SALES 101 - Creating a pipeline & prospecting!

Today we are sharing tips to increase SALES which will begin the first of a series in helping you grow your business.

Most of my clients find cold calling the toughest part of growing their customer base but with a little preparation it can help close the gap between success and failure and increase your conversion % very quickly….. Lets start with an old favourite of mine – Creating a pipeline & prospecting!

Prospecting is all about having meaningful conversations with contacts who fit your ideal customer profile. It requires the effective use of Emails, cold calls, and referrals. But all prospecting starts with one unique task…

 

1.    Building a Sales pipeline

A sales pipeline is shaped more like a funnel than a pipe: it's widest at the beginning of the sales process and then narrows down as potential customers drop out of the running in every stage of the process. So if you don't keep up with prospecting activities, by the end of the process you'll be short of potential sales.

Because you've got to reach out to so many leads just to keep your sales flowing, efficiency and using your time wisely are more important when prospecting than in any other stage of the sales cycle. That means cutting out any activity that isn't getting results. STOP IT!!

EXAMPLE: If you spend hours printing up flyers and sticking them on car windshields and never get a single response, then that particular activity is worthless – spend your valuable time pursuing what repays you with results.

2.    Quality Prospects

Getting good leads is a crucial step to making your prospecting more efficient.

If you're cold calling a lead list where 50% of the leads are not qualified for your product, you've just wasted half your time. Find a better source of leads, be it through networking, buying a list from a lead broker, or doing some serious research on your own using Google.

3.    Setting the Appointment

Once you have your list in front of you, you've got to have something valuable to say to them to move those leads on to the next stage of the sales cycle. At this point, you don't need to sell them on your product – that will come later. For now, you need to sell your prospects on the value of talking with you at greater length.

4.    Ways to Generate Prospects

Cold calling over the phone, Email prospecting or door-to-door visits are all potential prospecting avenues. Usually, the most effective approach is to use multiple sales channels to reach your leads since individual prospects will respond better to different channels. If you've tried three times to reach a decision maker by phone and she's never there, then firing off an email might be the best way to catch her attention.

5.    DON’T give up too quickly

Most prospects will require several contacts before they'll agree to meet with you or look at your product. Again, alternating your contact attempts (a phone call followed by an email or vice versa) keeps the prospect from getting annoyed by your persistence, yet gives you additional opportunities to nail that opportunity.

The more planning you put into your cold calls, the easier and more successful they will be. Prior planning will take up some of your time, but once you've laid out your calling plan, you will be amortising that time with each call. It won't be long before your time investment pays off!

6.    Set Specific Goals

The first step in planning out your cold calls is to set specific goals. Set your first goal as getting the prospect's permission to have a conversation with them. Your second goal can be getting an appointment to meet, and a third goal might be getting permission to contact them at a later date (this is the contingency goal if you fail to achieve #1 and #2).

7.    Conversation Flow

Once you've set your goals, the next step is to lay out a conversation flow chart. The conversation flow chart is a way of mapping out each of your goals, and the general path you're going to take to achieve each goal.

For example, if your first goal is to get the prospect to have a conversation with you, you might write out the exact opener (script) you intend to use. You can also jot down a few appropriate responses to the most common objections you're likely to hear.

Then you can chart out a few paths to take towards goal #2: getting the appointment. These might be more objection-handling responses or a few techniques to build fast rapport. Finally, you could write out a phrase or two for accomplishing goal #3.

8.    Dealing with Voice Mails

Of course, you won't always reach a live human being on the other end of the line. So, writing out a voicemail script can help, so your mind doesn't go blank at the sound of the beep. Knowing what you'll say to the machine takes some stress off of you when you're on the spot.

9.    Research

Finally, before you make a call, it's a good idea to do a quick bit of research on your prospect. This doesn't have to be a major effort. Even a minute or two of internet digging can turn up amazingly useful information. Remember, Google is your friend. So are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Just type in the prospect's name and see what comes up.

This week spend some time preparing you target lists and next week we will share tips on making cold calls… sounds scarey? Noooooo its really not! We got you!!!

Remember - You are not alone…. You have a whole tribe of women within the IWOP network with a variety of skills, backgrounds and experience ready to share and care

Author: Tamara Awudu, Owner/Founder Purple Cow business communications