Rocket Fuel -Clean out your funnel
This week's Rocket Fuel is about cleaning out your sales funnel to make room for new high-quality referrals you are getting from your great clients. This problem is, how exactly do you do that? In this excerpt from my book titled TOP Seller (available on Amazon), Bob Stephens, is contemplating a similar concern:
These days my time is consumed between keeping my clients happy and trying to turn some of those prospects on my list into new clients. My attention is drawn to my list of twenty-five prospects. Over the last six months, I have sunk a huge amount of time trying to turn these prospects into clients. I look through the list and it is easy to spot several prospects that have been stuck at one point in the sales process or another. While the names of these prospects are different, the story is always the same. I meet with them to do a presentation and leave them some material to review. Then a week or so later I call them to find out what they have done with the information I have left with them, at which point they tell me they haven’t looked at it yet. Then I coax them to take the time to go through the material, and they promise they will. Two weeks later I call them back and the cycle continues. The problem is, they are good prospects - or so it seems - and I don’t have the courage to cut them loose.
Bob figures out that the first thing he needs to do to turn his business around is to go back and clean out some of those prospects from his sales funnel. You see, sometimes salespeople like Bob accumulate prospects as if each of them were golden nuggets. The problem is, while some of them are truly golden opportunities, there are also some "fool's gold" prospects mixed in as well. Each of these fool's gold prospects takes up time and energy and gives the salesperson a false sense of security. The key to long-term success is to keep your sales funnel filled with good-quality prospects and eliminate all the fool's gold prospects as quickly as possible. So how do you do that? It's simple..
First, make a list of all of those prospects who are currently active in the sales process with you. Now highlight all of the ones who are stuck at one point in the sales process or another. For example, perhaps you did an initial interview with one of the prospects but you have had trouble booking the next meeting to discover their needs, or maybe you have presented your product or service to another prospect but they still haven't made a decision to accept or reject your solution.
The second step is to contact each of these highlighted prospects. Your goal is to either move them forward in the sales process or eliminate them from your sales funnel...at least for now. Whether you approach them on the phone or in person, your objective is to ask them directly if they are interested in moving to the next step in the sales process. Once you have asked the question, you need to be quiet and wait for them to either tell you, "Yes, I am interested in moving forward" or, "No, I am not." It is important to remember that although the yes's are great, the no's are great too! Think of it: With each 'no' you secure, you have just freed up additional time and energy that can be re-directed to finding those prospects who can truly benefit from the product/service you are offering!
Written by Brian Kjenner
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