You’re ready to take the world of direct sales by storm. You know how to guide customers through their pains and into your offerings. You can close any lead that comes across your path. That is, if any leads come across your path. If your sales pipeline doesn’t run dry.
But generating and keeping a healthy flow of solid leads isn’t easy. There’s no quick fix to long-term direct sales success: building sales pipeline means putting in the work.
The good news is that it can be done. We’ve already talked about ways that you can generate sales leads for free. Now, let’s go into detail about what you can do to keep those leads coming in consistently… to keep that pipeline flowing.
#1: Keep Your Eyes Open For Opportunity… Everywhere!
Direct sales reps that struggle with keeping their sales pipeline full can often suffer from tunnel vision when it comes to opportunity. They’re looking for a pre-qualified list or database full of contact information that they can try to mine and close. And sure, lead lists are valuable. If you want to succeed, you’ll need to build them.
But if that’s the only place you see opportunity, you’re letting the world pass you by. Literally.
As you go about your day, you interact with tons of people who could use what you sell. At the gas station. Your doctor’s office. A PTA meeting, or the coffee shop, or the gym.
How often do you keep your eye open for opportunities when you’re not in work mode?
We’re not saying to pass out business cards to everyone you pass on the street… but you should keep your eyes open.
Think about your daily & weekly patterns. Where do you go? What do you do? Where might you be passing up opportunities to generate leads just by opening up a few conversations with the people you rub shoulders with on a daily basis anyway?If you open up sales conversations throughout your day, you open up opportunity that other sales reps miss. Click To Tweet
Get 30-50 additional interactions that other guys leave on the table. You won’t close all of them, but if you’re open to having your sales conversations where your potential clients are, your sales pipeline will never run completely dry.
#2: Keep Asking Your Current Customers For Referral Business
Referrals are a game changer when it comes to getting, keeping, and cultivating new leads for your direct sales business.
This may seem like a no-brainer. But while most sales reps know that they should ask for referrals, very few of them make it a part of their sales process.
As Dale Carnegie famously stated: “91% of customers say they’d give referrals [but] only 11% of salespeople ask for referrals.”
A lot of sales reps are afraid to ask for referrals because they don’t want to pester or annoy a happy customer. But if you approach the question from a basis of need, “By the way, do you know anyone else in a similar situation that I can help?” most folks won’t consider the request to be any sort of inconvenience.
After all, if you’ve maximized returns for your customer, and they’re satisfied with your product and service, they will be enthusiastic about making those connections.
So make asking for your referrals a part of your everyday sales pipeline development process.
And, while we’re at it, practice your referral pitch! Most sales reps practice their cold sales pitches until they’re blue in the face, but they don’t practice pitching to referrals. Which is unbelievable when you consider the advantages of having warm leads over cold ones.
#3: Keep A Disciplined Process, Every Day
Are you ready for the secret to a consistent sales pipeline?
A pipeline development process that’s executed consistently.
Anticlimactic? Sure. Common sense? You bet.
But very few sales reps actually follow through on a process consistently enough to see consistent results.
Most sales reps have a sales pipeline that fits and starts. They spend a bunch of time prospecting and drumming up leads. Then they spend all their time following up and closing those leads. While they do that, the pipeline goes dry. When the rep runs out of leads to close, they go back to prospecting and start the cycle over again.
This leads to hills and valleys in sales numbers, and is the enemy of consistent success as a direct sales rep.
The key is coming up with a process and delivering on it every day. Always doing something to feed the pipeline, even while you’re closing business and making sales.
Depending on your business, this may look different. You might have dedicated time to pick up the phone and make dials every day.
Or you knock on doors. Or send emails, or attend networking events, or man a kiosk, or…
What you do varies depend on what you sell, and who you sell it to. But how you do it matters. You want to pick a prospecting activity that can be measured, make a goal, and stick with it.
Make 30 dials a day. Visit 10 potential clients. Attend 4 networking events a week. Whatever your goals, set a number and execute that number consistently. If you’re not seeing results, up the number, or try a different channel. But you can’t hone in on a formula that works if you don’t consistently measure and deliver on a steady process.
Make your goals. Meet them.
Now, watch that sales pipeline flow.
If you’re interested in taking the world of telecom direct sales by storm, we want to hear from you. At Solcomm, we empower the most successful direct sales reps to make great money and do great work. If you’re ready to take your career to the next level, apply with us today.