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?
Help I Need Sales Now!
Let me go on record and say that I am no advocate of letting your pipeline go dry. So promise me first that you will not tell anyone you heard me talking about closing the quick sale and that you will keep this between you and me. Also promise me that you will go read the other articles here on Sales Gravy and never put yourself in this situation again. Agreed? Okay!
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?
The BIG Ones
Take a look at your existing customer base, and ask yourself how well you know them and how well you understand their needs. Why? 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 your customer as well as you. 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
Oh, we all have ’em, 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 our mothers, no one thinks we hung the moon more than these customers. 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.
The Looking Glass
Okay, hate to tell you this, but if you have been in sales longer than one year, you have left sales on the table. You have done the hard part: You have made the initial call, had the conversation, followed up once or twice, then given up because the prospect didn’t bite. Now, we all know most customers do not buy without at least seven to eight touches, yet we give up at two or three. The good news is, we left sales on the table, and they are on the table just at a time when our pipeline is dry. So now is the time to pull out the looking glass, and analyze 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
Yep, 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.
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.
About the author
Meridith Elliott Powell
Meridith Elliott Powell has been named one of the Top 15 Business Growth Experts…