We talk about positioning yourself as a Thought Leader as the ultimate marketing for your practice. If you’ve written the book on your subject, speak about it at conferences, have a list of over 1500 people who get your newsletter about your thing, and know and value what you do, you’re made in the shade. That’s when you are the go-to-person in your field. It’s what we aspire to. Chances are you’re not there yet. I know I’m not.
One of the things that often comes up with my mentoring clients is how do we get sales and hit our sales targets in the meantime. I was talking about this with a client a few weeks ago. I remembered an old school sales tool that I’d used back in the day with my coaching business: a sales funnel.
It’s pretty high tech. You need some butcher’s paper, a marker pen and some post it notes. Draw a big funnel, label it with the different stages of your sales process, and then start selling. The categories I use are Prospect, Called, Meeting, Invoiced, Deposit, Fully Paid.
One of the cool things about mentoring and coaching is that you get to listen to self, and more often than not the advice you give others is perfect for yourself. That’s my experience anyway.
So I thought I’d implement the sales funnel myself. I’ve got an MDE Intensive coming up in June. My target is to get 20 people along. Unfortunately I haven’t yet written the book (it’s on the way), and I don’t have 1500 people who know me as the White Belt to Black Belt Expert … so I can’t just send out an email and expect 20 people to sign up. I have to get on the phone, meet people for coffee, and sign people up one by one. Old school sales.
Here’s the sales funnel I set up for the project. It’s made the whole process a lot easier for me. My job is simply to add more post it notes to the top, and then move them down the funnel or out. And the beauty of it is I’ve got gravity on my side!
It’s not how I do things in all parts of my practice – I also have reasonably sophisticated CRM (customer relationship management) and autoresponder systems, and use joint ventures, telemarketers, search engine optimisation, affiliate programs and Google Adwords. But sometimes it’s time to roll up my sleeves and go old school.
Which part of your practice could use some old school sales activity – and even a sales funnel up on your wall?