An important element to any business is to ensure that you have a steady flow of business into your pipeline. A failure to develop this pipeline on a regular basis can result in peaks and troughs in revenues and inconsistent business.
Prospecting can be forgotten when we get busy and are following up with client delivery, chasing down proposals and meetings with hot prospects. However, it is at precisely this time you need to continue with your prospecting.
It can be a daunting task and many business owners can find prospecting difficult. This may be why business by referral is so popular and why most business owners prefer business by referral. When you receive a referral, a lot of the prospecting has been done for you. The potential client is higher up the sales process as they have already been pre-qualified and many of the objections covered -if you have trained your referral source properly and they have done a great job for you!
Conversions of business by referrals is normally also higher as the ground work has been done in advance and by having a recommendation people are more likely to accept and trust that you are the right person for the job.
However, when you break down the stats on your potential business there is a need to be marketing to them on a consistent basis to ensure that you maintain that visibility to them until they are ready to buy.
Let’s have a look at some stats:
3% of your target market are ready to buy from you right now
7% of your target market prospects need more information before they can make a decision
30% of your target market will buy from you in the future
30% of your target market have no idea of you are and what you offer
30% of your target market will always be a no, even if they do need you.
So, within your referral marketing we are normally speaking to the 10% of people who are ready to buy right now and or need further information.
The key to ensuring you maintain a good pipeline is to market yourself to the 60% who will buy in the future or who don’t know you.
So, what can you do that will keep your pipeline full? Here are 7 ideas that might help you:
1. Always prospect. No matter how busy or where you are always be prospecting.
2. Ask for Referrals – let people know you are open for referrals and business.
3. Know your Triggers – what are the emotional triggers that your product & service helps with?
4. Know your Top Customers – do you know your top customers, and can you describe them to others?
5. Automate Where Possible – what processes and systems do you have in place to help with lead generation and your marketing?
6. Use all Marketing Channels – including social media – however be selective about where you spend your time and use this wisely.
7. Never Stop Learning – learn from key people in industry what is working and be curious about new ideas.
I’d love to hear how you are filling your pipeline and engaging with your audience. If you have questions or want to learn about how to fill and create a pipeline of business, then give me a call or drop me an email and I’d be happy to help.