No time to prospect? Sure ya do!
Are you in sales? If so you know that in most companies you're given specific KPIs (key performance indicators) and also made aware of the repercussions if by chance you don't accomplish them. KPIs are pegged to compensation and potential termination and in most of the companies in which I've worked the sales team is continually made aware of where they stand in the rankings.
But what if you're a solopreneur and working on your own to not only bring in business but to also execute the work itself? It's a difficult position (and don't I know it after being in business for 30 years) and one that causes many solopreneurs to either close up shop or run themselves ragged trying to do it all without collapsing.
The peaks and valleys associated with bringing in new clients can be deadly to any business, however there's no reason to despair because there is a work-around to the situation. Here are some suggestions that can keep your sales pipeline filled even when you are out "doing" the work:
Make sales prospecting an integral part of EVERY day
Solopreneurs often stop prospecting when they have a lot of business and are busy "doing the work!" Unfortunately when you cease to prospect for any period of time you can look ahead to one, two or three months down the road and there will be a guaranteed drop in business. You must keep the pipeline filled and prospect daily.
1. Do 5 cold or warm calls per day
Let's face it. The time it takes to do 5-10 calls per day is minimal especially because you know that you will probably get voice mail. Be prepared with a superior voice mail message, know what you want to say if the prospect picks up their phone and make the calls. Calendar the time and it will get done.
2. Utilize social media to stay on the grid
LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter have become part of every solopreneur's bag of tricks and there is no reason why you can't post relevant information, pictures and videos on a daily basis. This endeavor will take a short amount of time and can even be scheduled in advance using a service such as HootSuite, Meet Edgar or many of the other social media service providers that are available to you.
3. Send a newsletter
Newsletters provide an effective way to stay on the grid with your entire database. Send interesting and relevant information and stop pitching your products and services. You'll find that your open rate will increase in direct proportion to the value of the information that you are sharing. If you don't like to write there are many content developers that can do the writing for you.
4. Attend networking events
There are networking events morning, noon and night and therefore it is almost impossible to not be able fit in one or two events per month. Networking provides an excellent opportunity to make new contacts and reconnect with old friends too. 5. Ask for referrals
If you're very busy "doing the work" this is the best time to ask your existing clients for referrals. A good flow of referrals will help to augment the other business development initiatives that you are doing and can keep your sales pipeline filled,