If you need to convince potential clients or customers to do business with you then you need to have either one of these mechanisms in place.


So what are they and how do they help you grow your business?

Well, a Sales Pipeline is simply graphic way of thinking, visualizing and measuring your sales efforts. In other words, it is knowing that you have already talked to, quoted, or are staying in touch with enough people to ensure that you reach your Sales goals each and every month.

Most people whether they are working for a company as a professional Sales Rep or are working for themselves selling a product or service have a monthly figure they need to reach. Their sales target – whether that target is set by their boss or by themselves.

The theory behind it is that you envision a great big pipe and every time you talk to someone and present your offer to them – you are stuffing them in the one end of the pipe. Some deals will happen quickly, some will never happen – but the theory is that if you have enough in the “pipeline” that a percentage will “drop out” the other side of the pipe and that becomes your “turnover” for the month.

The more you stuff in the one side (the higher your activity levels are) the more will drop out the other side (the luckier you will get).

Most people work on the “just enough” principle. What this means is that they will work “just hard enough” or see “just enough people” to meet their targets. The problem with doing this is that “life happens” – one of the deals just won’t close in time or someone will change their mind and let you down – and guess what? You fall short of your target.

On the other hand a Marketing Funnel can be visualized as being wide open on one end and narrowing down to a small spout at the other side. The wide end represents all the people you could “potentially” do business with – your prospects.
The narrow end of the funnel represents all those people who you eventually do business with – who buy your core, product or service.

You may feel that these two models are exactly the same? The only thing different is the picture in your head.

In some ways you are right, but the Marketing Funnel has a few more tricks up its sleeve. This model allows you to take people from “I’m interested tell me more”, and allows you to build up a relationship over time. It allows you to build the Like, Know, Trust factor until they step up to the plate and decide “I want to work with you”.

This is the model that is used by most Internet Marketers. They offer you something for free – a newsletter or a free report – to get you into the funnel initially.
They will then offer you some low cost, basic solutions to help which lowers the emotional and financial risk – you almost get to “try before you really commit”. The further you move into the funnel the more elaborate the products or services become or the more “personal access” you get – at ever increasing prices.

In other words the funnel system says: attract new clients and prospects into your funnel, then find ways to add more and more value to them – and as the value increases, so does the price.

All to often we try to sell people our highest price product – like 1 on 1 coaching – the first time they meet us. I know that I certainly used to do this.

So – how can you get the marketing funnel to work for you?

Take a moment or two to draw YOUR marketing funnel.
• What is the end product that you want people to buy?
• What is your “offer” to get them interested in talking to you?
• Where are the gaps in your marketing funnel?
• What products/services could you add to make it easier for your prospects to sample your expertise and take a lower risk step to being a paying client?

You will be amazed at what it can do for the bottom line of your business!

Author's Bio: 

Adele Howell-Pryce is a Business Coach who specialises in Sales and Marketing for Small Businesses and Solo-preneurs. If you liked this article you can view others like this at www.1StopMarketingSuccess.com. Adele is also an accomplished public speaker on Growing your Business and Business Success