Simple Strategies to Grow Your Contact List and Sales Pipeline

Use these strategies to increase the number of Contacts in Proactive

This is a list of activities that you can do right now to start the business growth ball rolling.

If you don't have a list

You need a list of people you can reach out to.  If you do not have a list, or your list is small or ‘cold’, i.e. it has been a while since you reached out to the list, the following steps will help you build one.

Gather together all the names you do have.  Here is a list of some places to look for contact data:

  • Your accounts software
  • Spreadsheets
  • Business cards - at the back of your desk drawer, in your suit pockets, in that bag you brought back from the last conference you went to
  • In a notebook
  • A list of event attendees
  • Your email software
  • Social media including your LinkedIn contacts, Facebook, Instagram etc
  • People you've connected with on social media platforms like LinkedIn and FaceBook

If you don’t have a list of names and email addresses of people who might be interested in your product or service, stop reading this and spend the next hour doing all you can to figure-out how to start gathering names and email addresses.  You must start from somewhere.  In a year’s time you will wish you started today.

When you have added some contacts

Depending on the number of contacts you have added, aim to reach-out individually to everyone. 

Email is easiest. A phone call is best.

Keep the email short.  Refer to how you know them (if it is not obvious).  Ask them a simple open-ended question that will, hopefully, prompt them to reply.

Once you have established a connection, aim to:

  • Connect one person from your list to another person. Try to connect someone at least one person per week, OR
  • Send them some useful content, OR
  • Congratulate them on something you have seen them post on LinkedIn or Facebook.

The point is, to stay in touch so that they remember you.  The net result is that you will gradually grow your contacts list.  You can set aside a fixed amount of time per day to do this. You can manage this process easily in Proactive.

You have a list, but your sales pipeline is empty

You might be in a situation where you have very few if any on-going sales opportunities.  If so, focus on the following activities. 

Pipeline Filling Idea 1

Create an offer for your product or service and send it out to your list. 

Make it time limited (e.g. this offer will end next week) or sales limited (e.g. this offer is available to the first 10 people who respond).

Make sure you follow-through on any scarcity statements you made, i.e. if the offer ends next week, end it next week.

Email out your offer.

Follow-up with a phone call the next day if possible (i.e. you have or can find their phone number and you are not terrified of the phone). 

If you can’t call by phone, send three follow-up emails, three days apart. Use Proactive's Follow-Up feature to manage this.

Do not send the offer to all your list in one go. Stagger it by sending a small number each day (small depending on your business model).  This will enable you to manage the follow-up.

If you get any response at all, make sure you respond within 10 minutes.  Pick up the telephone if you can. 

Pipeline Filling Idea 2

Find some content that will provide genuine benefit and send it to your list.  It is important that the content has real value to the people you will send it to. 

As above, stagger the sending, sending a manageable number of emails per day. 

Follow-up the next day with a phone call. Say something like “Hi James just following-up the info I sent you yesterday. I didn’t want you to think it was spam.  Was it of interest?” 

Hopefully, this will lead into a conversation about ways you can help the client in the future.

You have a list and a sales pipeline, but you are not closing

Review your Sales Opportunities. Is there anything you can do to push an opportunity to the next stage? Find a reason to call or email the prospect.

Look at all the quotations / proposals you made in the previous 3 months that you have not closed yet and call the contact.  Say something like “Hi James, I’m just calling to see if you need any further information regarding the proposal I sent you on { date } regarding { your offer }.” 

Try to gain at least one concession – i.e. one thing your contact agrees to do that will take the sales opportunity forward.  Remember to make notes about the call.

Similar to the previous idea – pull-up a list of all contacts who told you to give them a call in a few months.  Call them all.

Aim to spend time every day speaking with people in your pipeline.



Published: 16/10/2020

Reduce Business Overwhelm

Proactive provides small businesses owners with everything they need to reduce overwhelm, get focused, get organised, save time and grow their business.

Click the button below to get started.

Organisations - Click here Single users - 30 Day Free Trial

Latest Posts

Lists Overview
Lists are a powerful way to organise your contacts
Published: 18/01/2024

Find Your LinkedIn Social Selling Index
Use LinkedIn's social selling index
Published: 17/01/2024

Business Owners - How to grow your business with time blocking
How time blocking and daily rituals can you grow your business
Published: 16/01/2022

Elaine Atherton - Finding your ideal customer, honing your offer, the dangers of too much activity
The excellent Elaine Atherton is a sales coach with vast experience in sales and encouraging people.
Published: 15/01/2022

Alex MacArthur: Improving small business processes
Alex MacArthur helps small businesses improve the financial and operational elements of their business as a platform for growth.
Published: 15/01/2022