The High Cost of Inexpensive Lists by Jae-ann Rock (Part 1 of 2)

Posted on Apr 11, 2017 in Blog, Meeting/Event Planning, Training and HR

When marketing and selling to Corporate Training and HR, you are always looking for better ways to find new 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 decision-maker contacts!

Although buying an inexpensive list may appear to be a smart 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  Well, that “inexpensive” list you purchased probably contains generic, outdated information, gathered by simply compiling other lists of OLD data.  The result?  Bad data.  And, we all know that 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 high-quality market intelligence data, due to the time and energy wasted slogging 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 actually spent 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 is WASTED
  • $2700+ per week PER SALES REP is WASTED
  • $32,000 per year PER SALES REP is WASTED

Now, what if you have two, four or six sales people? The waste is staggering. What is that inexpensive list REALLY costing you?

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

By investing in the wrong lead source, 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 OPPORTUNITIES 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?

Consider an example from my own experience – see if this sounds familiar… While calling on a poor quality list on behalf of a client some years ago, I dialed the next contact on my list: “Joe Peterson, Senior Vice President.”

The receptionist answered, and proceeded to ask for Joe Peterson.  Sounding a bit surprised, the receptionist replied, “I’m sorry, Joe Peterson passed away 4 years ago.”  WOW – how embarassing.

The information I was using to find qualified prospects was more than FOUR years old! What a terrible list of inaccurate, outdated information! Hard to believe it, but someone had actually paid money for that list. Worse yet, they were now paying their sales professionals to wade through old, inaccurate data to find the right contacts. WHAT A WASTE.


Of course not… And yet, this scenario is played out by professional sales reps every day across this country.  As you’re reading this, a well-paid sales rep is trying to find a qualified decision-maker by calling on such a list… Is this happening in your own organization today? Don’t know? Ask your reps.

  • Do you really want your high paid sales reps to spend their time chasing ghosts?
  • Do you really want to pay them to search 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 market intelligence database of decision-maker contacts?

  • What kind of time and money could your organization save if your sales reps had accurate decision-maker contact information?
  • What if they could work with actual Market Intelligence, including information like email address, fiscal year end, key metro area, the contact’s exact area of responsibility, etc?
  • What if that information was all updated for free EVERY FOUR MONTHS?
  • 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. Next time, in part two of this article, we will share with you the five key questions to ask before you purchase another list.

The Mentor Tech Group Market Intelligence includes:

  • Company Name
  • Contact Name
  • Title
  • Telephone number
  • Job Responsibility (we call “Job Codes”)
  • Industry
  • Annual Sales Revenue
  • Number of Employees
  • Fiscal Year End
  • Physical mailing address (including metro area when applicable)
  • Email address
  • BONUS “comments” field for other contact details (when possible)

Save time and money using MTG’s Corporate Training & HR market intelligence:

  • The best and most qualified marketing Market Intelligence in the industry
  • A direct link to the confirmed 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 Mentor Tech Group’s market intelligence.

Then, contact us to learn more: 651-457-8600, Ext. 3.

Look for our next email to read Part 2 of this article where we will reveal the five questions to ask before you ever purchase another “list”!

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