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How to Effectively Sort Your Gold Pile of Contacts

*This is extracted and deep-dived from the webinar we had last week titled Microwave Your Cold Contacts & Turn Them Into Warm Leads. If you would like to watch the full 1-hour webinar (free, of course), head over to

If you’d been in business for over one year, chances are you’ve been collecting loads of contacts. They could be name cards from networking events, participants’ lists from your own events, web and social media inquiries, and more. Due to time constraints and various commitments, sometimes we didn’t follow-up on those contacts, and over time, they have gone “cold”.

There could even be times when you’ve actually pitched and presented to an interested party, but just because they couldn’t decide at the time, combined with the lack of follow-up, the prospects have lost interest, and may have even forgotten about you.

And when you look at that pile of contacts, you know it’s a buried gold mine. Let’s face it: it’s going to cost a lot more to generate new leads, and if you can somehow sort out the databases, reaching out to them could be a lot easier.

Let’s see how we can sort out that issue today.


This is extracted from our HIT Framework – High Income Trainer. Now, some of you may not be trainers, speakers or coaches, but it’s a framework that is highly applicable if your business is:

  • In the B2B space where you have a medium to long sale cycle (prospects take more than 7 days to decide)
  • In the high-end B2C market segment (large purchases where customers will go back and forth, researching the market, reading reviews etc)
  • Involved in promoting products or services which are relatively new to the market (Level 1 Market Sophistication) and requires much education

There are three core areas:

  1. ATTRACT your most profitable audience
  2. BEFRIEND them by engaging and exciting them
  3. CONVERT them into paying customers/clients

And for what we’re going to do, let’s have at look at one of the core strategies in the ATTRACT section:

Under this strategy, there are three key objections we want to help you achieve, which is:

  • Scattered to Segmented
  • Missed Opportunities to Captured Leads
  • Everyone to The Right Ones

For our purpose today, let’s look at the first, Scattered to Segmented.

To keep things simple, there are essentially four different stages a potential client has to go through:

  1. Strangers – They don’t know who you are at all, and sometimes, you may not even know them too (we’ll have to cover this in another article because identifying your Most Profitable Markets is critical to your business success)
  2. Prospects – They know about you and your offerings, and chances are, you might have even pitched or presented to them before.
  3. Customers – They have bought something from you (Hooray!)
  4. Advocates – They have bought from you repeatedly and regularly, and even refers to you their network (Hip Hip Hooray!)


Of course, if the strangers are part of your Most Profitable Markets, then you will need to find a way to get in front of them, simply because they don’t know your existence, or what you can do to help them. Sometimes, they may know of your offerings, but do not realize that they require your services, which is why the keyword is Educate, and the key action is Probe.

Uncover their needs, raise their awareness, get them familiar with you and your business.

Now, strangers can remain strangers for a good reason, as they may not be your target audience at all. Say if you’re selling accounting software, knowing all the housewives in your neighborhood may not directly serve your purpose. Having said that, you will never know because they may know someone that needs your services. While you cannot discard them totally, you do not need to spend too much time on them either (unless you really enjoy their company and the chitchat, and you had been wanting their mutton curry recipes for months!)

Perhaps a simple statement like below will do:

“You know how managing finances can be a hassle? Organising receipts, filing invoices, chasing payments. Well, our clients don’t ever have to worry about those issues anymore.”

You may even want to add, “Do you know anyone who may need that?”, or “If you know anyone who has those problems, you can help them by connecting us. They will love you for it.”


If you’ve read any murder mysteries, you’d know that it’s in the nature of humans to forget easily, or to even mismatch the memories.

Prospects may know you and what you have to offer, but sometimes, especially if enough time has lapsed (it’s faster than you think), well, they default to their natural state and forget.

This is why follow-up and lead nurturing are essential for this stage, because they might have the need, but it’s just a matter of timing. Sometimes, it could be due to changes in the management’s priorities or financial constraints, which puts your services under low importance at that moment.

Getting them to remember is just the first part, because the keyword here is Convince, which is to reassure them that when they are ready to buy, you are the “obvious choice” for them.

The primary action to be taken here is to Close them. Simple and straight forward (but may not be easily executed).

Most of your online inquiries fall into their category, because the fact that they requested for more info showed that they once had the needs.

Even prospects that you’ve pitched or presented are in this box.

If you suspect that the prospects have gone cold over time but had expressed their interest before, jump to minute 30 of the webinar here (though you may need to watch the first 30 minutes for some context). There, I gave a few examples on how you can reactivate the cold contacts using Dean Jackson’s 9-Word Email method.


Frankly, this may sound straight forward, right? The sale is closed. Business has been transacted! You’ve known each other, and you may have even made an impression.

But you see, human nature is human nature. The forgetfulness is still there. If you don’t continue to nurture the relationship, they ain’t gonna get to the next category (Advocate) on their own.

Of course, the key focus here is Deliver, which is to really do a good job. Sometimes that’s good enough to leave a lasting impression (though you should not take it for granted). The key action here is to provide the best service you can, and engineer as much opportunities to keep in touch with them. Come on! You’ve come so far, and it’ll be a waste to let them forget about you.

And let’s not forget: customers need justifications as well. If they are being questioned on their purpose, either by their business partners or superiors at work, they may not have a ready answer, especially if they have gone off the emotional high that lead them to sign the cheque (do they still use this archaic method of payment, really) in the first place.

It’s your job to give them the confidence that they made the right choice. You can add-on to the emotional high by seasonal greetings or little gestures that may not cost you a lot, but demonstrated that you care. A good example is sending them an excerpt from a book which content may be relevant to them, with a caption like “Read this and thought it might be useful for you, Mr. Client.”


Ah, the result of customers nurtured well. Not only are they your biggest fans as they refer new clients to you, but they loved you so much that anytime there is a need in their company, your name comes up on top. This is when the law of human nature is defied (forgetfulness is forgotten), and you are constantly fresh in their minds. Heck, they may even look forward to your occasional messages and visits.

The keyword here is Excite, and look for ways to delight them and build on the relationship. You will need to treasure them (that’s for sure), but you will also need to empower them so that they know how to “sell” you well to their network. Look for ways to make them the hero among their contacts, without crossing the line of kissing ass, of course.

Having many advocates is the dream of all businesses, but please do not allow that to make you complacent. While word of mouth is a powerful tool, do remember it’s something you do not have full control of, and cannot be forced all the time.

Having a consistent strategy to move Strangers to Prospects to Customers to Advocates is your best bet to steady and maybe even exponential growth.


Now that you know the four different categories, go through your goldmine of contacts and sort them into the boxes accordingly. Different strategies need to be used for each of them, and so does the allocation of your priorities, time and effort.

Hint: You may realize that cost-wise, it’s more expensive in the beginning stage of the funnel, especially that Stranger and Prospect columns, which is why the age old saying,

It’s ten times easier to keep a customer than to get a new one.


p.s. If you had gained much clarity from this article, be the hero and spread the clarity to your colleagues and business associates as well. If you think of that one or two people within your network that can really use this info to monetise their “hidden” goldmine, tag them in the comments, or PM them the link. Like I said… You Be The Hero.

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