The Online Marketing Newsletter
for Independent Professionals
and Robert Middleton
The Relationship Pipeline -
turn prospects into clients you need to move them
the "Relationship Pipeline."
everyone has heard of the concepts "The Sales
Pipeline" and "Relationship Marketing." But few
Independent Professionals realize how closely
they're connected and what it means to your
going to get into this topic in depth in next
week's TeleClass Expert Series with Andrea
Nierenberg, "The Queen of Networking" (see
below for details). This week I'll give you a
preview and build on last week's eZine on Turning
Leads into Appointments.
sales pipeline (sometimes called the sales
funnel) is the process of moving unknown
prospects - those who might do business with you
someday - into paying clients.
marketing is the means of making this happen.
Prospects don't travel through this pipeline
without your focused efforts to cultivate, inform,
and follow up until they are ready to do business
important to understand that every single prospect
who becomes a client goes through this process,
whether you realize it or not. The sad thing is
that many prospects get stuck in the pipeline
(imagine appropriate visual image) because you made
very little effort to move them along.
a scenario typical for Independent
meet someone at a networking meeting and have a
productive conversation. You exchange cards. You
don't follow up in any way but they do visit
your web site.
like what they see, and in a couple weeks they
send you an email to ask a question about your
services. You answer this question by email but
don't follow-up otherwise. And then... you never
hear from them again.
more lost opportunity. What
you made that initial connection and exchanged
cards, the prospect entered the pipeline. They
moved through as they visited your web site and
sent you an email. But your response was very
passive. You did little to engage the prospect and
help them keep moving. And they ultimately gave up.
to dramatically increase your business this
really don't need to add any fancy marketing
techniques and strategies. You simply have to
be better at using relationship marketing to move
prospects through the pipeline.
back to the stages of the pipeline from last week
(Stranger - Affiliation - Familiarity - Information
- Experience), let's look at what you could do to
move a prospect along the pipeline from one stage
to the next.
to Affiliation - You join an organization
which is likely to include both prospects and
people who can lead you to prospects. You get
involved and go to meetings and meet new people
you wouldn't have otherwise.
to Familiarity - You meet someone through
this organization and exchange cards. You
recognize this person as a prospect and make a
mental note to enter them into your relationship
to Information - After the event you send
this person a note card and also a copy of an
article about some aspect of your business. You
include a link to your web site. You follow up
and continue your conversation and answer
to Experience - When talking, you mention
your email newsletter (eZine) and they express
an interest in receiving it. A few weeks later
you're speaking at a professional group, and you
invite them to attend.
to Appointment - The prospect attends your
talk and seems to enjoy it. You speak with them
briefly afterwards and they ask some more
questions about your business. You suggest
getting together to explore how you might work
together, and they agree.
are as many relationship pipeline scenarios as
there are prospects. Let's look at some of the
things that are common to every single one of
Get out there. Most prospects don't get into
the pipeline by accident. You need to put
yourself in situations where you'll connect with
new prospects on a regular basis.
Extend yourself. Prospects aren't going to
get to know you unless you make the effort. You
need to introduce yourself and make a positive
Provide information. Your prospects aren't
going to know what you do, and what you can do
for them, unless you educate them in some way.
Articles, web sites, and eZines will do the
Make invitations. Some prospects may need to
know more and feel more comfortable about you
before they are ready to meet and explore doing
business. So give them opportunities to do
Ask. Ultimately you need to ask. If you wait
for the prospect to make the next move, you may
go broke in the process. However, if you've
warmed up a prospect as I've outlined above, it
will be easier than you think.
ability to master the relationship pipeline can be
the biggest factor determining your overall
business success. Knowing what to do, when to
do it and how to do it will determine the level of
invite you to join me and the nation's top
relationship marketer, Andrea Nierenberg, in the
next TeleClass Expert Series as we explore the
success secrets of relationship marketing. The date
is Monday, April 24. You can attend the TeleClass
or order the Audio Program and Transcript. Reserve
your space at the link below today, and you'll be
filling your relationship pipeline before you know
More Clients Bottom
Don't just put new prospects into your relationship
pipeline, proactively move them along the
pipeline until they emerge as new
are you doing to move prospects along the
relationship pipeline? Please let us know on
the More Clients Blog at:
Week's Featured Products:
the Pipeline through Relationship
is it that some Independent Professionals seem to
move prospects effortlessly through the
relationship pipeline while others struggle to
nurture these relationships?
Nierenberg has the answers. Andrea is the
nation's most acclaimed relationship marketer.
Perhaps no one else I've studied or met has such a
firm grasp on what it takes to connect with people
in business and turn those connections into new
author of "Non Stop Networking" and "Million Dollar
Networking" Andrea is someone who practices what
she preaches. She'll be sharing dozens of her
powerful relationship marketing secrets in this
month's TeleClass Expert Series.
matter the business you're in or how you attract
clients, Andrea will give you practical ideas that
you can apply immediately to build a powerful
relationship pipeline. Read complete details and
make your reservation at the link below:
next week, all the best,
Helping Independent Professionals Attract More
Boulder Creek, CA 95006
2006 Robert Middleton, All rights reserved. You
are free to use material from the More Clients
eZine in whole or in part, as long as you include
complete attribution, including live web site link.
Please also notify me where the material will
appear. The attribution should read:
Robert Middleton of Action Plan Marketing. Please
visit Robert's web site at http://www.actionplan.com
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