10 Ways to Fill Up Your Sales Pipeline (without Cold Calling)
I saw a great presentation from Chet Holmes, author of The Ultimate Sales Machine, at the Gazelles Sales & Marketing Conference last week in New Orleans. One of the points he emphasized is the need for sales people to continually develop new prospects. His view is a busy sales person with a full book of business should still spend 2.5 hours per day prospecting. A new sales person should spend 4.5 hours per day prospecting.
Based on our experience working with hundreds of sales people at companies large and small, across industries, b2b and b2c, in markets across America - not many sales people would meet Chet Holmes' minimum prospecting requirements.
The reason? Nobody likes making cold calls. So here are ten (10) ideas, loosely based on another great presentation I saw from Dave Kurlan in March, to fill up your sales pipeline without cold calling:
1. Call Past and Current Clients - Is everything OK? Any changes? Is there anyone in your network I should talk to?
2. Networking Events - Chambers of Commerce, Rotary Meetings, etc.3. Online Business Networks - LinkedIn, Plaxo, Inc. Magazine, Gazelles' Intro Networks
4. Newletter - write compelling articles to a captive audience, include calls to action, make it audience-specific, and market it weekly.
5. Blog - why not start a blog? Write it yourself or pay someone to write it for you. Be thought provoking and address topics you are passionate about.
6. Squidoo Lens -create a static, one-page lens and use it to point to your blog, include highlights from your newsletter, or promote an upcoming event.
7. Boards & Committees - volunteer with a group you believe in while you develop your board room presence and make connections with other business leaders in your community.
8. Speaking Engagements - look at the associations your top clients belong to, watch for business conferences, speak at chamber events or CEO groups.
9. HARO - experts are needed, what do you know that could help a reporter out? If you don't already receive Peter Shankman's newsletter, sign up today.
10. Website- do you have your own website? Even if your company has a corporate site, you can host a landing page with links to top articles you're reading, industry trends, and other information that conveys your point of view for less than $100 per year.
11. Cold Call - get over it, you still need to make cold calls every day. Not only will it help you fill your pipeline, it will keep you sharp and on top of your game.