It’s April. Take a look at your annual quota. Do you have at least three times as much stuff in the pipeline now to meet your year-end goal? If yes, rock on, go work that pipeline. If not, let’s take a look at innovative ways to fill the pipeline and have fun doing it.
Take a look at your territory. Who are the top 10 prospects you would just love to work with? Go to Google Alerts and enter their company name, the names of your top buyers, and the industry they are in. Pick your top 10. Keep a close watch on the articles that come through. When you get one that strikes your fancy, copy the link and send it to your decision-maker with a “Congratulations” or an insight you got from the article. You will make them feel famous and grab their attention. Use a subject line like: Congratulations! I loved this article about you (your company).
No, don’t tweet them. Find our favorite prospects (or their company) on Twitter and follow them in a special column that you go “listen” to on a regular basis. When you see something that resonates with you – Retweet them with or without a comment. You will start to show up in their peripheral vision.
It does not have to be expensive. Find an industry leader who would like to be in front of your favorite prospects and deliver their research or expertise. A consultant in your industry is perfect for this. Find a client who wants to host a “special event” to put a shiny glow on their reputation in the industry. Plan this six weeks out with a light lunch and send invitations that let the invitees know that it is an exclusive event geared for industry leaders. Promote the event on social media. Have the speaker promote the event. Have the sponsor promote the event. Do awesome follow-up! Have an attending client write a blog post for you. Make everybody famous.
Invite a bunch of happy clients and your favorite prospects to a dinner in a local restaurant to discuss a relevant topic. Show up for the first thirty minutes or so to welcome everyone and make sure they have everything they need. Pick up the check and leave them to their own conversations! You will be amazed by your return on investment.
Get on the road and visit your favorite territory. Let every prospect in the vicinity know that you are in “their neck of the woods” for three or four days. Hit the pavement. Ask people for a coffee to learn more about THEM! See clients while you are on the road. Meeting people face-to-face is unparalleled as a way to connect! You can make the meetings short. Ask for a 30-minute coffee to learn their opinion about something you are interested in knowing more about their work! People love a break from the office and they love to talk about themselves.
Dig into your trade magazines, both on and off-line. Find inspiring stories from your sweetspot prospects. Then, reach out to the company at the highest level possible. CEO is my favorite. Or, the person featured. Call on the person and speak to their assistant! Tell the assistant that you do not want to bother the person, but you just had to call because you were so impressed with the article. Tell the assistant that you think you have something that could really contribute to what they are doing, and ask the assistant if she/he agrees. Ask them who, in the company, you should talk with. Have the CEO’s assistant transfer you to that person. They can see that the call is coming from the CEO’s office and they will pick up if they are there. If they don’t pick up, leave a message that CEO’s assistant, Laura, said you should call on them. “Please call me back at xxx-xxx-xxxx.” Now that is some ninja cold-calling!
Call on your favorite clients and ask them how they are doing and how they like what your company is doing for them. Really listen. Ask them if there is something more you could be doing that would make their lives better. Really listen. Make promises or connections that they will find helpful. Make sure you follow through on those promises and connections. Then say, “I really love working with you. Who else do you know, just like you, that I should be talking with?” Then, be quiet until they answer. Ask them specifically why do they think you should talk with them. Ask them if you should call them directly or if the person would be willing to make an introduction. Warm call!
Who have you not connected with in the last 90 days or more? Reach out to them and tell them you miss talking with them. Or, you want to see how the last thing you talked about turned out? Or send them a current article you know they will find interesting. Touch bases! Re-ignite the flame.
Look for your favorite prospects and invite them to a group webinar where you show off your latest offering. With no pressure. They will be on the phone with their peers and given the opportunity to keep up-to-date on the marketplace. You will collect email addresses from attendees and you can reach out afterwards to see what they thought of the presentation.
Remember, activity breeds activity! You will see results when you offer yourself as a resource and someone who is interested and YOU WILL FILL YOUR PIPELINE!
About the author
Bringing a Dash of Dignity, Adventure, and Poise to the Art of Selling, The Irreverent Sales Girl encourages her clients to seek new horizons and honor their own muse. She offers compelling messages that remind you of who you are and what is possible; a message of hope, challenge, and new thinking – just when you needed it most.
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