Allowing your sales pipeline to go dry can jeopardize your income and force you into a reactive, stressful state of mind. But if you find yourself running against the clock and you need to make a quick sale, there are some strategies that you can take without sacrificing your integrity in the process.
Don’t Cut Off Your Own Lifeline
Let me go on record and say that I am no advocate of letting your pipeline go dry.
Allowing your pipeline to run dry is akin to cutting off your own lifeline. It’s a perilous situation that can have severe consequences for your career and your organization’s bottom line.
When your pipeline lacks a steady flow of leads and prospects, you’re essentially putting your future sales revenue at risk.
Without a robust pipeline, you’re forced into a reactive mode, desperately chasing any lead that comes your way, often compromising on quality. This not only adds unnecessary stress but also hampers your ability to maintain a consistent and predictable income.
A well-nurtured pipeline, on the other hand, empowers you with choices, allowing you to focus on high-value opportunities and plan your sales efforts strategically.
What To Do When It’s Too Late
Okay, I will crawl down off of my high horse, and admit I get it, it happens sometimes.
You get busy, you get stuck, and you get so consumed with taking care of existing business, you forget to go out and look for new business until it is too late.
Then there you are, it is the end of the month, end of the quarter, or heaven forbid end of the year, and you are seriously shy of your goal.
What do you do? Where do you turn? You need revenue! You have bills to pay, a commission to earn. How do you find the quick sale?
Go For Gold
Take a look at your existing customer base, and ask yourself how well you know them and how well you understand their needs.
Because there is gold in your existing customer base— gold in the sense that there are easy sales, and easy sales that have value for both you and your customer.
Can You Answer The BIG Questions?
Let me ask you, do you know the BIG Ones? Do you know the big questions every salesperson should know about their customers?
How does their business work? What exactly do they do?
What are their biggest challenges?
How has this economy impacted their business?
Where do they see their business in the next five to ten years?
What do they see as their biggest opportunities?
Take the time to make five calls this week, to any of your existing customers, and ask them these questions. Get the conversation going, and you will find enough products and services to fill your pipeline.
Your Alternative Sales Force
We all have those five or six customers that just love us. For some reason they love us, our staff, what we do, and they believe more in our business than we do.
Save for our mothers, no one thinks we hung the moon more than these customers.
When your pipeline goes dry, you need to turn that support into more than just sheer admiration. Sit these folks down, and ask for their help. In today’s economy, our advocates’ sales power is far more impactful than ours.
What may take us eight to ten times to close a deal, they can do in two.
Look In The Mirror
I hate to tell you this, but if you have been in sales longer than one year, you have left sales on the table.
You did the hard part: You made the initial call, had the conversation, followed up once or twice. But then you gave up because the prospect didn’t bite.
Now, we all know most customers do not buy without at least seven to eight touches, yet more often than not we give up at two or three.
The good news is, if we left sales on the table, then they are on the table just at a time when our pipeline is dry.
So now is the time to pull out a mirror and take a good hard look at the sales calls you have made in the last year. Look closely, and choose 10 or 20 who deserve a follow-up call.
The Big Sweep
You guessed it, now it is time for the big sweep. A whole week of follow-up calls.
Just let those prospects know you are getting back in touch with them, seeing what has changed or is new in their business, and you have a few ideas for how you can help them.
In today’s economy, if you do not learn to master follow-up, and consistently practice the BIG SWEEP, you are leaving sales consistently on the table and making sales a much harder process than it has to be.
Change Your Lifestyle
There you made it. Your pipeline is full again, and this crisis has been avoided. Now, do not rest on your laurels, get back in the game, and change your lifestyle.
An empty pipeline, combined with a big goose egg where closed sales should be, never feels good. So get that stress out of your life, follow these steps and start making sales calls every day.
Never Sacrifice Your Integrity
Now again, I am not in any way advising you to get yourself into this pinch, but I do get it, and have been there myself. These are the strategies, ideas, and tips I use to fill my pipeline, when I need a quick sale.
What I love about these strategies is that they may produce quick results, but never ever at the expense of your integrity as a sales person. No matter how dry your pipeline you can never sacrifice that.
Looking for more tips for filling a pipeline gone dry? You’ll find more than 1000 hours of professional development content for modern sales professionals and leaders on Sales Gravy University.
About the author
Meridith Elliott Powell
Meridith Elliott Powell has been named one of the Top 15 Business Growth Experts…