Filling Your Bathtub: Building and Managing Target Lists

Factoring Broker Building Prospect Target Lists

For factoring brokers and commercial finance consultants, success hinges not only on understanding the nuances of financial transactions but also on mastering the art of marketing and, in particular,  target marketing.  And, when it comes to target marketing and target marketing campaigns, brokers must understand the importance and necessity of using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM).  List building, and doing so correctly, will ultimately be a cornerstone to your success.  As all professional “prospectors” know, marketing success is all in the quality of your list.  List building is a foundational task for all serious brokers and consultants and what is commonly terms as “filling the bathtub.”  This metaphorical bathtub symbolizes your CRM system, and filling it involves populating your database with a demographically curated list of prospects or “targets.” However, identifying these targets isn’t a random exercise; it’s a strategic endeavor rooted in understanding demographics, industries, and the specific needs that drive businesses to seek factoring services.

Targets, Leads, and Prospect Lists…Know the Difference

Though some call targets “suspects”, what you call them makes little difference as long as you have a clear understanding between targets, leads, and prospects.

Targets are raw material.  Their quality is based on their demographics.  For example, businesses in industries that commonly employ large numbers employee are also commonly faced with cashflow problems associated with payroll.  From a broker’s standpoint, building large “raw material” target lists of businesses having that demographic just makes sense.  Targets will be “targeted” with your lead generation campaigns.

Leads are targets that have higher value.  Leads have made a conscious decision to respond to one of your campaigns.  They have requested a brochures, free booklet, a case study, seminar, or something similar.  Your leads list is your most valuable list.  Members of your leads list will be further qualified and prospected and will can be just one small word away from becoming a client.  Additionally, many “marketeers” know that all leads are not the same.  They will sub-divide their leads into….

  • Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL):  Leads that will require more nurturing
  • Sales Qualified leads (SQL):  Leads that are actively prospected

Prospects are those leads and list members that are actively receiving your one-on-one marketing campaigns.   They are SQL and you are actively soliciting these prospects by direct phone correspondence or a face-to-face appointment.

Decision One: Your First Bathtub List

As said, target marketing is the cornerstone of your direct marketing experiences and the quality of your lists is key to the success of each of your campaigns.  But when building your first lists, you should build those lists so they relates to your marketing plan.  For example, if your intention is to market to LOCAL small service business owners using LinkedIn, occasional luncheon seminars, and your membership to your Chamber of Commerce, it makes little sense to spend wasting time adding targets from other areas.  Start building your list from Chamber members (that list is free).  While you can easily construct your first lists simply by using your favorite search engine, its also very easy to purchase your first business names from a quality list broker using demographics of your choice such as specific business type and zip codes.

List Organization:  Your CRM Systems for Target Acquisition

The advent of advanced CRM systems has revolutionized how factoring brokers and consultants  identify, engage, and nurture list members. These systems serve as the “backbone management systems” of your target marketing efforts.  They provide an indispensable and invaluable tool for database management, segmentation, and personalized communication. When “filling the bathtub,” brokers can leverage CRM functionalities to categorize targets based on predefined criteria, track interactions, monitor engagement metrics, and refine their targeting parameters continuously. Professional brokers and consultants learn how to harness the power of CRM systems.  They can manage and optimize lists of targets and then cultivate and nurture a robust pipeline of leads and prospects,


Filling the bathtub and mastering target marketing are foundational pillars for factoring brokers navigating today’s dynamic business landscape. By diligently identifying, categorizing, and engaging targets within industries predisposed to leveraging factoring services, brokers can unlock unprecedented growth opportunities, foster client relationships grounded in trust and expertise, and establish a formidable presence within the evolving factoring ecosystem. As the adage goes, “know thy target,” and in the context of factoring brokerage, this wisdom underscores the imperative of strategic targeting and personalized engagement in driving success, sustainability, and excellence in service delivery.