Tips From a Female Motivational Speaker
As a female motivational speaker I travel a lot! In the last week I have been in four cities and given six different presentations about sales, business growth and employee engagement. As you can imagine, my audiences have been quite diverse ranging from those that work in the financial services industry, to those in healthcare, to those that run their own small businesses.
While the locations of my keynote speeches may be different, as are my audiences, the questions I get are often the same. I love that about being a female motivational speaker, and working in the world of business today. We may all sell different products, or offer different services, but at the end of the day how we engage our employees, how we look at business growth, it is all the same.
Growing any type of business today is at best a challenge. When I think about the pace of change, the constant additions of regulations and the all too often lack of customer loyalty, sometimes I think it is easier to find WALDO than it is to find new business. My audiences and my clients are constantly struggling to find good employees, are challenged with new and expanding competition, and they feel the ever-increasing pressure on margins and getting bottom line results.
It is for that reason, that at the end of every keynote, I leave time for what I like to call “hot seats.” That means you get to the put this female motivational speaker on the spot, and ask (and expect an answer) to anything that is on your mind, any challenge you are feeling in business. Honestly, this is my favorite part of my keynote presentations, and I would gladly sit there for hours and let my audiences as questions, as we all learn so much.
As I mentioned, while my audiences may be different, their questions are often the same. There is one question, that no matter where I am, or whom I am talking to, this question always comes up. Every business owner and professional I know is either struggling with this question, or needs solutions for their team.
So what is the question? Drum Roll Please! The question is “How do I effectively manage a sales pipeline?” Now let me share what I mean by effectively. We all may have a sales pipelines in place but, if we are honest with ourselves, we do not actually use. Meaning we do the work of setting up our pipeline, entering things into the pipeline but not actively using the pipeline as an accountability tool, a learning tool, and a tool that ensures we more than achieve our goals.
So here our five strategies you need to effectively manage your pipeline. Five strategies you need to move your sales pipeline from a tool you have, to a tool that moves your business forward.
- Know What You Need – To close that is. To effectively use a pipeline, you need to effectively build a pipeline. Your first step is to do your homework, and know your numbers. How much business do you need to close each month to both break-even and achieve your goals. Then quadruple it. Understand that on average, we close about twenty-five percent of what is actively moving through our pipeline, so you need to pitch four times what you need to close. Know your numbers – the number you need to pitch and the number you need to close.
- Build Your List – Don’t let it build you. In other words, don’t wait for the leads to come to you, you need to go out and proactively gather the names, the contacts and the people you want to work with. Then you need to create a data base of potential clients that will ultimately become your pipeline. Learn to sell from a place of power rather than a place of need, by going after what you want.
- Commit The Time – Unfortunately sales don’t close just because we want them to, they close because we actively work our pipeline. You need to commit the time, each and every week to working your pipeline. Schedule it, like a business meeting, a workout or anything else that typically eats up your workday. Committing the time for business development is a key strategy to creating an effective pipeline. Actively working your sales pipeline is time that brings a strong return on investment.
- Take Action – You know how many calls you have to make, you have the names of the people you are going to call, you have set aside the time, so all that is left is to just do it! You can have the perfect pipeline, have the right target market, but if you are not actively working your sales pipeline, you will never have the opportunity to learn what is working, what is not, let alone actually close sales.
- Rinse & Repeat – Last but not least , you need to rinse and repeat. Having an effective sales pipeline is a matter of sticking with it. You need to look at your pipeline every week, and determine what is working, what is not, and what you need to change. Once you have “rinsed” your pipeline, made it even better, you need to repeat the actions all over again. There is nothing sexy or exciting about a sales pipeline, other than the results you get from sticking with it.
So yes, life on the road as a female motivational speaker takes me to different cities, different countries, and puts me in front of a wide range of audiences. But at the end of the day, no matter the location or the industry, business is business, and the challenges are the same. So if you want to watch your business grow, attract more customers and close more sales, than you need to build and actively use an effective sales pipeline. Follow these five strategies and you will put yourself in a position to open more doors and close more sales!
Motivational Keynote Speaker & Business Growth Expert, Meridith Elliott Powell works with clients to help them instill ownership at every level to ensure profits at every turn. Meridith is the author of several books, including her latest, “Own It: Redefining Responsibility: Stories of Power, Freedom & Purpose”. When not keynoting and leading workshops, she looks for inspiration cycling, golfing or hiking her favorite trail. http://meridithelliottpowell.com