These are two questions I’m hearing often – from both prospective clients and peers:
- I don’t have enough prospects to speak with (weak pipeline or no pipeline).
- I’m having trouble closing (converting) the prospects I do speak with.
Not having enough people to speak with is a marketing issue.
Having trouble converting is a very different issue.
Not Enough Prospects? Marketing Issue?
So if you don’t have enough prospects, you obviously need more.
You may think you can’t afford top flight talent to support your business in this area. And it’s no news that cutting through the clutter is more demanding than ever. Can you afford to try and do this yourself?
On the other hand, if you currently have more time than money it may make sense to Do It Yourself. Heaven knows there are literally tons of free blogs and videos on how. But even so, can you afford the huge investment of time it will take to synthesize and apply all that data?
Now marketing isn’t my specialty, so be clear this is not a pitch for the latest internet get-a-thousand-clients-for-almost-free scheme.
My specialty is helping my clients gain more conversions from their sales conversations.
Enough Prospects? Start With Conversion.
To take a little deeper look at the sales conversation, think about several that you’ve had recently.
When you have people to talk to, what do you do with them? Do you:
- Hope they automatically see your value and beg you to take their credit card?
- Offer discounts and more discounts, just to keep positive cash flow?
- Resist asking important questions – or following up – because you don’t want to seem pushy or obnoxious?
- Succinctly show, in your qualifying/sales conversation why they make a mistake in not choosing to work with you, or in waiting too long or thinking it over?
For most of us, the prospects are too precious and hard-won to leave the sales results to chance.
Yes, if you aren’t trained, that sales conversation can be uncomfortable. But believe me when I say this: selling is not some great cosmic mystery – it’s a skill that can be easily learned. Thousands of my clients have proven this hands down. You’ve learned so many other skill sets, why not this one?
Here are my recommendations, in order of importance:
- If you have zero prospects right now, or maybe just a few each month, your first priority must be to engage in marketing activities, either Do It Yourself, ask for referrals from former clients or peers, or hire the best expert you can afford. Nothing else happens until you get this fixed.
- If you have some clients, but not enough, perhaps the best action for you to take is to hone your conversion skills to make the most of the prospects you do have. If you can add even a client or two each week (beyond your current conversion rate), you can quickly get to the point where you can afford some high level expert support in the marketing.
Whichever is the basis of your problem – not enough prospects or not enough closes – start solving the primary issue now.
Find a guide who can help you gain the skills you need to get more prospects or convert them into clients. Find the right guide, and you can have the core skills under your belt in a matter of weeks. Don’t think of these activities as expenses. Think of it as investing in your business, just like you would for a printer or new computer.
In my view, (whether you work with me or another top professional) getting even minimal sales skills is one of the most powerful steps you can take to provide security for yourself and sustainability for your business. These skills are inherent in less than five percent of people. Would you expect to be an architect or an engineer without training? Heck, even KFC trains their people how to use the deep fryer.
Take Action – Make This Your Own
Take a look at your business and determine which problem seems more critical for you: not enough prospects to talk to, or not converting enough prospects.
- If you’re legitimately short on prospects, take one small step on the path to getting more. Here’s a great place to start: Get Clients Now. This program has proven itself with 15 years of client successes.
- Look at the conversion issue. Pay close attention to how your sales conversations go. Check your behaviors and attitudes against the bullet list above.
- Take one step to make an improvement in your skills.
- Don’t expect perfection, but do expect needing to take action on your part.
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Share a comment: which is more critical right now for your business – not enough prospects to talk to, or not converting enough prospects?