Sales systems for professionals

As a self-employed professional, the success of your business comes down to a steady flow of clients.

As a self-employed professional, the success of your business comes down to a steady flow of clients. The challenge is to continually attract qualified leads, especially during busy times, so your pipeline stays full.

Consider these 3 strategies to help bring in revenue and stabilize cash flow:

1. Create A Marketing System

There are many ways you can market your business. The key is consistency. Set time aside each week to network, make new contacts and follow up with clients you haven't seen in a while.

You need to always be motivated to keep up your marketing strategies, even when your business is busy. So it’s important to design a system that works with, rather than against, your personal strengths. For example, if you hate the idea of calling prospects, try using LinkedIn. It's a great tool for staying in front of the people you know and making new connections in your network.

Here are some other ideas for attracting and keeping up with clients:

  • Keep your web presence up to date with engaging, optimized blog posts.
  • Maintain a social media presence, weighing in on hot topics.
  • Check in with clients on a regular basis to see whether they need your help or just to say thank you.
  • Socialize - invite a new contact for coffee.

2. Develop Your Sales Funnel

Your marketing system will fit into a bigger sales strategy: your sales funnel. The purpose of a funnel is to capture prospects, then move them through a step by step process toward a sale, filtering out unqualified leads as you go. The steps for setting up a sales funnel are the same for any business, and so is the goal – to close as quickly as possible.

As a professional, try to focus your marketing efforts on your network of contacts. By getting ‘warm’ leads into your funnel, you'll spend less time developing that important ‘know, like and trust’ relationship with potential clients. Don't be shy about asking for referrals and recommendations. Word of mouth marketing is the best there is – and it's free!

3. Track Your Success

A mechanism to track your sales efforts is a must for any sales system. Without one you won't know what is and isn't working for you. When you can easily track your system, you'll be able to refine your sales processes so they're more effective. Keep your Customer Relationship Management system simple – and only use it to monitor contact with promising leads. Entering everyone in your network into your CRM will waste valuable time you could be using to follow up with a hot prospect.

If it takes some time to develop a strong client base, take heart. Often when it comes to landing a client, the deciding factor isn't credentials or how well you perform a service. It often comes down to personalities. The clients who stay with you through your sales funnel are typically the ones you want a long term relationship with, because they'll be a good fit.

Your Scotiabank Small Business Advisor can provide financing to support your marketing strategy. Contact your Advisor today.

Do you have any sales system secrets for growing a successful practice? Please share your experiences in the Get Growing For Business Discussion Group on LinkedIn.

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