The Secret Sauce to Keeping a Full Sales Pipeline

Check out the latest episode below. Mr.Biz Radio provides business owners with the knowledge and insights needed to drive their companies forward.

Mr. Biz Radio: The Secret Sauce to Keeping a Full Sales Pipeline


Unedited transcription of the show is included below:

(00:03):

Welcome to Mr. Biz Radio! Biz Talk for Biz Owners. During the next half hour, Mr. Biz, Ken Wentworth, a leading business advisor, and two-time best-selling author will cover topics that'll help business owners run their companies more profitably and more efficiently. If you're ready to stop faking the funk and take your business onward and upward. This show is for you. And now here's Mr. Biz, Ken Wentworth.

(00:28):

All right. Welcome to another episode of Mr. Biz radio, Mr. Biz, Ken Wentworth. And this week, we are going to cover a topic that if you are a business owner, entrepreneur, and even if you're not either of those, this is gonna be a topic that resonates with you. We are all, and a lot of people don't wanna admit this. We are all salespeople. And, and I know we've mentioned this a couple times on the show over the years, but you know, Brant Cardone mentioned this and I hadn't thought about this way until he put it in this perspective. When he said a lot of people say, oh, I'm not a sales person. I'm not a salesperson. And his, his whole thought process around it was, we're all salespeople. For example, if you're a parent and your six year old, doesn't want to eat green beans at dinner, guess what you're doing, you're selling, you are selling your six year old on why it's a great idea that they should eat their green beans.

(01:21):

And so, you know, the, the, the, where you're gonna go to dinner with your, your significant other, for example, or you know, all sorts of things. So the idea is we're all selling in some way shape or form or another. So this week we're gonna have a unique perspective on that. And we're gonna talk with our guest this week, Deb Brown Maher she pronounces it by the way it's M A H E R you'll need that later, but pronounces it like bill Mar. And she's a sales expert. She's an author and she's a speaker and we're gonna talk to her about right in third segment, we're gonna get her secret sauce to keep your sales pipeline full. Everyone wants that. So we're gonna get Deb's unique perspective on that, but with, out for their due Deb, welcome to Mr. Biz Radio. Thank you for joining us.

(02:07):

Thank you, Ken. I, it's just great to be here.

(02:11):

Yeah, absolutely. So I, you know, we have talked about, you know, we've been doing the show for five plus years now. And so we've talked about sales a bunch of times in between there, but I'm always curious to hear different people's perspectives on it. And I know you have a unique perspective on that before we get into all that, though. Deb, walk us through your entrepreneurial journey. What, what has led you to where you're at now?

(02:34):

Well, some of your audience might identify when I say I was a reluctant entrepreneur. It wasn't really something I set out to do. But I found myself very disillusioned with the corporate world. Having worked, I, I had worked for myself for five years. Then I got sucked into the whole.com craze and spend almost 10 years in the software industry. But as the software I was selling became a commodity. It was no longer fun to sell cuz it was price works. So I was at a crossroad and it was either work for another company or to start my own business. And two things happened, honestly, every time I tried to fill out an application for a job, I felt sick to my stomach. It was the signal like the thought of going back, back into that world. Ugh. And at the same time I ran into one of my clients that I had worked with in the nineties.

(03:49):

He was a real estate broker and working with him over a period of just six months, I helped him. He told me, you me double my business, double his, his brokerage. And so that was about the same time I was debating. Do I go back into sales coaching? Do I get a job, golden handcuffs, uncertainties, but freedom. Right? So that was also January of 2008. And if you're in business, you know what happened that year? The great recession. So here I am total, like, am I crazy? But I had to do it and God really blessed me. I got a good start that first year I tripled my second year. I tripled again in my third year.

(04:54):

So that's incredible. That is incredible. Especially given when you got started.

(05:00):

I know it was meant to be, I really was supposed to do it. There was purpose.

