Ep 17 – Pipeline Empty?

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Podcast Transcript

Shelly Miller 

Welcome to the Mindwhirl Marketing podcast with your host, Mike, Shelly Miller, your source for B2B business building information where we talk sales and marketing and give you the insider secrets you need to know to grow your business. We want to help you attract leads and sales and show you how to align sales and marketing. So you get more sales faster with less cost.

Mike Miller 

Nice.

Mike Miller 

Alright, so Shelly’s got another great topic this week.

Shelly Miller 

Yes, well, we got a question. So wanted to make sure I answered the question for John S. Okay. And so that’s what we’re gonna do this week. Okay. I’ll feel like other people will also benefit from this. Yeah, I’m sure the answer to this question.

Mike Miller 

Yeah, exactly.

Shelly Miller 

So the question is, basically, it was is my, why is my pipeline empty? You know, give me some tips on helping me make sure that I keep my pipeline full, because I don’t want to have weeks where I am struggling to get business.

Mike Miller 

Okay. Okay. Not bad. So that makes me think that Well, first off, so which what are we talking about? Here? We talk in sales or marketing. So if you if you think about the Client Magnet System? Or if you haven’t seen the map, you should you should go get the map?

Shelly Miller 

And we’ll put that in the description after that. If you don’t have it, which you should? Yeah, you can go get it.

Mike Miller 

Yeah. Love it. Exactly. So there’s, it’s it’s the map of your client acquisition phase? Yes. There’s two sides to it. There’s the marketing side and the sales side. Now sales, typically he calls it a pipeline. Yes. So I’m assuming he’s talking sales. But it could be marketing too, which is usually the funnel. But it’s it’s a pipeline. Right?

Shelly Miller 

So that’s a very good point.

Mike Miller 

Yeah. Yeah. So um, so the first thing is, you got to do both.

Shelly Miller 

You do.

Mike Miller 

You do, right? Because you only have, so you have the sales and the marketing side. So you’ve got to do both. So let’s, let’s go through. Let’s go through it. So first off on the sales side, if your pipeline is empty, or is drying up, you have to figure Okay, so let’s, let’s troubleshoot it. Okay. Okay. So, first, are you doing the activities? Yes. You know, yeah, what activities are you doing? Mm hmm. So if you tell me, well, I’m making three calls a day. That’s something it is right. Most people don’t make three calls a day, they make less. So, so if you’re making zero calls, start making calls, you know, yes. start sending cold, cold email, start reaching out to people on social media, to start joining groups, Facebook, LinkedIn groups talking in those groups, seeing what people are talking about. Yes. Now this all assumes that you understand who your ideal client profile is, and who your who your ideal target is. And you understand who they are. So you know, what groups to join,

Shelly Miller 

right? Well, we’re, we’re pre assuming that but right, but if you don’t know that, well, that would be a definite if you don’t know who your ICP is. That would be a definite reason why your pipeline is empty.

Mike Miller 

Yeah. Because you, you can’t. So maybe 20 years ago, in the 80s, I know that it was pretty popular to shotgun. Okay, a whole bunch of different people. Like, you know, here’s the Yellow Pages. You’ve right call all the people in this page? Yes.

Shelly Miller 

Yep. Been there. done that.

Mike Miller 

Yeah. That’s BS. So, but we, but we’ve learned, although, okay. Let’s say 20% of the small businesses have learned, okay, that’s probably more it’s probably like 40%. But there’s still a huge majority of small businesses who don’t realize that you you aren’t you don’t shotgun? Okay, that you can target. Okay. Right. didn’t know that. Yeah. So you want to target specific ideal client profiles. So the first thing is, are you doing the activity? Okay. So let’s say yes, you are doing that activity. You know, like, cause I’ve had a guy asked me that question, who had a $5 million a year business and had 50 sales reps.

Shelly Miller 

Really? All right. Okay. Okay. Yeah, you remember I do now I just remembered who he was. Yeah,

Mike Miller 

yeah. So then you have to wonder Okay, so you’re doing the act. And they were holding them to it strictly hold on to it. Yeah. So then you have to

Shelly Miller 

Activity of calling many, many calls a day,

Mike Miller 

right? They had them on a dialer. And they were called like 150. Make it 150 outbound calls for today that that was 150 calls a day. Imagine that. Yeah, but the pipeline’s dried up. Yeah. So in that case, you gotta, you gotta ask yourself, okay, what am I saying to these people? Yes, you do. Right. So first off is their target. Right? Do you have a market for it? If you do have a market? What are you saying to them? Because then it may be messaging.

