The Adaptive Agency Blog

Here’s How To Add $1M To Your Pipeline

by | Sep 29, 2022 | Strategy

Today I’m going to: (a) show you where $1M is hiding, and (b) show you how to go get it.

Where is the $1M hiding?

Let’s take a customer profile that looks like this:

  • annual commissions = $700.
  • retention = 20 years.

That customer will provide you with $14,000 in revenue over their lifetime.

If the average of your top 72 customers looks like that, they’re worth $1M dollars to you. These customers are your ICP (”Ideal Customer Profile”).

So the literal million-dollar question is this:

“How do you go get 72 more of them (or whatever the exact number is for you)?”


How do you go find that $1M?

Not by focusing on the money.

If you focus on the money, you’ll engage in low-value tactics that treat customers like opportunities, not like people.

You need a unique strategy for acquiring or developing high-value customers. It has to focus on them, not on you. Here are things you should consider:

First, spend way more time in their world.

Don’t be their insurance retailer.

Instead, develop your two biggest assets: trust and relevance:

  1. Meet with them.
  2. Attend their events.
  3. Rub shoulders with their people.
  4. Look for opportunities to add value by educating, empowering, sharing your network, etc.
  5. Learn what their top challenges are that you can help solve.
  6. Focus on providing solutions, not selling products.

Once they trust you, you’ll be the person they send their friends and family to.

You’ll be different from everyone else. Different is better than better.

Second, help your other customers become more sophisticated insurance consumers.

Warning: If you ever try to sell people things they don’t need, you’ll lose your way and hurt your business over the long-term.

However, most customers don’t understand their risks and they don’t know what being properly insured can do to make their lives better.

Understanding their situations and educating them will build trust and relevance. You’ll become the natural choice for them to give their business to.

But earning that trust implies building a relationship. Too many businesses are addicted to short-term, measurable ROI, and so they aren’t willing to invest time into long-term relationship building. That’s a gigantic mistake.

As your customers’ needs evolve, and as you help them better understand and manage their risks, you’ll end up with more of those customers that will contribute to your $1M pipeline.

How to make time for all this.

Those moves will put you on track to add $1M to your pipeline. And of course, you can hit that milestone as many times as you want.

But how will you make time for it?

Here are some suggestions:

1. Get better at saying “no” to things.

Whatever level of CEO you are today, take a look at your calendar. See all those things? The next level CEO has replaced those things with more important things.

You’ll need to delegate way better. And you’ll have to accept that somethings won’t get done. Every successful CEO has to figure that out.

2. Stop supervising.

You’re the CEO, not the line manager.

If you’re the type who needs to know what everyone is doing every minute, it’s time to let go. You’re not adding value by overlording your people. Empower them, set expectations, and get the obstacles out of their way.

Then reclaim all that supervisory time and attention and put it toward developing your customer relationships.

3. Don’t be proud of being busy.

Have you ever said something like, “I worked hard all week and didn’t get anything done.”?

I have. I used to think it was a badge of honor because I was working so hard. Now I think it’s a sign that I’m doing something wrong.

Kameron (our chief technologist) and I heard a saying a couple of years ago that’s attributed to Bill Gates. Supposedly, Gates said, “Busy is the new stupid.”

So if I say, “I’m really busy this week,” Kameron responds with, “Feeling kind of stupid, eh?”


Yes, but it pushes me to focus on important things instead of on minutia.

Develop an allergy toward being unproductively busy. Figure out how to eliminate, automate, or delegate busywork to someone who will grow from it, and focus your time and energy on your highest-value activities.

If you decide to add $1M to your pipeline, I’d love to hear about it.