Have you heard the term “sales funnel?” I hadn’t until recently, when I spoke with Joanne Black, referral selling expert and founder of No More Cold Calling.

She explained to me that in an economy like we’re dealing with, “it’s easy to be lured by business which clogs our sales funnel. We can’t afford to attract the wrong kind of clients to our business. A full funnel is only valuable if it’s filled with the kind of clients that are right for you – clients that are qualified and referred.”

Black identified the following three myths that can block the “sales funnel” and keep you from the kind of clients you need.

Myth #1 Sheer Activity Matters
Prospecting activity is important, but what really matters is that you feed the right people, people who have been referred, into your sales funnel in the first place, nurture those prospects, and hasten their passage through your funnel.

Myth #2 Sales 2.0 Leads are Qualified
Many advisors rely on so-called leads from list brokers, seminars, trade shows, advertising, networking, newsletters and speaking — “so-called” because these aren’t really leads. At best, they are unqualified prospects.

Myth #3 It’s Important to Sort “Leads”
Leads are people who match the profile of your ideal client, they have a need, and they are open to pursuing how you can help them. They are a qualified prospect which you get through a referral. You don’t need to sort them.