(05:09):

Yeah. Well, and, and that fateful you know, discussion you had with a former of someone else you had worked with before and hearing former client the yeah. The former client that the results that you had helped them achieve that had to be was that like the two tipping point where you're like, okay man, I didn't, I, I was kind of considering this, but now that I know that I can produce results like that for someone, I mean, of course you knew you had success, but just hearing that had to be just a really big big wind in your sales. I would imagine, right. It,

(05:39):

It really was. And how it happened was we hadn't seen each other for a long time, like years and we bumped into each other in a coffee shop. He was having coffee with one of his real estate agents. And he waved me to come over, introduced me and told this person, emphatically, Deb is the one that doubled my business. And I had no idea until that point. So even the way it happened, really spoke to me and did seal the deal that I followed through, took the lunge. And here I am. How many years later, who can do the math 2008, 2022. So I'm starting my 15th year.

(06:33):

Yeah. Well, and here's the other thing I, I like what you mentioned and I, I gonna say that, so my over observational nerd brain pops out, sometimes Deb, I admit. And when you, when you mentioned just now that not only did he tell you that he, you helped him double sales, but he called you over and emphatically said it to the person. He was having coffee with, to me, that makes a huge difference. If you get an email from someone and they say, Hey, man, I just wanted to thank you. That's big because that they took the time to write that email, et cetera, et cetera, they, they considered you and all the other things that are, could distract them. Right. But to do it in that manner and, and really call you out in a very positive, emphatic way to another colleague, I at God, did you, did you kind of puff your chest out a little extra? Did you kind of flip your hair maybe on your way out? Like

(07:25):

Actually I got scared cuz I knew I was cooked. I really, I knew I didn't have a choice. I, because I had been flirting with the idea for not and had tried to get out of it. Like I said, reluctant, because I knew the work that it was going to take. I had done it before. I know what it's like when everybody else is getting vacation pay and I'm not getting paid so that I can go to the beach.

(08:03):

Right. Yeah.

(08:05):

I know what it's like when I get that steady paycheck versus I have to keep getting new clients to keep that pipeline full. Right.

(08:17):

Yeah. Well, and clearly you not only do that for you, did it for yourself in tripling and tripling your business year over year in the first two years. But that is why we're gonna talk to Deb about in the third segment, how to keep that sales pipeline full, the secret sauce. Now you've heard the results, not only the person who, you know, emphatically called her out in a positive, but you've heard her own personal results as well. So you know, this is gonna be good stuff. So we're gonna hit a break here. We're gonna come back, give the Mr. Biz tip of the week. But before we do that, I should mention, you can find out more about what Deb is doing and how to get in touch with her. Go to debbrownsales.com. That's debbrownsales.com.

(09:00):

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(09:30):

Thank you for listening to Mr. Biz radio. Did you know our show airs seven days a week for more than 30 hours. Now, if you are in the B2B space and we'd like to reach thousands of business owners every week, including our more than 250,000 social media followers are thousands of daily internet radio listeners, our email list fans and Mr. Biz solutions members email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to become a sponsor. Tap into Mr. Biz nation to help grow your business.

(10:01):

Check out both of Mr. Biz national bestselling books, "Pathway to Profits" and “How to be a Cashflow Pro" on Amazon. Now, once again, here's Mr. Biz.

(10:12):

All right. Welcome back to the show. It's time for the Mr. Biz tip the week and you guys hear me use this this, this phrase, this terminology pretty frequently, and it's it's in this week's tip. And this week's tip is if your commitment isn't relentless, your effort is faking the funk, do not fake the funk. You gotta be real. You gotta bring it every day. Just grind people talk about, especially in the entrepreneurial world hustling and grinding and all this other stuff. If you only hustle and grind on the days you feel good, you will not be successful. You gotta be able to get out there, brush yourself off. We all have crappy days. We all have those days, we get up and we're like, oh man, you just, you're just not feeling that day. Hopefully those are few and far with queen for you.

