When many people start their first business or any new venture they can get frustrated and even give up too early because they don’t understand the length of time it takes to build a sales pipeline.
Just because sales can’t be generated straight away doesn’t mean that your idea isn’t a viable business. Building trust and engaging with potential customers to create sales can take time.
This lead generation and relationship building is your sales pipeline and it could be anything from a few minutes up to a year. The key to successful sales and cash flow is to understand the sales process and shorten the pipeline to speed up sales where possible.
For some products and services it’s inevitable that it will take a while to close a deal, especially for complicated and expensive offerings; the customer needs time to digest and share the information and to allocate funds. However there are things you can do to get sales quicker, here are a few you can try:
- Have you made sure the customer has all the information they need? Don’t wait for them to come back with questions, talk to them and check they have all of their questions answered and they know what the next step is to place an order.
- Are you giving the customer too much time to think and let another provider step in and close the deal with them instead? If the potential client is ready to buy, MAKE SURE YOU CLOSE THE DEAL. Get payment and provide the product or service.
- Have you made it as easy as possible to purchase? Do you take credit and debit cards? Can customers make a purchase through your website or via PayPal? Even for large amounts it’s good to make it as easy as possible. Don’t give your potential client excuses to stall or let a competitor with an easier sales process steel your customer.
- If the sale is big enough and worthwhile you could make a personal visit to the client and get a deal face to face. People like to buy from people and there’s nothing better than eye contact and hand shakes to get a deal signed.
- Even if you have a short pipeline for small products you sell online and you have minimal contact with the client; Are you dropping potential customers at certain points? Have you kept the number of clicks on your site to a minimum so it’s super simple for potential clients to buy what they want? Is every possible question answered in an easy to find place?
Something else you should consider is to create new products and services with shorter sales pipelines to run alongside your existing ones. Maybe less complicated or cheaper products so you can generate cash flow quicker and perhaps the cheaper products will lead to bigger sales later on.
Good luck and let me know how you are getting on in the comments section below.
If you would like some help with marketing your business or just to share your experiences I would really like to hear from you. Get in touch via the form below and I will email you back.