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Fill your Pipeline… but not with Pipedreams

Tags: Be interesting | Save time | Do more | Sales | Influencing

3rd April

Whatever job you do, it’s important to have new, exciting opportunities coming up.

After all, if you don’t… well, there’s nothing exciting to look forward to. And that’s just depressing.

So, it’s important you fill your pipeline. By proactively triggering these new, exciting opportunities for yourself (unfortunately, nobody else will do this for you).

Here are some simple ways to do this quickly and easily. I’m using the example of finding new, exciting customers. But you could use these techniques in lots of other situations too:

  • Ask for introductions. It’s hard to convince a stranger to join your pipeline. But it’s relatively easy to ask one of your friends to ring one of their friends, and get them in your pipe. So, ask your favourite contacts to introduce you to people you want to speak to. This is the quickest way to get good opportunities
  • LinkedIn contacts. Another easy one – if you want to speak to Person X, go to her LinkedIn page. On there, it lists all your mutual connections – people who know you both. Look down this list, choose your ‘best’ friend, ring this friend and ask for an introduction to Person X. This takes seconds only – it’s another great way to get warmed-up opportunities
  • Volunteer to speak. Find an event/meeting where the audience contains people you want to speak to. Then, contact the organiser, and offer to do a short, useful presentation to the group. Meeting organisers are often looking for content – they may well accept. You now have a great opportunity to give valuable insights to people you’re itching to impress
  • Ask your mates. Ask your friends for their advice about how you can best fill your pipeline. They’ll often suggest things that you could have thought of, but haven’t. Also, you often find you can follow-up their advice by saying “Great idea. Would you mind introducing me to them?”
  • Networking. Find where your ideal ‘Pipeliners’ hang out, and go networking there. So if they’re all lawyers, have lunch at the Lawyers Luncheon Club, go to Law Society events, and so on

You’ll be able to think of others, of course.

But, whatever you do, there are two critical rules:

  • Pipeline, not Pipedream. Don’t let wishful thinking cloud your judgement,. There’s no point banging every opportunity in there, including those you’ve no chance with
  • Act. To fill your pipeline, you’ll have to do more than nothing. Just like Goldilocks – don’t do too much. Nor too little. Instead, spend the ‘just right’ time on it…

…and, very quickly, you’ve got more to look forward to.

Action point

Look at what you’ve got coming up over the next few weeks. Does it look exciting enough?

If not, work hard to generate exciting opportunities for yourself, using some of the techniques in this Tip.

Plus, there’s a few more ideas about pipeline developments in my video club – loads of advice on networking, referrals, the best scripts to trigger referrals, and so on. You can find them here.