Super Post #1: My 1,000th Post on the Warrior Forum

Yep. This is it. My 1,000th post on the Warrior Forum.

Year-end is here, and it’s a great time to reflect and plan for 2013.

There’s so much “advice” in the forum. I was on a phone interview when I originally wrote this in February, and the interviewer pointed out how it seemed that just about every newbie here seemed totally lost. I agreed. The problem wasn’t because newbies couldn’t get info, though; actually, it’s because there are TOO MANY options that people get confused.

So I want to share some tips that will apply to everybody. Let’s stay out of the “should I call, or should I do email or direct mail?” debate, shall we? Just be aware:

* if you want to get clients quickly, you’ll have to make calls, go to networking events, talk to people

* if you can afford to wait, and have some money to burn, email, direct mail and other inbound marketing campaigns should eventually bring you leads, and you might not have to talk to anybody.

Regardless of which way you choose to go, here’s what applies to everybody:

It’s not good enough to simply build a better mousetrap or jump into offering a product or service.

You must have a sales plan.

How are you going to generate leads, make sales and bring in revenue?

Sounds obvious? Look at the posts made every day in this subforum by people who are suddenly now a “web designer” or “SEO expert” or other techie and have made the startling realization that they have no idea how to find prospects and turn some into clients.

So whether you call or use a more passive method to generate your leads, you will need some kind of Lead Generation System.

Don’t expect someone to give this to you for free.

If you need to learn how to call effectively, it’s not going to be free.

If you need to learn how to set up an effective email campaign, it’s not going to be free.

This expertise is valuable…lots of people want it…and not many people have figured out how to do these things well.

You may get pieces of the puzzle from your friendly neighborhood trainer or marketer or copywriter, but you will not get the full meal deal. Why should they give it to you? After all, they had to take the bumps and bruises and the hard knocks to figure it out or afford to buy it themselves.

But the important thing is that you know you need some kind of Lead Generation System.

The next piece of the puzzle, no matter what you’re doing, is a Qualification System. How will you turn your leads into qualified prospects…by which I mean, how will you learn whether they need and can afford what you offer? How will you determine whether they can work with you, or will be a terror of a client if you let them become one?

Following that, you will need a Closing System. Somehow, you’re going to have to turn some prospects into clients.

These, then, are the three pieces of the Sales Plan puzzle:

  • Lead Generation System
  • Qualification System
  • Closing System.

Without these, each in place, understood and doing their job morning, noon and night, your business is doomed to failure or to remain an inconsistent hobby.

Whether you’re using cold calls or an inbound marketing method does not matter. These three components must be built into your sales plan. When you learn how to call from a pro, you discover the way to generate leads, qualify prospects and close some into becoming clients. When you use inbound marketing methods, perhaps you have a lead generation video…followed by an opt-in page where your now-partially qualified prospect gives you their email…and then they receive an autoresponder sequence to qualify them further…at the end of which is an offer to buy that is your closing system.

Make sense? Any questions on this?