Pipeline! Now That You Found Them...
The Second Stage of the Pipeline is the "Development" or "Develop Them" Stage. The stage is sometimes the stage that many first target when trying to get new business. This is easy to understand since this is where most people are interacting with future business.
Unlike the First Stage where you're attempting to find names, this stage is where you're filtering out that which you've found. I call it sorting and it's determining, thru a set of constraints, whether the name you've found should be rightfully placed in the "Prospect" bin or the "Reject" bin. Again, a "Prospect" is someone who does qualify no matter whether they will buy or not. The new addition here is the "Reject" label that many don't embrace in business world terminologies, and the price for this is high. It also means learning to use the "screen out" vs. "screen in" method of doing business.
Let's step aside here for a moment. The label "Reject" is not used to diminish the value of the person in question. It's to fix in the mind of the person doing the qualifying that this specific individual coming thru the pipeline doesn't meet the minimum standard for doing business with your company. The qualifier needs to know up front what those standards are so that they can quickly screen out unqualified individuals coming thru. Hence, precious resources aren't wasted dealing with anyone who will:
In other words, this stage determines who you are and aren't going to accept into your later stages. This is done with the sole reason to minimize resources needed to bring in & support new business.
- a) Not benefit from the service(s)/product(s);
- b) Not be able to afford the service(s)/product(s);
- c) Not appreciate or value the service(s)/product(s);
- d) Not create a positive cash flow for the company;
- e) Not honor the agreement with the company;
- f) Create a drain on resources due to company support after the sale.
Those who do this stage seriously have & use scripts and have filters in place to cause the best results possible. They weed out the undesirables so that the resources of the company have maximum return on their investment.
For those in sales, this is a most empowering stage. When you consider that the purposeful rejection of individuals who don't bring you return for your efforts is part of the process, anyone who doesn't qualify as a candidate for services is no longer focused on. And this includes those people who won't give you the time of day. Just place their name in the "Reject Bin" and move on. (Many enjoy this stage more when they have the power to reject inappropriate parties.)
Creating an Effective/Efficient Second Stage: Ask yourself how well you do weeding out the time and energy wasters from your prospecting efforts. Do you know how to determine very quickly whether a person is qualified or not as a candidate for your product(s)/service(s)? What are your criteria? What is your process? Is it consistent? How well does it do - Do you have people move into the contracting stage and then find out that they can't meet their part of the agreement?
On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate yourself at the effectiveness in this area and let's not forget the efficiency (Return on investment in this endeavor.) What should be added to make it a perfect Ten if it's not? A good Stage Two creates an assurance for the person running it that what is coming thru is worth their time, effort and money.
Pretty good food for thought? Great! Catch up with us next week when we cover Stage Three!
[Interested in receiving a graphic of the pipeline? Send a request to the following E-mail address Pipeline Request.
Have a BODACIOUS week!
Coach John S. Nagy is CEO and Lead Business Coach for Coaching for Success. Inc., a Business Coaching Service specifically designed for top level decision makers dedicated to peak performance in all facets of their activities. He's hired to focus them continuously in activities that bring higher returns on their resource use. His programs are for the seriously committed. This means having his clients work "ON" their businesses, not just "IN" it. He's a published author and a multi-degree professional with a nationwide client base. Coach Nagy can be reached through his E-mail address at his website at http://www.coach.net and by calling 813-949-0718.
Copyright © 1999 John S. Nagy