Monday, 5 May 2014

15 Great Ways to Nurture Your Pipeline

 Sometimes making sales isn’t about the major efforts you make; the little things often create just as big an impact. Here, we look at 15 ways you can build your relationships and close more sales.

1. Offer a Free, No-Strings-Attached Consultation
People are often suspicious about those free consultations, but make it clear in your marketing copy that your aim is to help prospects. If they decide to work with you, great. Otherwise, they’re armed with free information they didn’t otherwise have. And be true to this! Don’t use this ploy to lure in unsuspecting prospects, or they’ll run away.

2. Share Your Contact’s Content on Social
If you’re connected to your contacts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, et cetera (and you should be), make a point of sharing their content or responding to their updates. Everyone likes a little attention on social media.

3. Answer the Phone with a Smile
People have come to expect recorded operators or mechanical customer service voices. Delight them by answering the phone with joy. You’d be surprised how positively people respond to a pleasant voice.

4. Send More Targeted Emails
These days, technology helps us do more than send a blanket email to everyone. Now you can send a customized email with links to products each subscriber cares about. And with our integration with MailChimp, you can ensure each lead gets the most targeted email.

5. Wish Them Happy Birthday

Whether it’s on their Facebook wall, via email, on the phone, or in person, a simple birthday wish can go a long way. Consider sending a special discount or free offer via email for that special day.

6. Buy Them Coffee
Set up a coffee date — again, no strings attached — so that you can pick the brain of your prospect and see what makes their business tick. You’re not trying to sell, but the information you glean can help you not only better market to that lead, but also target your sales efforts to all leads.

7. Comment on Their Content
If a contact has a blog, read it and comment on it. Show that you’re paying attention. Consider writing a roundup post on your own blog and feature some of your favorite prospects’ posts.

8. Get Smarter
It may seem a strange way to nurture your pipeline, but the more you know, the better service you can be to potential customers. Stay sharp on your industry by attending conferences and reading books, blogs, and magazines. That way, you can catch even the biggest curveball a contact throws you.

9. Always Call a Contact by Name
We don’t always say the name of the person we’re speaking to, but when we do, they pay attention. Sprinkle your contact’s name into the conversation, and see if he doesn’t perk up.

10. Stay in Touch, Even if You Never Make the Sale
Let’s say you nurture a sale until you’re sure you’ll close it...only you don’t. That’s no reason to drop the contact completely. You may not know the reasons why she didn’t buy (maybe she got sick or busy), but if you create an opportunity and then check in a few times a year, you might win that sale down the road.

11. Be a Connector
If you have two contacts who you think would benefit from working together, connect them. Or share a great blog post with a contact. There’s nothing but altruism in this effort, but people will appreciate the fact that you’re thinking of them.

12. Create Other Ways to Work Together
You could invite a contact to be interviewed on your podcast or blog, or attend your conference or webinar. Buying from you shouldn’t be the only way they can get to know both you and your brand.

13. Invite Them to Your Office
If it’s not necessary for clients to visit your office, invite potentials anyway. Give them the tour and introduce them to everyone. Your goal here is to show them the behind-the-scenes and make them feel a connection to your brand.

14. Take Notes on the Small Stuff
If, during a call, a contact mentions he’s headed to Aruba for vacation, or that his son just won his Little League tournament, make sure you pay attention and maybe create a calendar entry to remind yourself. After that vacation, send a quick email asking how it went. Or send a note of congratulations on that game. When you pay attention to the details, prospects take notice.

15. Never Stop Trying
You don’t have to be pushy to build a relationship with a prospect. Just continue paying attention and finding new ways to connect.

Keep ultra-connected with everyone on your contact list, from prospect to repeat customer with Insightly. Sign up for a free account or a 14 day trial on our paid, premium plan.

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