(10:57):

I know they are for me thankfully, but every once in a while, something just hits you, right? It could be something that's going on in your personal life. It could be the weather. It could be a, a whole litany of things, but you have to be able to get up as an entrepreneur. You gotta be able to get up and say, you know, what, have a pity party you know, do what you need to do, but have a couple go-to things that you can do to will really snap out of that quickly, whatever that is for some people that's they gotta go to Starbucks and get their double mocha Chaba thing, right? Whatever. I don't, I don't drink Starbucks, but for some people it's going to the gym for some people it's taken their dog for a walk. You go to the gym, whatever it might be, figure out what those things are.

(11:36):

So when you do have those mornings, you wake up and you're feeling crappy and unmotivated. You know, what's gonna snap you out of that. So your effort continue can continue to be relentless and you're not faking the funk because no one likes to fake the funk. Right? so that's the MRBI tip of the week. This week. I did wanna mention Deb, before we get back in this and, and I, I apologize. I should have mentioned I mentioned that she Deb's an author. Her book is called and she has a sales course sales video training course easy for me to say that's called "Sell Like Jesus: Seven Characteristics of Christ for Ethical Sales". So Deb, tell us a little bit about the book, the video program, et cetera. Some of the things that we can find at debbrownsales.com.

(12:22):

Yes. So over the years I had to deal with mindset issues. As it pertains to sales,

(12:32):

Deb, your mindset were you, were, were you occasionally faking the funk?

(12:39):

I wanna say no, but that probably is not accurate.

(12:46):

You know, there's another saying that goes along with your intro, your meter is always running. Your meter is always, you're always on, you can never kick back and relax. You can never get off, take, take the phone off the hook kind of thing. And in order to do that, you have to be in the right mindset. So I love the suggestions of doing what works for you. For me, it's going to the gym. Sometimes it is just reminding myself of my goals and my commitments, but it's also realizing that if I don't do the work, no one else is doing it for me. And I don't to feel like doing it. I just have to do it. And once I start moving, I start acting on what I need to do. I start feeling good because I did the hard thing. Right. So, yeah, yeah,

(13:56):

Yeah. I love what you said. I didn't

(13:57):

Say at some point, sorry. Yeah.

(14:00):

And so I like what you said, because for me, you know, I have a, I have a couple, go-to a few, several different go-to things and it depends on the mood. Sometimes for me, it's just working out. I gotta get out and I gotta, I gotta sweat. Right. sometimes it's as simple as I will get in my truck and hopefully it's sunny out. I will open the sun roof and I'll put on some of my favorite music at like the highest volume possible and just drive. I'm not even going, I'm just driving around, enjoying the sunshine, the fresh air. And I am singing at top my lungs horribly, by the way. But that alone, even just that sorts sort of gets me out of can get me out of a funk that I might be in. And one of the things you also that you, you alluded to Deb is that, you know, I I'm, I'm have a ritual of my top three goals that I have, and these are long term goals that I write them down at the beginning of every day beginning of the day and the end of the day, if I'm having a crappy day, let's say I hit a law in the middle of the day.

(15:02):

I write 'em down again. And that help. I think it helps refocus me, reenter me, as you mentioned to help, you know, what or why, why are you doing this? What are you, what are you trying to get to? What is the ultimate goal? And I think for me that helps me get back into it and say, okay, snap out of this, let's get back at it.

(15:23):

So in order to sell anything, you have to believe in it. You have to believe that it's going to help the person that you're selling. So you have to have that confidence and you also need to feel like you're doing it in a way that is respectful so that you're not alienating people. And I think one of the challenges that most of the people have with sales and why they don't want even sales people don't wanna put salesmen on their cart because nobody wants to be associated with the negative stereotype. So I spent my career figuring out how to sell in a way that was congruent and with my values, how to, how to feel good about the conversations that I was having, because I knew I was helping someone, whether they bought from me or not. It's not a, see if you go into sales, if you go into a sales conversation thinking I've got to get this sale, the motivation is going to show the prospect is going to sense it, feel it, and be alienated and you're gonna lose them.

