When you look at the calendar, there are really only a few selling days left in the year.
You are hurrying around, doing whatever it takes to close every sale possible before year end so you can make quota and earn your annual bonus. However you are waiting until after the holidays to prospect for new business since most companies don’t want to start new projects at this time of the year. This “hurry up and wait” mode can be very stressful, as you struggle with how to stay busy.
No matter how we wish it wasn’t so, new business slows down during the holiday season. Even still, there are plenty of productive activities sales people can do to keep busy at this time of the year.
This is an excellent time to build your prospect list and sales funnel. Make it a point to call at least 2 customers every day between now and the end of the year. Give them holiday greetings and ensure that everything is running smoothly. Even if your contacts are not available, always leave a business card or a voice mail so they know you were there. You may not connect with them, but the fact that you took the time to call can build loyalty.
If you do manage to see your contact, ask for a reference letter. Or a more informal approach is to ask “Can I quote you?” when they give you positive feedback. These off the cuff comments make great testimonial quotes to help you win new customers in the New Year.
Also, be prepared to ask for referrals while you are there. Once approach that works well is “You are welcome, Mr. Customer. My business is built on referrals and one of the best ways to thank me is to refer me to your business associates.” These are great prospects to call in the New Year.
The downtime during the holiday season is also a great time to invest in you. Take some time to brush up on your product knowledge. Why not read a brochure or an operator manual? Maybe you could practice product demonstrations with your colleagues. You could also contact your suppliers to see if they have any materials to help improve your knowledge. Whatever the source, when you learn a new feature about your product, always take the time to determine what’s in it for your customers. After all, specifications don’t sell products, benefits do!
You could also take some time to hone your sales skills. Did you know that business people who read earn twice as much than people who don’t? Check out our Recommending Reading List, pick out a book, and start investing in yourself. Or check out our webinar videos for sales and sales management to brush up on the techniques used by today’s top performers. They are available for instant download and viewing and you can watch them as often as you like, whenever you find it convenient, and pause them anywhere to learn at your pace.
Lastly, start thinking about your plans for next year and set some goals. You can download our Goal Setting and Action Planning Worksheet for free from the B2B Sales Connections Free Download Centre to get you started.
Think back to that one idea that you have always wanted to do, but never seemed to have the time to do. What is that one thing you thought would really impact your sales results? Well, now is a great time to do it! Remember, the only difference between a good idea and a great idea is implementation!
Even if you’ve been selling for a long time, you can always upgrade your skills. If you’re not reaching your goals, then it’s up to you to change it!
From everyone here at B2B Sales Connections, we hope you and your family have a very happy and healthy holiday season!