Santa's 3 Step Strategy For List Making


by Margery Murphy on December 15, 2015

It’s that time of year and we are all making lists:

  • Holiday Cards
  • Party Invites
  • Gift lists
  • Grocery lists
  • Year end business wrap up lists
  • More lists

However, with all the lists we have, no one has lists longer and more detailed than Santa. I recently sat with him and asked him a few frank questions about how he manages his lists. You can read the transcript from our chat below...


     Marge: Can you tell me how you manage your list in order to deliver the right gifts to the right children?

     Santa: Ho Ho Ho - I approach it in a very systematic way. The first step is to segment the list into two categories: boys and girls. This is the only way I can begin to get some idea of how many boys and girls I need to make toys for.

OK, so Santa’s Step 1 is list segmentation. For business this might translate into a client list versus a prospect list. This segmentation tells you how many opportunities you need to be considering. 

     Marge: What's next, Santa?

     Santa: Next we need to the filter or rank each of the boys and girls into naughty or nice. This is a really important step. If I miscategorize them, this could blow my reputation! If I give a nice girl coal or a naughty girl a gift I have just ruined the fundamental belief that I know who is naughty and nice!  Ho Ho Ho!

And there you have it, Santa’s Step 2 is filtering. So – for business, we can equate this to a ranking of clients and prospects. Who are better targets or most suitable fits for our products/services?  We might use A for top-tier clients or potential clients and B as a second choice.

     Marge: What’s next?

     Santa: We now get to assignments. I search for all of the naughty children and assign them coal. That is pretty easy, Ho Ho Ho. It doesn't take a lot of thought. The tough assignments are the nice ones. I need to research what these children have requested in their letters and enter this into my database. That way, I can assign gift-making duties to the elves. We must keep up production to meet demand!

     Marge: So you're really getting into data documentation that you can act on quickly and keep your production line running efficiently.

     Santa: You got it! This is critical for me, the elves and most of all for the children awaiting their gifts!  Ho Ho Ho!

     Marge: Great Santa. Your Step 3 is Assignments. These tasks keep you on track for production. Any organization must have a view of the sales pipeline so they can execute and deliver.

     Santa: Without it, you can get very lost very quickly! For me, it results in the elves running around in circles. What a mess!

     Marge: Anything else?

     Santa: Yes - deliver the goods!

So let's recap. 

  1. Segment
  2. Filter
  3. Assign
  4. Deliver


Happy Holidays!

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