Two Mistakes


Most of the problems we have selling or improving our numbers are problems with fundamentals. Usually, we fail to do something that we should do because it is difficult, or we try to do something that we believe is easier, even though it doesn’t produce the result we want.

I see these same two mistakes over and over. They’re like siamese twins; they’re attached at the hip.

  • Not having a list of dream clients from which to work.
  • Spending time with the wrong prospects.

A List of Dream Clients

There are some prospects that are simply more valuable to you and your company because you are more valuable to them. These prospects have the kind of problems that you solve, and they will see tremendous value in what you do and how you do it. The best use of your time is pursuing these prospects.

But I see salespeople and sales organizations struggling to prospect because they haven’t identified their targets. There is no direction when it comes to prospecting, so very little gets done.

If you have a list of 1,000 targets, you should call them as fast as possible, working to schedule appointments, but also working to identify the list of dream clients on which you are going to focus your time, your attention, and your energy. This list of dream clients provides you with direction and purpose.

Spending Time with Too Small, Engaged Prospects

When you don’t focus on your dream clients, you tend to work downstream with small prospects who are willing to engage with you—even though they don’t spend much money in your space. These prospects will spend time with you because they love the attention, and they thrilled that someone who can create massive value for them is working with them.

It’s easy to like these small, engaged prospects. They’re super nice. They never challenge you. It’s easy to get their time and attention. None of these things are true when it comes to your dream clients; they are challenging, difficult to schedule a meeting with, and more difficult to win.

The challenge for the salesperson and the sales organization that spends time on small, engaged prospects is that there is no way to reach your goals by winning their business. You could win dozens of them and not come close to making your number.

  • Do you have a well-defined list of dream clients? Can you go into every week with a plan to reach two or more contacts within your dream client company?
  • Are you spending time with the people for whom you create the most value and who will also derive the most value from working with you? Or are you spending too much time with prospects who won’t move the needle for you should you win their business?

Once you spend time, you cannot get it back. Make sure that you invest your time doing the activities that provide you with a return on that investment.

As always, comment  to send me your thoughts, stories, and ideas. Hit forward to some who needs a list of 60 dream clients and who might need to pull themselves away from the small prospects they shouldn’t be spending time with. They can sign up at

Do good work this week, and I’ll see you next week.


Anthony Iannarino


P.S. Next week, my friends at sixQ Software and I will be launching the beta test of a survey that will accompany my book this October. This survey will look at 17 elements, or success attributes and sales skills, and it will show you areas you might need want to work on. I need 100 or so people to take the survey. Look for an email with the link if you want to be the first to see the survey and the results.




Contributor Anthony Lannarino is an entrepreneur, speaker, author, and consultant. He writes daily at and you can subscribe to his newsletter at