Successful interior designers find power in their pipelines
Monday, October 31, 2016
If disappointing sales are your problem, there's a simple solution: Pump up your pipeline.
You can quickly jump-start your interior design business by simply reaching out every workday, every week to at least 10 individuals who can help you build your business.
Sounds easy, doesn't it? Problem is, few design professionals follow that simple, yet systematic approach to connecting with those they need to know — or who need to know them. They fail to realize the potential and power of their pipeline.
Pumping up the pipeline could mean reaching out to clients and suggesting a next phase for their project. Or emailing a former client about doing an upgrade. Or setting up an appointment with a prospect.
It could mean talking to that fabric showroom about sponsoring your seminar. Or that window film specialist about doing some joint marketing. Or that building owner about referrals. Consider getting in touch with your builder buddy. Or recontacting those realtors you talked to a while back. Or following up with the property manager you met recently.
Maybe it's reconnecting with the sales rep who stopped by the other day, the one who knows everybody. Or checking in to see if that painter you used last time may have some leads for you. Or following up on that query about your Houzz images.
Building your pipeline means smiling and dialing, contacting your contacts, working your network, talking to and texting and touching 10 people. Or more. It means reaching out to everyone and anyone who somehow, in some way, can help you build your business today.
The rationale behind the technique is simple: Sales is a numbers game. The more contacts you initiate and "touches" you make, the more sales you close.
The most financially successful interior design professionals are based in markets large and small, have varying degrees of experience and run their businesses in a wide variety of ways. But one thing they have in common is their dedication to gain and maintain an abundant pipeline. They block off an hour or so a day to making business-building contacts.
Tell me you're too "busy" for this kind of prospecting, and I would ask you this: Are you just "busy," or are you generating the sales and profits you want and need?
So many interior design professionals work so hard, yet so few earn top dollar. That's why the median income for interior designers in the U.S. is less than $45,000.
If ever there was a winning strategy to increase your sales, building your pipeline is it.
But this winner comes with a warning: It takes work. Hard work.
Making 10 contacts a day requires a lot of time and a lot of effort. You'll send lots of emails and texts and leave lots of phone messages, and, on some days, receive few replies. And get ready for rejection — you'll get plenty of that. You'll get to know "No."
But this increased focus will also generate a lot more "yes."
Leading design professionals realize the path to prosperity begins with their pipeline. Start building yours, and you'll be astounded at how quickly your sales grow.
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