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Blog: Minimizing Financial Clutter
52 WEEKS TO FINANCIAL ORGANIZATION - #35: Filling Your Pipeline

Last week I spent two and a half days exhibiting at my county's Senior Expo. I spent the other two and a half days getting ready for it and recovering from it.
I spent a lot of money on the Expo, spent a lot of time on the Expo, and didn't make much money last week because of the Expo.
It was a good week.
As a small business owner who also works IN the business a lot, I realized that I haven't been wearing my "business owner hat" nearly enough.  I love working side-by-side with my clients.  I love it so much that I tend to ignore my responsibility as a business owner to keep my prospective client pipeline full.
Last week I got to refill my pipeline:
1.       I sent an e-newsletter to everyone already in my pipeline to let them know that I was going to be exhibiting.  Several of them attended the event and stopped by our booth.  A couple of former clients scheduled new appointments with us.
2.       My employees and I got to talk to hundreds of people who told us that they need to get organized.  One person made an appointment on the spot!  The others gave us their names and contact information so we can follow-up with them.  Talk about warm prospects!
3.       I spent a lot of time networking with the other exhibitors to see how we might be able to help each other.  Through that networking, I received invitations to speak at senior centers and senior housing facilities.  I collected a three-inch stack of business cards of the decision-makers in senior-serving organizations.  Next week I'll start following up with them.
Lessons Learned Last Week
         You can be the best at whatever you do, but if nobody knows about it, you won't have a business for long.  Several people commented to me, "How come I've never heard of you before?" 
         In a personal service business, people need to "know you" before they buy.  The cost of the Expo was the price we had to pay to let our target market see our faces and hear our voices.
         I need to establish some balance between working IN the business directly with clients and working ON the business maintaining client relationships and developing prospective clients.  I need to do this on a daily, or at least a weekly basis.
Your Homework for Next Week:
         Examine how you spend your time this coming week.  How much time do you spend on filling your pipeline with prospective clients?  Is it enough?
         If you aren't already doing so, schedule daily, or at least weekly time to follow-up with prospects and inactive clients.
         Know who your clients or customers are.  What are their common characteristics?  Where do you find them?  Where do they find you?  Make a spreadsheet.  You might be surprised to see the trends.
         Are you fishing where the fish are?  Think about the people with whom you can network to reach your ideal clients.  Then schedule time to do it every week!

posted on: 10/11/2009 11:30:00 AM by Katherine Trezise
category: Finances

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Minimizing Financial Clutter

by Katherine Trezise

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About Katherine:

Katherine Trezise is president of Absolutely Organized, based in Baltimore, MD. She is president-elect of the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization. Katherine holds a masters degree in business administration, is a Certified Professional Organizer® and a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®. Absolutely Organized specializes in helping people organize their homes, paperwork and financial records to make room in their lives for the things, people and activities that are most important to them.

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