5-Step Checklist to Determine if You Bought a Quality List for Cold Calls


Today, cold calling is a much more critical resource than ever before. Fortunately, it’s also much more accessible and there are a lot more resources to assist you, thanks to the Internet and the people on it. When you are buying calling lists, which is often a good way to get leads, you have to make sure that you’re investing in quality lists. 

There are several ways that you can do that, starting with only buying higher-quality lists in the first place. They may cost a bit more, but you’ll have less homework and weeding through to do on your own. Plus, you’ll have fewer reservations about whether or not you’ve purchased a good list. To make sure that you’re buying the right lists, follow these steps to help you stay on track or investigate the lists you’ve already purchased. 

Step 1: Know who your target customers are 

This is always the most important part of creating or buying a list of leads. Your target audience is everything. They are the ones that you want to reach and they are most likely to convert. Therefore, if you are buying lead lists that don’t include this audience, you may be wasting your money and effort on leads that aren’t as qualified. 

Rank your customers by need, profit potential, and other characteristics that can help you determine whether they are right for your business. If you have a list full of C-level executive contacts and you’re marketing to SMBs, for example, you may have made a bad purchase. That’s why it’s helpful to know these things going in. 

Step 2: Look for industry-related or consultative list providers

You can do a lot less homework if you just buy your lead lists from quality sources in the first place. When doing research, make sure that you look for consultants and industry-related lead generation assistance. There are several services out there that provide industry-based lead lists and that can consult on helping you find the best leads for your company. Some of them can even prospect the leads for you all the way to booking the appointment so that you can close the deal. 

If nothing else, they’ll give you access to a quality list of leads that will keep flowing. Plus, they will be more relevant (AKA more likely to convert), which means you’ll be getting better leads in the first place. As mentioned in the first step, you may pay a little more for better lists, but you’ll do a lot less of the house cleaning this way. 

Step 3: Are the leads industry-specific?

Although it’s not required, lead lists that relate to your industry tend to have a much higher success rate than those that don’t. Let’s say you work in the IT industry and your new service is designed for consumers who need IT solutions. If you’re pulling lead lists from general databases, you might only find a handful of those interested in IT services. However, if you stick with leads that are interested in your industry specifically, you’ll have more valuable leads. 

Sometimes, companies sell generic lead lists that have everyone from the purchasing manager at a major corporation to a solopreneur from Cleveland on them—the gamut here is far too wide for you to be successful with lead generation. The more specific your lists are in the first place, the better investment you are making. 

Step 4: Test the lists 

One of the best ways that you can ensure that you’ve got a good lead list is to test it out. Some companies will let you do this before you buy, trying out a handful of prospects to see if you get any interest. Others may not offer this, but you can do it yourself after you buy the list. You’ll be able to check out the leads, consider their needs and how likely they are to choose your services, and so forth. This can help you prepare a better strategy for using the lead list, whether it ends up being a good investment or not. 

This is often a great way to figure out how to handle those lead lists that didn’t quite measure up, but you’ve got them now. You might as well use as much as you can, so test away when it comes to the lists you’re really not sure about. 

Step 5: Plan ahead and buy better lists in the future

Of course, you can avoid this altogether if you use this information to buy better lists in the first place. We have sorted through enough leads of our own to know that once you get the hang of buying leads, you’ll get to a point where you choose the most targeted, profitable lists available, even if they cost a bit more. While you can do a lot to test the lists you have and sort them out now, if you can buy better in the future, you’ll have less sorting to do later. 

Speaking of planning ahead, consider partnering with someone like the team at Smith.ai to assist with all of this lead checking and prospecting to ensure that you don’t miss a beat. Our agents can assist with all aspects of outreach campaigns and outbound sales and support. That way, you’re not using valuable time that your business needs for clients and other tasks. 

Bonus tip: Don’t focus too much on cost when buying lists. Yes, you need to stick to your budget. However, you should be buying quality leads first and foremost, and those will typically cost a bit more. 

Speaking of partnerships, work with Smith.ai for all your lead generation and outbound sales needs

At Smith.ai, we know you’re busy. That’s why our team of dedicated virtual receptionists is available to assist with anything that you need, from lead screening and intake to appointment scheduling, and even database updating and integrating with your CRM to ensure that everything is streamlined. 

To learn more, schedule a consultation to discuss how the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai can improve your outreach campaigns, and so much more. You can also reach us at hello@smith.ai or (650) 727-6484. 

Business Education
Sales Tips
Written by Sean Lund-Brown

Sean Lund-Brown is a current Marketing Assistant for Smith.ai. A graduate from Metropolitan State University of Denver, Sean graduated with a BA in Music and an individualized degree in Teaching Vocal Pedagogy.

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