Zig Ziglar once said that, ‘if you aim at nothing you will hit it every time’. I chose this quote because it always makes me smile and it is also very apt in January. Whether you own a business or are in charge of business development and sales, January is the time for planning. Unfortunately, January is also a time when your pipeline may feel a little short. You may therefore find yourself in a situation where on the one hand there are all these great new plans being made and on the other hand you are looking at your shrinking pipeline, wondering how you are ever going to hit these numbers.
This pressure can sometimes be the reason why people hit the January Blues this time a year. As I see it you have two options here:
- Aim at nothing and hit it, make excuses and hide
- Try and get some quick wins whilst targeting longer term new opportunities
I cannot help you much with the first option but I thought I would come up with some ideas to help you get some quick wins which will buy you some time until new opportunities develop. Your issue is that you have probably hit your top opportunities hard in the last quarter in order to hit your annual target which has left you with little else. Here are a few things you can do:
- Speak to clients who have not purchased from you in a while. This is particularly helpful if you have some new products to tell them about as your reason for the call. Failing that, most contacts will be open to you calling for a general update on their requirements.
- Identify clients who may be able to buy more services from you. How many times have you come across existing clients who tell you how they bought a product you provide from someone else? Make sure your clients are aware of your full range of products including offers and updates. I would suggest the best approach would be to review and identify gaps then call your clients with a pitch in mind.
- Speak to your referral partners, particularly ones you have not heard from in a while. Having a coffee with them is never a bad idea as they may need a reminder or have some questions. The right nurturing of such contacts can make a big difference to your sales.
- Get back in touch with old prospects. We have already said that January is the time for planning which is true with your prospects as well. Even if they said no in the past, their circumstances may have changed. In addition, I am sure you will find some who you stopped contacting for some reason, in which case getting back in touch is a must.
I hope this is helpful and has given you some ideas you have not considered. Here at Your Business Development Team we will be keen to help you if we can. Here are a few options you could explore:
- Supporting your new BD strategy
- Supporting your lead generation effort
- Supporting your lead nurturing efforts