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Three Secret Sauce Ingredients to Keeping Your Sales Pipeline Full

Here’s the unspoken reality: Many business owners would rather deliver their expertise than sell it. As long as there’s enough business to stay busy, they can rationalize avoiding sales activities.

Is that you? That was Bob. He had no sales plan and decided NOT to create one because he and his company were too busy fulfilling existing orders. Then the unimaginable happened. Doing what he had always done stopped working. He got caught flat-footed. Sales dropped 60% and now Bob was desperate to make sales.

What can you do to avoid Bob’s fate and keep your sales pipeline full in the face of the unexpected?

Here are the three ingredients to my secret sauce for keeping your pipeline full:

  1. Reframe how you think about sales.

The things you think are true will drive your actions. If you’d rather be doing anything but sales, assess your thoughts about sales and selling. These beliefs kill sales activity:

-Sales is beneath me.

-Salespeople are dishonest and manipulative.

-Sales is a fallback for people who can’t do anything else.

You can feel the negativity as you read those statements. Try shifting your thoughts to these instead:

-Sales make it possible to provide for me, my family, and my employees.

-Selling is honorable when done with a heart to serve the needs of the buyer, vs. getting something for myself.

-Being good at sales takes as much work as being good at my area of expertise.

Reshaping how you think about sales is fundamental to being able to sustain necessary sales activities.

  1. Create a sustainable prospecting plan.

If you don’t have a prospecting plan you’re planning to fail. If you have a plan and don’t follow it, you might as well not have one. Create a sales plan that you can commit to over the long-term. Think about small steps you can take consistently, that will help generate new leads and get more business from existing customers. Think about doing one of these:

-Refine your ideal target audience based on current customer characteristics. List at least 7 characteristics your favorite clients have in common. This list will help you be laser-focused on where you search for and how you qualify leads.

-Contact one person each day who could potentially use what you sell. Make it an “I’d like to get to know you” call not a “Do you want to buy my stuff”’ call.

-Schedule regular calls with existing customers to ask “How are we doing? What can we do better? How are your needs changing? What do you wish we carried that we don’t? Pick one that is most appropriate to help you better serve your customer base.

  1. Put an end to constructive avoidance

When you dislike sales, it’s easy to find something else that urgently needs your attention. Instead, ruthlessly protect your sales activity commitments.  Pick one thing and commit to DO IT. Put a time frame on getting it done and share your commitment with an accountability partner who won’t let you procrastinate.

Ultimately, your success always comes down to the thoughts that drive your actions. Realigning your perspective of sales will enable you to reap the benefits of the real secret sauce in sales. It’s not fancy and you’ve probably heard it before: Do a little bit, consistently, over a long period of time. You can improve your results by having a robust sales plan and by refining your communication strategies.

The bottom line: You won’t see an increase in your bottom line until you create a sales activity plan and work it.

Deb Brown Maher
Deb Brown Maherhttp://www.debbrownsales.com
Deb is the owner of Deb Brown Sales (www.debbrownsales.com) where she lives her passion to help small business owners succeed through improved sales performance. She has over thirty years of experience in all levels of sales leadership, training, and coaching. Her clients boast that she successfully moves them from “stuck” to “productive” by empowering them to change the way they approach sales. She’s leveraged her sales experience to help companies of every size, from start-ups to multinationals. Deb is committed to helping people sell from a position of integrity. Her methods are detailed in her book, Sell Like Jesus: 7 Characteristics of Christ for Ethical Sales which was honored as a finalist in two categories at the “American Book Fest 2020 Book Awards.” A cum laude graduate of Allegheny College, Meadville PA, Deb is a voracious reader who values life-long learning. She especially enjoys learning about sales psychology, sociology, how the brain works, quantum physics, and effective communication strategies. She diligently incorporates what she learns into her ever-evolving training and coaching approach to help people communicate more effectively in any circumstance. Beyond the books she reads, Deb is quick to say that she learns the most from the people she meets, engaging strangers and friends alike in conversations that always leave her enriched. Deb is a devout Christ-follower who enjoys worshiping the Lord with a paint-brush and canvas, painting what the Holy Spirit reveals to her during Christian gatherings (www.worshipfulart.com). She is also volunteers doing inner healing prayer and deliverance ministry where she helps people learn to hear the voice of God and develop a deeper relationship with Him.

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