How To Build Your Pipeline During Tough Times
GUEST BLOG - Author: Niraj Kapur
More spamming emails than ever? Wrong.
More bad messages on LinkedIn from people who have no interest in building a relationship? Even worse.
Now is the time to build your pipeline. Like the old Muhammad Ali saying goes: “I hated every minute of training, but I said, Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”
This is what building a sales pipeline is all about. Put in the effort now and be a champion in December when you hit your annual target.
I’ve seen many people stop prospecting because of the following reasons.
× They’re scared.
× They’re waiting for the government to bail them out.
× They don’t want to be seen as sleazy by selling when most people have no money.
Here are your solutions:
It’s okay to be scared. It’s not okay to do nothing about it.
You’re 100% responsible for your success.
It’s not sleazy if you’re helping people.
Selling isn’t 10 ways to close a deal. It’s not winning one over your client. It’s helping them with their problems and providing valuable solutions.
So how do we prospect when people don’t want to buy? Please note this isn’t just during Covid-19. This is relevant to summer, three weeks before Christmas, and the first two weeks in January when people are reluctant to buy.
This used to stand for Always Be Closing. Now it’s Always Be Caring. I call clients up, explain to them that I know times are tough and people are struggling. I simply ask “how can I help?” It’s a great question because it’s non-salesy and you always get an answer. Now and again, a client will bark back “I have no budget.” That’s okay, tell them you’re not trying to sell, you want to help.
2. Do Your Research
Social Selling is wonderful. Most of the research you need can be found on LinkedIn and the internet. If you contact a prospect and comment on a blog on their website or a post they have done on LinkedIn, you’re already 90% more effective than other people who just want to sell their product and see business as a transaction.
3. Ask for Referrals
I’ve gone back to my ten best clients and asked; “who in your network would benefit from my sales training skills?” 6 of them did email introductions and 1 of them did a LinkedIn introduction. This led to three client wins.
4. Be Creative
My new book, The Easy Guide to Sales for Business Owners was due to be released in June. I moved it forward to April. Winning the new clients from referrals and getting royalties from a book, that was a new business that helped make up for the losses I incurred from postponed events and canceled sales training caused by Covid-19.
5. Keep Sharing Content
Many people won’t buy for a few weeks. Others may not buy for several months. Don’t follow-up by email asking: “are you ready to buy?” Make sure every week, or least every few weeks you’re sharing valuable sales content that will benefit them and their sales team so you’re giving value and you’re always on their mind. If you disappear, they are more likely to go to your competitor when they’re ready.
Niraj is an expert sales coach, trainer, and author of the Amazon bestsellers Everybody Works In Sales and The Easy Guide to Sales for Business Owners. Niraj has delivered group training for over 160 companies from Barclays, Sainsbury’s, to SME’s.