Million Dollar Consulting® Mindset
From Alan Weiss
Volume 4 Number 1
Welcome to the fourth year of Million Dollar Consulting Mindset. Our mission is to spark new thinking and ideas for creating a thriving business and rewarding life. Hence, I'm changing the format slightly, striving to create quick ideas, easy to read and absorb. As always, I'm happy to answer questions if you send them to me and specify they're for MDCM.
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The Pipeline Protocol
We use "pipeline" as a metaphor for the flow of prospects and it's a useful one. Your pipeline doesn't have to be "full" or you run the risk of it clogging (no time or priorities for follow up). But it does need to be populated and moving.
At the end farthest from you are the "raw" leads, unsolicited or generated by you and your market gravity. These need to be filtered so that only appropriate companies and true buyers remain. As you move closer, another inlet provides referral business, which also needs to be filtered. Still closer you have repeat business, proactive events and calls, and even serendipity.
As these leads are qualified and place in priority context, you should be visiting and following up, building trust and providing proposals. At the pipeline exit, closest to you, is actual business flow, qualified and signed, and ready to go.
You can't have "everyone" as your prospect, and you can't treat all prospects the same. Decide on the ideal client for your value proposition—someone with whom you can do the things you have great passions for and are superb at doing—and ensure their entry somewhere in your pipeline.
Like the kinds that carry water or oil, your pipeline requires preventive maintenance (cleansing your lists, making sure people aren’t blocked by high barriers to entry), and a strong flow (significant value drawing people in the desired directions).
It's not the length of your pipeline, which ideally should be rather short, but the growing number of entrances to it that's important.
Thought from Alan:
You don't learn a thing by asking others how they do things. You learn a great deal by suggesting how you would do it and getting feedback from those whom you respect.
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© Alan Weiss 2013. All rights reserved.
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