5 tips for growing your sales pipeline
By: Jack Francis
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
When I was beginning to grow my agency (I still have a lot more growing to do!), a huge question I was being asked by everyone was “Where is the next sale coming from?”. When I first set off on this journey, I didn’t realise just how important this question would be to me. It’s now the driving force of my day. Constantly wondering (and worrying) where the money will next come in from. I’ve compiled a list of tips which will help anyone else in a similar position to grow their pipeline.
- Network – The more people you can tell about your idea face to face, the greater the chance one of them is going to need your services. Check out local networking events in your area and go to as many as you possibly can. The ones I have been going to either consist of breakfast or drinks, so it’s a great way to start the day, or a great way to ensure the next day gets off to an awful start. Networking is far subtler than I originally thought. I used to think you would turn up to an event, bump into someone who would happen to need exactly what you are offering and Bob’s your uncle, you have just won a client. Sadly, this is not the case. It’s about building meaningful relationships and actually getting to know the person, and if work comes out of it, that’s a good thing.
- Public speaking – This is kind of like networking, but instead of telling 10 people about your service, you tell 50 about it, all at the same time. It’s also one of the most feared things in the world so if you can get over your fears at the same time as selling your services, you’re a winner in my eyes. I make it a habit to try and speak at 1 event a month, and you should too.
- Cold calls (or emails) – This is the more ‘classic sales’ approach to things. Make a list of the companies you want to target with your services, and either pick up the phone or do some detective work to find the email of your decision makers. Don’t be that guy/girl who sends 40 emails, filled with buzzwords such as ‘touch base’ and ‘drop you a line’. Send them maybe 1 email and give them a call. If they don’t respond after that, then chances are they aren’t interested.
- Recommendations – One of the best pieces of advice I have ever been given is “After every job, ask for a testimonial and two recommendations”. The first job we ever did led to a great referral from the client, which could possibly lead to the biggest piece of work we have had yet. Combined with the testimonial, we have now identified someone with a need for our services, and we have given them a reason to trust us. If you do a good job for your clients, they’ll more than likely be happy to help you out in this way.
- Relationships with old clients – A client is for life, not just for Christmas. The absolute worst thing you could do is do a job for them and then never contact them again. These clients are a potential goldmine of new work and referrals, so make sure you take advantage of it. Send them an email every couple of months to catch up, you’ll be surprised how much you get out of simply staying in contact with someone.
So, there are 5 tips that I have gathered since setting up my agency which will hopefully help you grow your pipeline. As always, I’d love to hear how you found the blog, so please email me at email@example.com if you fancy a chat!