There’s a well known rule in sales (and in business) called Pareto’s law. It’s also known as the 80/20 rule. This is the way it works:
You will get 80% of your sales revenue from 20% of your customers
20% of your sales team will bring in 80% of your sales revenue
80% of your sales team will bring in the remaining 20% of the sales revenue
The rule is true in business as well:
80% of productivity will come from 20% of the employees
80% of problems will come from 20% of customers
And so on…
Pareto’s law applies to prospecting as well. If you are brand new to sales and needing to build your pipeline, why then, you should be spending 80% of your time prospecting. Once you have a full sales funnel (and if you’ve done this consistently for 3-6 months, you should) then the equation flips. After that you need to be spending 20% of your time prospecting.
The problem is, of course, that most new sales people or business owners don’t spend that 80% of time up front to build their sales funnel. And then they don’t spend that 20% of time consistently ensuring their funnel stays full. That is why so many sales professionals, entrepreneurs and business owners struggle. That’s why so many experience that ‘boom & bust’ cycle. They have no business in the pipeline so they panic and frantically start prospecting. They get a few new customers, feel safe again and stop. Then those projects are done and there’s nothing in the pipeline… so guess what? They panic and start frantically prospecting again.
The key to never, ever having to experience ‘boom and bust’ is to prospect consistently, every day, no matter what.
There are many ways to build a sales funnel. While the world certainly knows that I am a great advocate of cold calling, networking, referral selling, and social media are also excellent tools to build a pipeline. (I do, however, feel compelled to point out that where ever one finds a lead, whether through networking, or referrals or social media, at some point one will need to speak with that prospect on the telephone.)
The important point is that no matter what else is going on with you or in your business you take the time to look for new business every single day.© Copyright 2010 Wendy Weiss