The holiday season can be a tough time for salespeople. Many of their clients and prospects take time off, and the ones that are in their offices are often consumed with winding down the year or planning the next year. It can be tough to reach these clients, and it can be difficult to get their time.
But the holiday season and year end can be a tougher time for sales managers who are forced to deal with low activity and low productivity because their sales force believes that nothing can be accomplished during the holiday season and so let up their sales efforts.
Two Universal Truths
First, let’s dispel with the myth that no one is buying and that nothing can be accomplished.
There is always some number of your dream clients who are dissatisfied. This means that there are always prospective dream clients who are considering changing partners. This is as true in December as it is any other month. And where there is dissatisfaction, there is an opportunity.
There is always some percentage of prospects who are facing a new challenge and that need ideas to help them find away to mitigate any changes that would have a negative impact on their business or capitalize on an opportunity. The challenges and opportunities that your prospective clients are dealing with aren’t courteous enough to show up when they have the bandwidth to handle them. They show up when they show up. Even December.
These ideas are universally true, and they aren’t subject to holidays or other events. Why would your dream client be less dissatisfied because the holidays are approaching? Why would they be immune to the forces of change that impact their business because it’s December? The truth is that they aren’t any less dissatisfied or any more immune to change. In fact, the opposite is just as likely.
Three Reasons to Pursue Now
First, if your dream client is going to make changes to improve their results, it is certain they are thinking about it now. This is the time of year that businesses think about what they need to change in the coming year to produce better results. If they have suffered with poor results, the New Year means making changes that make an improvement.
Second, if your dream client contacts are in the office, it is likely their workload is lower than it is during other times of the year. This is an opportune time to provide these contacts a lunch appointment or coffee to learn about their business and begin to lay the groundwork for a future opportunity. Your odds of gaining an appointment are as good or better at year-end as they are throughout the rest of the year. Make the calls and find the receptive contacts that allow you to get in.
Finally, the rest of your competitors have decided to coast. They’ve given up the ghost and let up. If ever there were ever a time to be active, it’s when everyone else has disappeared. Your dream client contacts aren’t being pursued during the final weeks of the calendar year because too many salespeople believe that there is nothing to be done and that no one is buying. You should redouble your efforts and be there when no one else is.
Believing that no one is buying is short-term thinking. You aren’t going to win your dream clients before the year-end because you weren’t further along in the sales process. That’s not the point of being active through the end of the season. The goal is to open the relationships that open opportunities and start your next year strong. You can build towards your future and capitalize on the opportunity to work while many of your competitors decide to coast.
What are you doing to close the year strong and get a running (sprinting) start on next year?
What percentage of your dream clients will move next year?
What percentage of your clients will face a new challenge or a new opportunity you can help with in the coming year?
What are the risks to behaving as if you have no ability to create value for your dream clients in December?
What are the benefits of calling when your competitors have put on the brakes?
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Filed under: Sales 3.0