what it is you sell, they already have a relationship with someone they trust. The top 20% of salespeople invariably wins these accounts; they are what put them in the high end of the rankings.

These leads are the companies that value what you do, and they want a real strategic partner who is going to help them produce better outcomes than they ever imagined. They look for partners that help them create a real competitive advantage.

This means these aren’t the easy leads. And, as you might expect . . .

The Best Leads Are Hard to Penetrate

Because what you sell is important to their business success, and because they already have partners in place, the best leads you are ever going to receive are going to be difficult to penetrate; they won’t be easy to get in.

They are loyal to their providers, and it is certain they have deep relationships. These companies aren’t going to change until they are dissatisfied, and even then their current partner will get the benefit of the doubt and will be given time to make improvements.

The question is, when something does change, will you be known?

Playing the Long Game

The long game means nurturing and developing relationships with the most difficult leads you have been given over a long period of time. It requires that you continually call and continually find ways to create value. You have to pay for your dream client in advance of winning their business, and that means you have to be waiting in the wings—and they have to know it.

It’s a longer game to play. But it is a game worth playing.

Instead of calling on lesser leads, spend more time developing your plan to get in, building your nurture toolkit, and working on your ability to create value for your dream clients.

And forget about the Glengarry leads.


Are you unhappy with your leads because they aren’t good leads, or are you unhappy with your leads because they are known users and difficult to penetrate?

What does it normally suggest when a prospect is very receptive, has no loyalty, and easily makes time for a sales call?

Why are the best leads the most difficult leads to work?

Why are the worst leads the easiest leads to work?

How do you play the long game with the difficult leads?

Join my weekly Newsletter or apply for membership in my exclusive Inner Circle Mastermind Group.

Subscribe to my weekly podcast In the Arena.



  • Gary S. Hart

    “The best leads are hard to penetrate,” great words Anthony. Anything worth having, rarely comes easy, and always requires hard work. Easy makes me skeptical.

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, my friend! I agree with every word of it! “Easy” is for suckers. 

  • Adam

    “You Don’t Want Leads Who Aren’t Loyal” — I have seen this scenario in relationships as well, I know people who met someone that cheated on their existing partner to be with “person b”. Than “person b” wonders why the same person cheats on them later in life…. see the pattern.

    I believe the same to be true in business. Unless we get extremely lucky a customer who is not loyal to an existing service provider is likely to be unloyal to any new ones. I love dealing with the loyal customers. they are an extreme challenge, but once they become partners in business (and you’re right it is a long process) they remain loyal unless there is a major issue, such as a provider not being able to offer a required product/service.

    One of the biggest challenges for me is moving potential customers from the status quo, but once they see the value they reward my company and myself with their loyal service. And as you mentioned, it is worth the wait!

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      The status quo is always the toughest enemy of change! But, it is always worth working on nurturing and your dream clients. 


  • John O’ Gorman

    Hi Anthony, the word that stuck out for me in your post is nurturing. In our research with buyers, they say they hear once, max twice a year from organisations that are trying to sell to them and nothing more. To generate the right leads and the right level of demand some nurturing communication process must be in place. As the old saying goes this is where the rubber hits the road, a nurturing process requires long term commitment from marketing, sales, domain experts and indeed finance. As we all know the long game requires organizational commitment not just a sales person. With the commitment to a nurting programme, demand can be created and even better the leads/buyers will have qualified themselves in.

    Just read your ebook on cold calling.  cheers John

    • Wholesale Suppliers

      I agree “nurturing” is the real essence here. Companies incapable of nurturing have flocked these days bombarding with odd promotions creating conflicts evens amongst their own products. Buyers hear about something once and when they make up their mind a new promotion is shoved under their nose creating unhealthy competition.

      • TheMortgageGuy

        I have had the most luck with leads that are a little older and have been hammered by every other person in the market. 30 days old has been my magic number in the mortgage business. I think most get so bombarded in the start of their search they get frustrated and cold feet. I swoop down 30 days later, lay on the charm, sell them on my service, and close the deal.
        For those I can’t close, drip marketing email has also been a big part of my arsenal. They get so used to seeing my name in their email that when I call them at the 60 or 90 day mark they almost feel like they know me.

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      Thanks, John! I hate to hear that salespeople reach out twice a year. It means that the salesperson and the company aren’t serious about winning their dream client’s business. You are so right about it being an organizational commitment. 

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for downloading the ebook!


  • Wim @ Sales Sells

    You nailed it again, Anthony. Like Gary said, most good things don’t come easy. Although a great referral and warm introduction sure help :)


    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      Thanks, Wim. Nothing good comes easy . . . sometimes even a great referral and warm introduction!

  • Pingback: Sales Is Hard Work | The Fast Growth Blog

  • Bill Murray

    There are no bad leads – only bad sales people!

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      We might have to agree to disagree on that, Bill! Lots of leads should be mercilessly disqualified. 


  • Pingback: Entrepreneurship Blockbuster Review: Glengarry Glen Ross | The Business Tie