Shelly Miller 

Mm hmm. Very important. Yes. Yes. So So now, I’m in

Shelly Miller 

many pieces to dissect exactly what I’m gathering you’re getting ready to tell me all about so right.

Mike Miller 

Yeah, it’s like Sherlock Holmes, you have to figure out okay, well, what’s what is it that’s not working? Where is it broken? You know, it’s like an engine, it’s something’s rattling in the engine as it’s going down the road, and you’re trying to figure out what is it? That’s rattling? Yeah, you know, that’s really what you’re trying to do. Okay. So, um, but it leads to what has to be there in order for you to have a really solid growing business. So on the sales side, what you want is you want to have enough activity, okay, to your ideal client, profile, persona. So you’ve basically got a small list here it is broken, break it down, got a little small list of perfect ideal clients, okay, targets. And you reach out to them in as many ways as possible, using some kind of cadence or sequence, right. Which means, when I say as many times as, or as many ways as possible, think of all the contact methods you have at your disposal. And then, so it could be cold calling them it could be leaving a voicemail, it could be hitting on me on Facebook, messenger on LinkedIn, email, direct mail, you know, text text, you know? Yeah. I mean, that’s mostly them there. So then you want to do it more than once. So you want to do it. Many times. You can even hit them up on social media, like, comment in their, one of their posts. But you know, do it as many do as many different contact methods as possible. Do it as many times as possible. So let’s say 12. Right? So let’s say we’re going to, we’re going to contact them 12 times

Shelly Miller 

12 touches,

Mike Miller 

yeah, 12 touches just to see if we can get some interest to get them into a meeting, maybe not a meeting to sell them, but to make an offer of content to them. Okay. Right. So any think about it? Like, how are the ways that I can reach out to people on the sales side? Well, the best way is really with a case study. Yes, you know, we’ve helped other businesses like you achieve this. So I’d like to show you what we did for them. And see if you can apply it in your business, if it would be helpful. Well, underlying that case study, you’re giving them content? Yes. So you could skip the case study and the results, and then just give them content? Right, right. And then that opens the line as the lines of communication starts to build a relationship, where you can get information out of them to to filter them and qualify them to make sure that they’re your ideal client persona profile. And then pull them into a meeting. Yes, you know, try to get some commitment from them and get them into a meeting. That’s the process for sales. Okay. I mean, really, Mm hmm. And sales is using content that marketing has generated. Yes. But now and so now I’m going to get into that, right. So because I said sales needs to lead with some kind of content. They’re going to use the content marketing generated. So now I’m going to move mentally to the marketing side of the map. Yeah.

Shelly Miller 

Right. I like that mentally over. Yeah, yes. Because that’s what’s happening. That’s how they work. That’s why they have to work together. Right. It makes the whole process easier and more successful.

Mike Miller 

Yeah, well, because then, I mean, even if you’re one person, you need to hit your ideal client profile. So think of a guy you know, Jim, he owns the business that does this and you want to sell to him, business to business. Well, Jim, you can reach out to him and many different ways. But Jim is also looking at places like Facebook and Instagram and LinkedIn. He also is a member of some kind of trade, or some kind of association. Right? He may go to a trade shows or events. He may he may belong to a club or a group. Right? These are the ways that you can get in front of him. Yes. And he also may search Google, and he may, you know, just I got lost there. Basically, you’re trying to get in front of him in as many ways as possible and get him into your list. Right? Yes. So, so no matter where Jim is, right, you can reach out to him, but he’s also looking places. And if you’re in those places where he’s looking, then you can present your message. Now, just as with the sales side, on the marketing side, is your message compelling? Yes. You know, does it make does it make sense? Is there benefits to why Jim would like listen to you,

Shelly Miller 

kind of like in the sales side where you said, the message when you call them if that message isn’t clear or compelling, that could be a reason why your pipeline is dry. This is the same on this side, if you don’t have a message that speaks to them. So So you’ve spent the time to maybe do let’s say, retargeting, so you are where they are looking, but your message message isn’t resonating, right, still have a problem?