(16:47):

So it is important to put the sale part of selling to the side. You will, if, if I can say it that way and really come back to the essence, which is, do you have a problem that I can solve? Are you willing to put some resources behind that in order to purchase it? And are you willing to make the decision to allocate the resources, to take care of this problem? That whole decision process is just as important as understanding the problem until you have all three, you have not qualified fully and you'll get back outs and you'll get not nows. And I wanna think it overs and call me in a month kind of responses. So it, we really have to take responsibility as salespeople for doing that qualification, but doing it from the, the buyer's perspective I wanna get inside their head, what are you trying to accomplish? And let's see if I'm the best person to come alongside you to do that, that, that kind of mindset is going to win you sales.

(18:13):

I, I love that. And I agree with it 2000%, not, not even just a thousand Deb, 2000%. Awesome. I'm definitely a, I'm definitely a pool, not a push type salesperson Absolut. Absolutely. And putting it out there and, and there have been to, and I've been talking with a prospective client and I'll say, you know what? This is, this isn't really in my wheelhouse. I could help you like this much, but I can, I can refer you to someone that can help you this much.

(18:39):

Yes.

(18:40):

And that that's happened in more than one occasion where I've gotten business from that person later because they referred me to someone else because of, of course my honesty and transparency. So super, super important again, this week, we're talking with Deb brown Maher find out more at debbrownsales.com. Come back after the break. And she's going to give us the secret sauce on keeping your sales pipeline full.

(19:01):

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(19:30):

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(20:01):

To submit questions to the show, email them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Now once again, here's Mr. Biz.

(20:10):

All right. Welcome back to this show. And I wanna mention, I want to give give the information again, but go out to debbrownsales.com. I will tell you, go out and check out her website. She's got there, there are free resources out there. She's got a blog, she's got some free things that you can download. Definitely go out and check out debbrownsales.com. And again, the name of her book and her video training course is "Sell Like Jesus: Seven Characteristics of Christ for Ethical Sales". Again, she's talking about congruence, she's talking about not being, you know, the, the negative stereotype of a salesperson. So I'm really curious to hear as we we've, we've, we've heard a lot from you, Deb, and how you've built your business. I mean, second year you started you three X, you three X and year four, I'm sorry, year three. Amazing results. So clearly, you know, how, and as well as you helping with your clients, you know how to keep a sales pipeline full and in a, in an ethical way, in a good way, not, not some crazy way and, and, and, you know, a big pushy salesperson, whatever. So what are some of the things that are some of the ingredients of your secret sauce in doing that?

(21:21):

Some of the ingredients are really centered around creating trust and building relationship. Not everybody is ready to buy the first time you talk to them. So approaching people in a way where you are able to connect meaningfully so that you can keep that conversation going is critical. And I never met a stranger. So once I talked to you, once, you're my friend, I'm thinking about how I can help you, how I can be of servants to you. So, as I see articles that make me think of you, I, I shoot them over to you as I come across information that I think like seminars or workshops that I think you would be interested in. I share that with you. I, I just try to find ways to keep that connection over a long period of time so that when that person is, is ready, they think of me. So that's one of the keys that is relationship building. Some people call it networking. I really like to call it connecting with purpose, and it's a two way street, but what I find Ken, I give first, I purposely reach out first. I give first and I have no expectation of return.

(23:01):

Look, I love it. And I have the same approach. I've talked with folks before, you know, being a fractional CFO that like, I am, I'll talk to someone who is maybe interested in hiring me and ends up that, you know, it doesn't work out or whatever, but I, you know, it just happened recently. Actually I talked to someone and they weren't ready yet. And really it wasn't on their end. It was on my end. They, they're not at the stage yet where they really would need someone like myself yet, but oddly enough, unrelated to business. The, the person I was talking to had a daughter who was getting in the cheerleading, well, two of the biz girls have been three of them, actually, all three of them have been involved in cheering and travel, cheering, squads and all that stuff. And it was a person who's local to me.

