Don't Let A Leaky Sales Funnel Get the Best of You: Clamp Down on These Three Things.

larry levine Jan 22, 2024
Don't Let A Leaky Sales Funnel Get the Best of You: Clamp Down on These Three Things.
"Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don't wish it were easier, wish you were better." 
Jim Rohn

When it comes to growing your sales, what are you willing to do to drive a continual flow of new business?

What's your plan, process and procedure towards keeping and growing your existing client base?

A smart, forward-thinking sales professional doesn't chase new business at the expense of their current clients, instead; they leverage their clients to help them nurture and grow new business.

If you want to build an ever-flowing sales funnel, you must build an ever-flowing relationship funnel.

Building an ever-flowing relationship funnel becomes mission critical in creating a sustainable and flourishing sales funnel.

Building relationships is an ongoing process. A well-maintained relationship funnel leads to repeat business, client loyalty, and positive word-of-mouth referrals.

Let's all stop for a moment, as I ask...

What are you willing to do to hold yourself accountable to move your client relationships from good to great to help you prospect for more new business?

“Good is the enemy of great. Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice and discipline.”
Jim Collins

With radical amounts of discipline, are you willing to clamp down on your relationships to fuel the growth of your sales funnel?

MOVING GOOD RELATIONSHIPS TO GREAT RELATIONSHIPS

Moving from good relationships to great relationships involves a deliberate and conscious effort to enhance the quality, depth, and satisfaction within the relationship.

This becomes an ongoing process requiring you and your clients to be actively engaged, committed, and willing to invest the time and effort. 

Deepening connections and fostering sustainable growth creates a fulfilling partnership which stands the test of time as well as other salespeople vying for your client's energy.

When I think of moving from good to great relationships, I think of the book, Good to Great, by Jim Collins.

I believe the principles outlined within the book can be applied to how salespeople build relationships. It's these enhanced relationships that will help salespeople plug the holes in their leaky sales pipeline.

Please follow along, as we apply one key concept out the book to the sales world.

The Hedgehog Concept is a simple yet powerful concept that helps organizations focus on their strengths to help them achieve their goals. The idea is based on an ancient Greek parable that states, "The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing." 

In the myth, the fox uses many strategies to try to catch the hedgehog, but the hedgehog always wins by doing one thing exceptionally well, rolling up into a tight, spiky ball that the fox cannot penetrate.

Question for all you... What are you willing to do exceptionally well to sure up the holes in your sales bucket of opportunities?

Jim Collins used this metaphor for the statement that the most successful companies and individuals have a clear and straightforward focus, can ignore distractions, and stay true to their core strengths.

The hedgehog concept is based upon these questions:

  • What you are deeply passionate about.
  • What you can be the best in the world at.
  • What drives your economic or resource engine?

He argues that if you can find the intersection of these three questions, you will have a clear and focused strategy that will enable you to achieve greatness.

I challenge you to set aside some quiet time. Reflect upon each one of those questions, as you focus solely on what you can potentially do better than any other salesperson.

Now, please think about the following... What can YOU do to drive yourself to new business growth greatness? What can YOU do better to drive your economic engine?

In moving your client relationships from good to great...

Do you have a simplistic plan when it comes to client retention?

Do you have a simplistic plan when it comes to new business growth?

Is what you're doing right now regarding client retention something you can...

  • Generate incremental revenue and referrals from on a consistent basis?
  • Be passionate about?
  • Be the best in the world at?
Moving your client relationships from good to great prevents a leaky sales funnel.
 

SALES PROFESSIONALS BUILD GREAT CLIENT RELATIONSHIPS

Greatness is a conscious choice and a discipline.

The oldest, most effective growth strategy is as powerful today as it has ever been; real relationships.

Relationships enhance revenue opportunities, relationships sell, relationships bring in connection and human acknowledgment.

I urge all of you to get engaged with your clients. Create marital bliss with your clients.

Shift your mindset as engaged relationships translate into increased sales opportunities.

Build true, deep and meaningful relationships, not just one-sided affairs and watch your sales skyrocket and your leaky sales pipeline become ever-flowing.

Don't let a leaky sales funnel get the best of you.

CLAMP DOWN ON THESE THREE THINGS TO AVOID A LEAKY SALES BUCKET

The more you know about your clients, the more you grow with your clients. The more you learn about your clients the more you earn from your clients.

Sales professionals double-down on these three things to grow their business and to avoid leaky pipelines.

AUTHENTICITY

Right now, at this given moment, how many of you are going through the daily routine of trying to grow your sales around a facade? Far too many! You feel like must act a certain way, appear a certain way and even communicate a certain way, just to fit in with the sales brethren. 

Your client relationships are built upon trust and trust is based upon authenticity. 

Your clients BS meters are extremely sensitive. They can spot insincerity a mile away. Unless you're authentic in your relationships, your clients aren't going to trust you. In fact, they'll actively avoid you as they spread the message to all their friends and colleagues.

Your authentic you must be a genuine reflection of who you are. You must believe it. You must own it. You must know what it stands for. You must know your strengths and your weaknesses.

Sales professionals proudly wear their emotions on their business sleeve, are you?

People connect with other people. It is all about the personal connection. If you are 'blowing smoke' up your client's backsides what's the likelihood they will trust you or even help you to grow your business?

"Authenticity is a Magnet"

STOP BEGGING

Developing new business or expanding upon existing business relationships is not about selling – it’s about establishing trust, building authentic relationships, and creating meaningful value.

Engage with your clients, communicate with them, add value to their business, solve their problems, create opportunity for them, educate them and inform them, but stop dropping the sales hammer on them during every interaction.

How can you grow your new business referrals by dropping sales bombs on them all the time?

Stale sales experiences and disciplines simply die a slow and very painful death.

What concerns me about salespeople today, whether you believe me or not, is the lack of a true understanding of how to build genuine and meaningful relationships.

Stop begging and bugging your clients to buy from you when you've done very little to enhance the memorable experience.

Why would your clients help you to grow your business when you haven't helped to grow theirs? 

Do you have a clear understanding of how to help your clients grow their business?

If you want to increase new business revenue, increase profitability, and increase client satisfaction, then stop selling so damn hard and start adding value.

INTENTIONALLY LISTEN

Successful sales professionals simply listen.

Listening is the key to becoming a powerful sales professional inside the relationship economy. 

Developing excellent listening skills separates the good from the great. When you listen to your clients you uncover their challenging roadblocks, their business goals, their dreams, aspirations and vision; all this to do one thing - strengthen the relationship and grow your business.

When you don't listen, you miss all the critical material to build a meaningful relationship.

Sales professionals are radically inquisitive. They learn about their client's needs, challenges and initiatives. They ask open-ended questions, peel it back even more and probe for clarification.

The simple act of listening just might be the key to growing your business and strengthening the sales pipeline.

JUST SAY NO TO LEAKY PIPELINES

When you commit to paying more attention to your client's they will soon start paying more attention to you. 

The single most important factor in creating additional sales opportunities - become a relationship engineer. 

If you don’t engineer absolutely everything around your clients, then over time watch what starts to happen to your client relationships, as they vanish right before your very eyes and so will your sales pipeline.

In conclusion, digging in deep with your clients will plug the holes inside your sales pipeline.

Originally published on Larry Levine's Linkedin.

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