Mike Miller 

Exactly. And see, that’s why that’s why it’s important for you to understand how it all works, and the client magnet system and the the process of everything and how it goes together and fits together. But it’s also important for you to realize that the two necessary pieces that have to be there, in order for this to be successful, is you have to know who your ideal client persona profile is. Right? You have to know him intimately, right? And you have to know where they are, where they’re looking, who they’re paying attention to how you can get in front of them, what their pains are, right, what their pains are, their their hopes, dreams, desires, their challenges, their wishes, you have to know that so that you can talk about it with your message. Yes. And your message has to speak to those hopes, dreams, desires, challenges, fears, frustrations, angers, anxieties, yes. Right? It has to speak and see root and realize when talking emotionally to Yes, the ideal client persona profile. I like ideal client persona. Anyway.

Shelly Miller 

So um, you do I like it to have an old school. I still say customer, customer, but it is it’s your ideal client profile.

Mike Miller 

Well, sales calls it ideal client profile. Yeah. And marketing calls it an avatar or persona. Right, you know? Yeah. So I just mixed them to mix them together and then stuck in my head. There you go. Yeah. So um, so that message is super important. Like, that’s the most important thing. If you don’t have a really good quality, strong message of benefit and appeal, then there’d be no reason for people to pay attention. And, and that will make your pipeline dry.

Shelly Miller 

Yes, it will. Bone dry.

Mike Miller 

Yeah, exactly. So um, so you have to, you have to understand what the goal is. And it really comes comes down to knowing your ideal client profile persona, and having that message that resonates with them, that speaks directly to them, then we can go into the process for sales, you know, but are you doing this on the sales side? Are you doing the activities? And if you’re not doing the activities, then do the activities? If you are but you’re not getting the results you want, then there’s something in your message that’s wrong. Right? Or it’s just not a good market? Or your competitors own it. So, so deeply, so hard, right, so hard. Basically, I’m thinking red ocean, right? So there’s a blue ocean strategy. It’s a book in early 2000s by Harvard, somebody where they said that what happens when all these competitors go into the same area? Uh huh. They fight on the same turf? Yeah, right. It’s like a whole bunch of sharks in the water, eating all the fish up and it creates a red ocean because it’s thick with the blood of the of the activity. Gotcha in that. And so your whole goal is to find blue ocean. Right where there’s no competition, right where you can take a stand and separate yourself from everyone else and you can B be known as the expert in that area?

Shelly Miller 

Yes. Okay.

Mike Miller 

Okay. So if you if you’re in a whole bunch of red ocean,

Shelly Miller 

that would also mean a pipeline that’s empty.

Mike Miller 

Yeah, exactly. Okay. Yeah. So, you know, it could be a business, you know, it could be, it can go pretty deep, they can even go to business model,

Shelly Miller 

okay? But but so those tips will all work for you to go through and talk or, you know, review all of those steps that you do. But also additionally, to me, I’m also hearing from you that backup and evaluate, you know, like, think about what part of the sales process seems to be giving you problems, you know, if you if you can review your scripts that you use to call maybe your emails, what kind of, you know, just kind of step back, give yourself a couple hours and look at your performance and your outcomes. When you do contact somebody, I think if you if you can, you know, I would like walk away from my desk, did this somewhere else and review what’s what’s been happening. And I think that if you look at it from, you know, kind of an outsider’s view, if you can do that with you know, your own information, you’ll be able to easier, more easily see, okay, maybe we don’t know, our ideal client, because most of these people I’m calling seemed to not have any interest in what I’m doing. So maybe it is here. It is your you don’t you haven’t nailed down your ICP, right? So go down the list, maybe it’s my message, because they’re not resonating with it, etc. That’s what you’re telling me? Yeah.

Mike Miller 

Yeah. And there’s ways like if it’s your message, try a different message, hit a different benefit. See how that works? Mm hmm. You know, if if nothing works, then you’re in a red ocean. Gotcha. Okay, you know, yeah. On the marketing side, you want to make sure that you’re in front of your ICP, wherever they are, wherever they’re looking. And you have content with a message embedded into it, that resonates with them. So you know, if, if you’ve got that app, and you’re promoting it, right, you can’t just do one thing, and then expect everyone to call it you have to constantly consistently put out more and more content, sharing your message sharing your benefit, and get it in front of as many people’s, you know, as you can as many eyes on it as you can, so that you can judge whether it’s effective or not, yes. Because if it’s not effective, it’s if it’s not resonating, then you need to change what you’re saying. Yes. And that’s an important point, because a lot of business owners are like, well, I only know the one way to say it. It doesn’t matter what you know, it doesn’t matter what you think it matters, what the customer thinks, right? So you need to learn how to frame and reframe things to come at the same problem from a whole bunch of different angles. The same challenge that that they’re having. Right? So like, Okay, let me give you an example.

