Prospect or Perish: 4 Ways to Keep Your Sales Up & Pipeline Full

Prospect or Perish: 4 Ways to Keep Your Sales Up & Pipeline Full

Written by: Derek Weber

According to Dun & Bradstreet over 90% of businesses will fail within their first 10 years. No matter what business you are in, if you draw your revenue from paying customers, we are all in the same boat; if we don’t prospect, our businesses will cease to exist. By learning and implementing the steps I will be outlining for prospecting, you won’t ever have to worry about sagging sales numbers again.

Now, I know what is going through your head right now, “but I hate doing cold calls, they just don’t work for my business” and you may or may not be right, but cold calling is just one part of prospecting…and if you do the things I will be covering in this series on prospecting, you may in fact not ever have to do another cold call in your life.

There are 4 different ways to build your prospect list, and all 4 are crucially important elements of the sales system in order to keep your pipeline full and to continually grow your business.  If you create predictable and repeatable systems and procedures for each of these elements, you will see a drastic improvement in your sales numbers.

  1. Cold Calls
  2. Networking
  3. Referrals
  4. Marketing/Advertising

Each has their own very important role to the sales process of turning suspects into clients.  Each element will get you in front of a different group of people and each provides different closing ratios, which is why all 4 must be practiced consistently and methodically.

Before I go any further, I would like to share with you the classification levels of goBRANDgo!’s pipeline:

  1. Suspect: You don’t know them, and they don’t know you, but they are within 3 feet of you, so why not talk to them.
  2. Prospect: You know a little about them and you know they could possibly use your service, but that’s about it.
  3. Opportunity: They are interested enough in your service to agree to a sales call.
  4. Customer: They place an order with you.
  5. Client: They place more than one order with you.

There’s no exact ratio for all businesses, but let’s use these numbers as averages.  Talk with 100 suspects, 25 will be prospects.  Talk with 100 prospects, 33 will become opportunities.  Talk with 100 opportunities and 33 will become customers.  Work with 100 customers and 33 will become clients.  So, what does this mean?  Talk with 110 people and 3 of them will become customers and one will become a valued client.

So, if you take round numbers and say a customer will spend $1000 on an order and a client will spend $5000 over the course of a year, take a look at these numbers to see how it all plays out:

Suspect to Prospect

25%

Prospect to Opportunity

33%

Opportunities to Customers

33%

Customers to Clients

33%

Customer Annual Revenue

$1,000

Client Annual Revenue

$5,000

Number of Suspects

3024

Number of Customers/Clients

55/28

Annual Revenue

$195,000

Suspects per year

3024

Suspects per month

252

Suspects per week

63

Suspects per day

9

So, in order to add $200,000 in revenue, all you have to do is send an email, send a post card, give a business card, give a catalog, say your website, or talk to 9 people in one day.  That is very, very easy to do if you are paying attention and trying.

There are many ways to increase the bottom line.  You can increase any of the sales ratios, increase the average sale of a customer, turn more customers into clients, or just flat out see more people.  If you practice and systemize your prospecting approach to improve your skills and effectiveness, watch what happens when you improve by just 5%.

Suspect to Prospect

30%

Prospect to Opportunity

38%

Opportunities to Customers

38%

Customers to Clients

38%

Customer Annual Revenue

$1,000

Client Annual Revenue

$5,000

Number of Suspects

2520

Number of Customers/Clients

81/50

Annual Revenue

$331,000

Suspects per year

3024

Suspects per month

252

Suspects per week

63

Suspects per day

9

As you can see, adding only 5% across the board turns into an almost 70% increase in revenue.  So, the question becomes if you are going to do just enough to add $200,000, doesn’t it make sense to work just a little bit smarter and more efficiently to almost double your sales?  How would that impact your business and your lifestyle?  By learning and improving upon the steps I will be outlining in my prospecting series over the next 4 weeks, that is exactly what you will do; it’s that simple…simple, but not easy.

Read the whole series:

Prospecting Overview

  1. Tips to make your cold calls more effective
  2. 4 ways to make networking easier
  3. 5 great places to find referrals
  4. Targeted Marketing: Hot chocolate for your sales
Derek Weber
derek@goBRANDgo.com
www.goBRANDgo.com
314.754.8712
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