(23:52):

And so several days later after I had met with him, something came up about that and I thought, oh my gosh, Jerry would love to hear about that. So I reached out to him and I said, Hey, if your daughter is considering, you know, travel, cheer, et cetera, et cetera, you might wanna check out this school. We've had really good results with them coach. So, and so's great, blah, blah, blah, completely unrelated to business. But again, yeah. You know, connecting with purpose, as you said, and, and with a, with a servant type of attitude, I want to help, you know, whether it's business or not. I want to help you, you know, like as your friend.

(24:25):

Yeah. It has to be genuine. You definitely can't fake this doesn't right. So a lot of people talk about asking for referrals, which is a little bit like being in sales. Like, I really don't wanna ask for re referral cuz what if they're not fully satisfied and what if they're not ready? And what if they don't know somebody? Well, instead of asking for referrals, which often comes with a lot of baggage, like if I give you this person's name and number, are, are they still going to like me? Right, right. When you're done, instead of that, learn how to ask for introductions because the person that you are talking to may not ever do business with you, but they know people and you can't control those lovely surprises when the introductions come to you, but you can always control asking. So asking, making, asking for introductions, part of your regular routine, and there's a lot of detail I could go into probably too much for this show.

(25:51):

Suffice it to say that obviously you wanna talk to your satisfied customers first. It's easy to ask them for introductions, but you can also ask prospects who don't buy from you. It just sounds a little D the way that you ask. So that is one of the best ways to keep your pipeline full. And what you're doing is you are loading it with more qualified prospects instead of the spaghetti against the wall, buckshot against the barn kind of approach garbage in garbage out. So having a thousand leads is probably not really helpful. Having 10 really qualified leads is going to do much more for your business.

(26:43):

Deb, I cannot tell you how much I am so glad that you mentioned that because when people talk about having a full sales pipeline, I think depending if that's your big goal, it can end up being exactly what you just mentioned. And so, yeah, you may have a a hundred people in your sales pipeline, but if only 10 of them are qualified, frankly, you are going to waste your and their time of 90 people, which is gonna completely be totally inefficient and wa again, you're gonna waste their time as well, as opposed to a full pipeline can be 10 people. It could be five people depending on, you know, the nature of your business. It doesn't have, you don't have to thousand people or a hundred people or 300 people. You wanna make sure that they're qualified. And I think that's a huge delineation to make when you're talking about a sales a tool sales pipeline.

(27:33):

Yeah. And the other piece that goes with it, Ken is the tracking and keeping in touch until you get a closed account out, whether it's closed one or closed lost. So with a thousand and you have to keep pace and keep getting back in touch. And that's impossible to do. I mean, even with a hundred, even with 20, it can be onerous, right? It's critical that you get back to people when you need to, in order to keep advancing the sales process. Right. And you need to track your contact. Don't try to keep it all in your head, have some kind of system. Most of us are using some kind of computer software to do that these days. But if you're still using paper, just do it consistently. If it works for you, that's fine. But the key is to track your context, track your next steps and make sure that you bring each account to its logical conclusion, because if you're doing that, you're leaving business on the table.

(28:50):

Yeah, absolutely. And there, there could be some people that you could be helping that you're not because you're not following through appropriately and, and, and following some of those leads to, to, to, you know, again, some sort of conclusion one way or another, unfortunately we're outta time. Deb, look

(29:05):

Again, guys, go

(29:05):

Out to

(29:06):

Too fast.

(29:07):

I know, I know. Go out to debbrownsales.com. Check out her book, "Sell Like Jesus: Seven Characteristics of Christ for Ethical Sales". Deb. Thank you so much for coming on the show. I really appreciate you sharing some thank you. Amazing insights.

(29:20):

Awesome. Real pleasure to be here.

(29:23):

Awesome. Awesome. Thanks for watching. Thanks for listening guys. And don't feel forget as always cash

(29:28):

Is king.

(29:32):

This has been Mr. Biz radio to learn how to become part of Mr. Biz nation. Visit mrbizsolutions.com for access to free weekly content. Subscribe to the Mr. Biz, YouTube channel and follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter, to listen to archive shows. You can find them on the Mr. Biz solutions website.