That’s the cry I hear the most when talking with business owners who want to grow their business. It could be they are starting out and don’t have any, or they have clients (but not the right ones), or they just need more to take their business to the next level. We have all been there at some point in our business life haven’t we?
This was the cry that I heard from one of my clients just a few months ago. I had engaged with her initially through social media and I heard it over and over and over. If I could just get more clients! I need to get more clients! All my problems would be solved if people would just pay for the knowledge rather than wanting it all for free. It got to the point that she felt like giving up her business – it just seemed too hard!
So I asked her… How many are in your pipeline?
The conversation went a little bit like this:
My client: WHAT?
Me: Who do you have on your radar that could be a potential client?
My client: Erm… Well, I have one lady who is interested in this service and another who said they would like to have a chat.
Me: Who else?
My client: No one really. Just the people on my list but they don’t buy from me or even respond much when I send a newsletter out.
Me: So you don’t really have a pipeline then?
My client: Well no I suppose I don’t!
Over and over I come across this. Business owners want more clients, they want more cashflow and they want their business to grow but they don’t have a sales process flow in place and they don’t have a pipeline.
So what does a pipeline look like? This is the starting point of your sales process (well actually it starts beforehand but that’s another blog post!) It is traditionally the starting point of your sales process whereby lots of people should be in there ready for you to narrow down into action takers and those who need your help, are will to pay for it and will actually say yes!
How do you get people into your pipeline? Well you go out and find them! Sounds easy huh? Not always in practice. So let me tell you how I advised my client to get a pipeline started and to fill it continuously. You can then have a look at your pipeline and see if you can get it going.
- Look at your current situation. Who has enquired (even tentatively) about your services in the last 6-12 months. Have you followed up with them in the last 30 days to find out how they are and if their situation has changed?
- What clients have you worked with in the past that you have stopped working with? Why? Can you re-connect with them and see if they need any further assistance?
- Look at your offline network. Have you had meaningful conversations with people you meet at networking events? I don’t mean a quick 5 minute chat as the event ends but an actual follow up telephone or face to face conversation.
- How many business cards do you have sitting in a drawer or on your desk that you picked up and meant to contact someone to take your conversation further. Did you promise to send them some information or book a chat with them and then you didn’t do it?
- Look at your online network. Have you really connected with everyone regularly? I don’t mean sales contacts but real, true connections and find out if they are potential clients or even suppliers/strategic partners etc.
- When people ask for your advice online, do you try to move them offline so that they can go into your pipeline?
- When people are in your pipeline, do you follow up regularly with them or do you leave them hanging there?
So, what has been the results of my client’s actions? Well she now has a thriving pipeline.
- She has picked up a load of clients that she is now working with
- She has developed meaningful relationships with those who are interested in working with her but the timing is just not right for them
- She has found strategic partners who are sharing her work and working alongside her
- She is co-authoring a book
- She has speaking engagements booked
- She has written for online publications and guest blogged for other sites
- She has smashed her income goals in the last few months
- She has fantastic plans for 2016
So do you want more clients? More cashflow? Less stress and worry? What does your pipeline look like? Is it full and overflowing or has it dried up?
If you want a hand getting those new clients, why not sign up for my free accelerate your sales call and I’ll work with you to find the action best for you. You can apply for a session here.