#325 – This week: Pipeline management, New clients, Neighborhood watch

Sales and marketing Newsletter

Quick notes to help you grow your business in less time with less effort. . . sometime next week.

In this issue:

– Techniques for FIT
– Being Human
– Random Stuff

Techniques for FIT

  • Force your people to walk away from troublesome business opportunities. Not because they won’t eventually close it, but because their pipeline dries up in the meantime. Like the dog walker says about the tempting thing, “leave it.”
  • Bringing big opportunities to your business for a day is an effective closing tactic. Buy plane tickets, get hotel rooms, arrange meetings, plan dinners. It works because if the buyer declines the invite you know where you stand.
  • All pipeline opportunities have challenges. Yellow lights. Ignoring them and hoping for the best is a strategy, just a suboptimal one. If an opportunity isn’t real, it’s not real. Finding out sooner rather than later is a moneymaker.
  • We hold on to opportunities because it’s easier than prospecting for new ones. To help, break down prospecting into three parts: prioritizing, preparation, and personalizing. “Right now let’s focus on prioritizing who to talk to next.”

Being Human – “I can’t keep calling them.”

“Don’t wish it was easier wish you were better.” – Jim Rohn


“I can’t call them back again.” (a client tells me when I request more information from a new client of theirs)

There is this moment, right when the prospect becomes a client, when their customer satisfaction can be cemented. They are ready to invest in your services, and you are ready to do the work. Everyone is on their best behavior and can only see rainbows ahead. At this moment, your job as a business development professional is to make sure both sides are prepped for the inevitable bumps and bruises to come.

Humans are terrible and predicting the future. Things will come up. As Burns put it, “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley.”

We know this. We can do something about it. What has happened, will happen. I’m not asking you to make a laundry list of all the things that happen or make noises that might scare off the prospect. I am saying we can talk about preventative actions and establish contingencies.

Preventative actions: This isn’t your first time around the block. It’s not theirs either. They have entered into arrangements that had their issues. Nothing is perfect. You can say this in a nice way. “Mr. Prospect, at this point we are ready to go. Before we get started, I want to bring something up. Although we all have the best intentions right now, things come up. It’s happened to me, and I’m guessing it’s happened to you. As a matter of fact, if we put our heads together, we can probably come up with a short list of issues we’ve bumped into and I can get to work on making sure those things don’t happen this time.” Preventative.

Contingent actions: “The other thing I want to address are those issues that come up neither one of us anticipates. The way it usually happens is your people will complain mine aren’t doing something, and my people will complain about your people not doing something. All I ask is that before either one of us jumps to conclusions let’s commit to talking to one another and getting to the bottom of it.” Contingency.

Call-backs can’t be avoided. Multiple annoying callbacks will happen too. It’s the nature of working with others. Put preventative actions and contingencies in place for when it does.

Wish you were better, as Jim Rohn says.

Random stuff


“There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there. You must go beyond them.” – Bruce Lee (maybe)

Does anyone else remember those P90X workout infomercial videos? It was described as an intense home workout for your entire body. The key, says the P90X peoples, is something called muscle confusion. It keeps you from hitting the dreaded plateau. You know, that place where you just keep working out day after day with no results? P90X makes sure that doesn’t happen. Just look at this:


I mentioned last week the movement of my desk. I am now looking out into the front yard. Old desk orientation, back yard. New desk orientation, front yard. It’s a version of muscle confusion I am calling workspace confusion. It’s keeping me alert. Crazy alert.

It’s day one. The first thing I notice is the sunshine. The front of the house faces east and well, that sun can shine. It’s quite invigorating. The second thing I notice is when the neighbors leave for their respective places of work. (or wherever they head off too. A friend told me a story of quitting a particularly heinous, but high level, job and being afraid to tell his spouse. He got up every morning for nearly 3 weeks and left for the office/public library before finally confessing. Who knows what people do when they leave the ‘hood?)

The next thing I notice are the workers showing up for home improvement work. My lovely bride and I are not the only people rearranging our nests. The day is warm and sunny and the guy across the street leaves his windows down. He’s older. Grizzled. I wave but with the reflection in the windows he doesn’t see me. (my bride is right, no one can see me and the bush hasn’t even bloomed)

The cat, Bianca, loves the new perch. Turns out there are a lot of birds in the bush. She makes chortle noises and flicks her tail. Very agitated. This is when I see a young man walking down the street on his way to work, I assume. I watch him veer from my side of the street to the neighbor’s side and stick his head in the grizzled guy’s open window. What?!? Who does this?

I now have to push back from my desk and do the old man thing. “Hey! Get outta there!” I bellow in my best don’t-make-me-come-over-there voice. He snaps back and takes off. I have been doing the Peloton bike thing pretty regularly, but I’m not up for a chase. I let out one more, “Whatever you took you should put back!” yell and feel approximately 1000 years old.

I stomp back inside, climb back into my desk chair, make some chortling noises, and paw at the keyboard.

Workspace confusion is exhausting.


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