The High Cost of Inexpensive Lists by Jae-ann Rock

Posted on Apr 8, 2014 in Archive

When marketing and selling to Corporate Training and HR, you are always looking for better ways to find leads. You might attend trade shows, network via LinkedIn, and/or purchase marketing lists from time-to-time.

But, if you are purchasing an INEXPENSIVE list of contacts, you may be inadvertently using THE most expensive way to source Corporate Training and HR lists

Although buying an inexpensive list may appear to be a good option to secure lots of prospects for little investment, this is probably the worst way to go about sourcing leads. 

Why?  Well, that “inexpensive” list you purchased probably contains generic, outdated information, gathered by simply compiling other old lists of data.  The result?  Bad data.  And bad data can create two costly issues for your sales reps and your business: 

  1. LOST TIME: Your well paid, professional sales reps are now forced to WASTE their valuable time and energy wading through all that bad data, trying to find any prospect worthy of a conversation!
  2. LOST SALES/OPPORTUNITY: If your reps are wading through poor quality data, they are NOT spending that time speaking with qualified decision makers, nurturing valid leads, managing current accounts.  This is a huge issue.    

The result?  That “inexpensive” list may end up costing you 2-3 times the cost of a high quality list, due to the time and energy wasted to slog through it.   


On average, the time spent drilling into corporate training organizations “in search of” the right contact breaks down like this: 

• 75% of the time is spent LOOKING for the RIGHT person, and

• Only 25% of the time is spent actually communicating with them 

So – how much money might you be wasting?  Let’s run some numbers: 

  • Assume you are paying $42* per hour to your sales people.
  • You know that hunting around for decision makers is not $42/hour work – it’s $14 per hour work!  
  • Why pay TRIPLE the cost for this work?  Paying someone $42 per hour to do $14 per hour work just doesn’t make sense.  (But, if your reps are using poor quality lists to find the “right” people to talk to, this is exactly what you’re doing.)
  • Consider this added factor of loss: Every hour your $42/hour rep is NOT doing the important work (like talking with real decision makers!), it is COSTING you money. This can add up to countless dollars per year in lost sales opportunity.

(*Assumes an average sales rep cost of $87,500 per year in salary and benefits.) 

Now, let’s take this one step further:

  • Assume your rep spends 50% of their time prospecting (20 hours/week).
  • Assume that 75% of THAT time is spent searching for decision makers (15 hours/week).
  • So, how much money is WASTED prospecting?
    • $631 per week PER SALES REP
    • $2700+ per week PER SALES REP
    • $32,000 per year PER SALES REP 

Now, what if you have two, four or six sales people? The waste is staggering

  • Ask yourself, “Can we afford to continue wasting this much money?” 

(Check out our ROI document to plug in your own numbers and see the see how much that “inexpensive” list is really costing you.)

By purchasing the wrong list, you may be inadvertently creating a significant amount of waste in your organization – Wasted time, wasted money, wasted talent…not to mention all the waste of LOST OPPORTUNTIES and LOST SALES!  


You can always find some list broker to sell or rent you a list of names.  But, what kind of quality will you get?  

Here’s one real world example:

When calling on one typical poor quality list for a client some years ago, I encountered many challenges with the list data.  I found myself waiting on hold, being bounced from one person to another, encountering many wrong turns and dead ends while I searched for the decision maker.

After calling another disconnected number, I prepared to call the next prospect on my list: “Joe Peterson, Chairman of the Board”. 

I did a little research on the company, then dialed the number.  After calling so many duds, I had a good feeling about this one…

The receptionist answered, and I asked to speak with Joe Peterson.  Sounding a bit surprised, the receptionist kindly replied, “I’m very sorry, but Joe Peterson passed away 4 years ago.”  (So much for my intuition!)

WOW – what a terrible list of inaccurate, outdated information.  Can you believe someone paid money for that list?  Can you believe they’re paying highly skilled sales reps to wade through such data?

And yet, this scenario is played out by professional sales reps all across this country every weekday.  As you’re reading this, a well paid sales rep is trying to find a qualified lead by calling on such a list…

  • Do you really want your high paid sales reps spending their time chasing ghosts?
  • Do you really want to pay them for searching through inaccurate data and misinformation?

FACT: A list is usually LOW COST because it’s LOW QUALITY.  Spending money on such a list will COST YOU much more MONEY than the list itself, which can be quite detrimental to your business.

But, WHAT IF your sales reps could spend every hour calling on an accurate list of decision-makers

  • What kind of time and money could your organization save if your sales reps had accurate decision-maker contact information? 
  • How much MORE revenue could your sales team close in a month?  In a year?  

So, before you purchase another “inexpensive” list, consider the high COSTS of doing so, and be certain to ask the following questions.


1.)    How is the data compiled, and WHO is compiling it?

2.)    How often is the data updated?

3.)    Does the information provide specific job functions (not just titles)?

4.)    Is each person in the database involved in influencing or making decisions?

5.)    What are the restrictions for use? (One-time use, no emailing, etc.)

The truth is, there are very few commercially available lists that can provide the kind of drilled down, accurate decision-maker information you need. 

However…there is ONE company that specializes in developing accurate lists of decision maker contacts in Corporate Training and HR… 

If you’re lucky enough to sell or market to the corporate training or HR world, there is a highly unique list option available to you…the Mentor Tech Group Market Intelligence database.


Mentor Tech Group offers drilled-down Market Intelligence, not just mere “data”.


Mentor Tech Group’s lists are hand built by industry specialists who have personal conversations with every contact in our database.  Our Market Intelligence Consultants gather and confirm contact details, as well as the person’s exact responsibility within the organization to determine if they merit membership in our database.  (Now that’s unique!)


When you purchase a minimum of 1000 leads from Mentor Tech Group, you will receive FREE list updates every 4 months for one full year.  Your sales staff will no longer be wasting up to 25% of their time calling on expired leads.  Your marketing staff won’t be receiving loads of bounce backs on email marketing campaigns.  The MTG database is current, accurate and qualified. 


Because we speak to each contact in our database, we are able to gather information about their specific Job Function and their area of responsibility in the organization. We call these “Job Codes“.

This information helps us determine if a contact meets the criteria to be included in our decision-maker database.  Our database is then segmented by Job Code (not nebulous job title), allowing you to identify contacts with certain specific responsibilities within an organization.  (Sample MTG Job Codes can be found HERE.)


  • No more wrong turns and dead ends calling on poor quality lists!  
  • No more wasted time, money and effort chasing ghosts! 
  • Increased sales pipeline activity, improved marketing ROI, increased sales revenues.

Don’t waste another day using poor quality lists.  If you want to decrease waste in your sales process and boost sales, call Mentor Tech Group and ask us the 5 Key Questions included in this article. Our answers may surprise you!

Save time and money using MTG’s lists:

  • The best and most qualified marketing Market Intelligence in the industry
  • A direct link to the decision makers you seek!
  • Precisely targeted and highly accurate information, ready for you to email and call!

Click here to listen to MTG President, Pat Ryan explain “what you get” when you invest in a Mentor Tech Group list.  See for yourself what a difference a QUALITY LIST can make.  

We’re happy to build a list quote that meets your specifications. Call us at: 651-457-8600!  


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