Mike Miller 

So let’s say someone says that they don’t have the money to do something.

Mike Miller 

Well, it’s simple objection, overcoming, you know, you could say, well, I understand that you don’t have the money to do it. That’s why we have payment plans. Right? So over over 20 months, you know, you pay month by month, or something like that, or, you know, three payments, or that’s why you you have a small down payment, and you can get this going. And then we have continued payments, right? So you can break the payments up. You can you can discount if you have to. You can but but that’s just on the money side of it. You can also switch it show value. Yeah, but we’re not talking about price. We’re also talking about rich giving you this kind of return. Right? So if we give you this return, then it pays for itself. And actually you make money. So if you don’t invest this money now then you don’t get the the money that the potential money that you could make. Right?

Shelly Miller 

Yes.

Mike Miller 

And and then similarly, you can use tax benefits and tax write offs. You know, there’s the Was it the section 176 that if you buy equipment before the end of the year, you can write it off on this year’s taxes?

Shelly Miller 

Yeah, or 178? Something like

Mike Miller 

that. 78 Yeah, you know what I mean? There’s ways there’s ways to get around it, but we’re talking about one idea, but we’ve reframed it, right, different ways, right. And that’s what I mean with challenges with the benefits with everything. Your message is just a frame of benefit, you know, frame the benefit, so that it will match their need their challenge. Yes, serve them, you know, because really what we’re doing is we’re saying, hey, you’ve got this problem, we can fix it.

Shelly Miller 

Yes, exactly.

Mike Miller 

So, but what if you don’t sell a custom solution to fix that one specific problem? You know, like, that’s, like, what I’m saying is, you may say, I don’t have enough money to grow my business. But a business coach will tell you that it’s your processes.

Shelly Miller 

Okay

Mike Miller 

and they’ll be able to tell you that the solution to your challenge of not having enough money is to change your processes, so that everything works more smoothly. And then you don’t need as much money to see what I mean. Right? So I mean, I think I’ve covered it pretty much, and answered the question. What do you think

Shelly Miller 

I do? Yes, or no, so you’ve given them food for thought just to you know, it’s not just one it’s not a yes or no or one cut and dry answer to why your pipelines not full. I mean, it can be there’s many things but step back and take a look at the points that Mike made about, on both sides, the marketing and sales side to see where you’re missing. And it should become clear, you should be able to figure out which part is is not where it should be. And that will be one of the main reasons why your pipeline is empty.

Mike Miller 

Exactly. So Exactly. So you’re missing something on one side or the other. Or you’re missing them both all together. And, and really actually, you know, call me Let’s schedule an appointment, I’ll run you through the Client Magnet System, we’ll we’ll do an assessment of your business, you know, your client acquisition strategy, compare it with the Client Magnet System, I’ll show you the map and give you the the secrets and the out the outline of exactly what you need to do in order to make your business grow.

Shelly Miller 

Right. And that’ll help you figure out what’s why your pipeline is empty. Yeah,

Mike Miller 

exactly. Maybe that’s this podcast could have been one minute, call me know, email me, mmiller@mindwhirl.com. And let’s set up a meeting let’s, you know, set up a time to speak. Yes, really? That’s the answer.

Shelly Miller 

But we’ve given them some information to look at before they give you a call. That’s true.

Mike Miller 

That’s true. We’ve also explained the Client Magnet System as well and ICPs the most important then is your message then it’s the process that you use on the sales and the marketing side.

Shelly Miller 

Yes. So anything else? That’s it? All right. Well, we’ll see you next Thursday. Thanks again, for listening to the Mindwhirl Marketing Podcast. Make sure to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google podcast, Stitcher, and wherever podcasts are sold. Plus, check us out on YouTube. Grab some marketing tips and insight and subscribe to our channel while you’re there.

::: Articles and Companies Discussed in the Podcast :::
➡️ The Client Magnet System

https://www.mindwhirl.com/lp/m-lp-cms-quickguide.html

➡️ Marketing Strategy Session

https://calendly.com/mindwhirl/marketing-strategy-meeting

About Shelly Miller

Entrepreneur, marketer and social psychologist - I help you make the most of your business with marketing, online and offline.

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