The holiday season is here and many salespeople are inclined to take their foot off the accelerator. And while this time of year is busy and loaded with vacations and major expenses and chaos, with careful planning you can continue making your sales goals during the holidays and beyond.
Here are some tips on how to keep your sales team productive during the holiday season:
Do not make assumptions.
The first thing you should do is not make assumptions about what your prospects are doing. It is a common assumption that buyers are too busy or they’re out of the office, and can’t deal with buying at this time. It’s entirely possible that during the holiday season, your prospects are actually more ready to buy than usual!
The end of the year has a way of sparking urgency in buyers, as they evaluate their fourth quarter needs and year-end budgets and begin planning to start their year anew. Change brings new opportunities for us all. Call those old prospects and see how they’re doing, what they’re thinking. Put your foot back on the gas.
Check in and catch up with past customers.
If you’re struggling to sell to new customers, you can always focus your efforts on your existing customers. This is especially important if you’re selling a changing product. Now is the perfect time to check in with old customers and just let them know you’re thinking of them. Chances are, they’re evaluating their fourth quarter situations as well, and you could now be at the top of their list for contract renewals or product upgrades, all because of a simple phone call.
Seek out new leads in a creative way.
A lot of getting new prospects involves talking on the phone, which isn’t easy this time of year when everyone is on vacation and avoiding business calls–so it’s time to get creative!
Take a day to review news sites and find companies in your target industry or market that have raised a lot of capital or hired a lot of new employees recently. These growing companies might be in need of your services. Also, search other social websites and forums. Just because no one is picking up the phone doesn’t mean you can’t gain new leads.
Set up sales meetings for after the holidays.
If you’ve stayed motivated, avoided assumptions, and been creative, you probably have acquired some new leads, which means it’s time to get them on the phone or face-to-face for meetings and demos. Since the holidays are usually jam-packed with both business and personal events, you may have difficulty finding a convenient time to meet. No worries. Just make sure you schedule to meet within a reasonable amount of time after the holidays. Figure out exactly when your customers will be back in the office and schedule your meetings then.
As a salesperson, it’s easy to become too engulfed in the selling, and it’s easy to stick with what has always been working for you. This time of year reminds us that change is inevitable. Use this season to reevaluate and renew your approach–you may be on to your best year yet.
Written by: Greg Schwartz Source: AllBusiness.com