I always ask my clients what’s in your pipeline. Keeping your pipeline full and flowing is essential, whether you’re a business owner, a job seeker, or looking to advance in your field.
Basically, your “pipeline” is the channel through which new opportunities, contacts, and information flow to you. Ideally, it is full of new contacts from whom you’re awaiting replies, opportunities you’re following up on, and leads you’re following up on. It’s said that only 20% of positions are filled through advertising, while the remaining 80% are filled through referrals and networking. The percentages are slightly different for business owners generating new clients, but they still lean in favor of referrals and networking versus traditional advertising.
In other words, if there’s nothing in your pipeline, you’re far less likely to find the next job you’re looking for.
If you’re stagnated in your job search, or looking to drum up new business, here are some tips for getting your pipeline flowing:
- Network, network, network! If you’re currently unemployed, you want be attending at least two in-person networking functions per week. If your budget and schedule allow, three or four events are even better. If you’re a business owner, you want to be attending at least two industry or networking events per month.
- Send e-mails, and follow up. For job seekers, ten to twelve e-mails per week to new contacts is a moderate goal to shoot for. For business owners, it depends on your product or service, and your sales cycle—at least five per week, go for quality verses quantity.
- Get on the phone. Ask questions, conduct informational interviews. Ask for referrals. Just do it.
- Set up appointments and interviews: if you’re not currently employed, try to set up at least three face-to-face meetings per week.
- Utilize social networking sites. You’d be amazed at how much you can find out about a company and people on LinkedIn. Use the advanced search functions to narrow your results.
- Volunteer on projects which forward your skills. Volunteering is a low-pressure way to network, and it looks great on your resume.
- Choose quality over quantity. Spend the time to create solid connections, and track down real leads. Blanketing your network with vague requests—like, “I’m looking for a job in marketing. Anyone have any suggestions?”—isn’t likely to get you where you need to be.
- Keep a log. How many calls did you make this week? How many connected, and how many went to voicemail? How many introductions did you ask for? How many e-mails did you send, and how many did you follow up on? How many face-to-face appointments did you book? Set concrete goals for yourself based on the numbers you find to be manageable and effective for you. Make if fun! Life is too short and you only live once.
Remember, whether you’re a job seeker, a business owner, or employed, it’s important to keep your pipeline flowing steadily, even when you’re not looking. Think of it as preventative maintenance: when you decide it’s time to make a move, you’ll have all the resources you need at hand.
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE, BLOG OR WEBSITE? Please do, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Dawn Quesnel, CPCC, PCC, known as Coach DQ, is a professional coach, radio show host and workshop leader. Through the use of her B.R.I.D.G.E. programs she helps marketing, advertising, and creative entrepreneurs navigate career or business transition while maintaining a healthy career-life balance. Her core belief that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to, consistently leads clients to uncover hidden resources and strengths. B.R.I.D.G.E. the gap and accelerate your career so you can love your life now! Visit www.CareerLifeBalance.net or http://www.coachdq.com today or for more information email me.