The end of the year is upon us! And contrary to popular belief, this is not necessarily a “dead” time in terms of business development and relationship-building for salespeople. Here are four simple strategies you can use right away to ramp up your prospecting performance during the holiday season.
One: Reach out higher on the org chart than you normally do. Guess what? CEOs, presidents, founders, and other similarly hard-to-reach types are often just a little easier to reach during the month of December. Everyone else in the organization is likely to be taking time off, but the top person in the company or department is just as likely to be behind his or her desk catching up on things. This is the perfect time of year to send the CEO of a target organization a one- or two-line email with a request for a five-minute call with you. That's not necessarily true in January and February, but it is true during the holidays. Watch your email account carefully for responses after you send this! When you get a “yes” response to that email, you’ll want to take advantage of the window of opportunity while it’s open! We have tracked a much higher success rate at this time a year so be sure to make the attempt.
Two: Build your messaging purposely around specific end-of-year themes. In your emails, voicemails, and phone calls, consider using your own variations on these three powerful approaches:
- Three big issues for the coming year. “Since we’re now approaching the end of the year, I was wondering if you, like a lot of our clients, are planning to attack and solve the following three issues in the coming year. (Insert three of your pain indicators – the symptoms of the problems you and your organization have a proven track record of solving). Do any of those ring a bell?”
- Avoid making the same mistakes as last year. “I find I’m talking to a lot of executives this time of year who are reflecting back on issues like (insert your three pain indicators) and aiming to avoid repeating the same problems moving forward in 2019. Would that be worth a fifteen-minute conversation?”
- Jump-start the coming year. “This week, I am talking to executives who want to jump- start production in the upcoming year, and I was wondering whether it would be worth a fifteen-minute call to discuss that?”
Three: Ask directly about unused funds in the decision-maker’s annual budget. A certain percentage of decision-makers you reach out to this month will be sitting on dollars that are left over in their budget that need to be spent before December 31. Will you get a “yes” answer every time you pose this question? Of course not. But you don’t need a “yes” answer every time! Some portion of your contact base will be facing this issue. Find out who!
Four: Do a mind shift and ramp up your daily activity targets accordingly. The holidays are a great time to transform your self-talk. So: Do a mind shift. Feed yourself good assumptions this month. For instance: My competition is not calling people at this point, so I’m going to ramp up my prospecting numbers this month. Or: My most influential decision-makers are working this month. Or: December provides the perfect opportunity to get a head start on January. Or: As the year ends, there is always opportunity waiting for me.
My final piece of advice when it comes to prospecting during the holiday supports and encompasses all of the strategies I’ve shared with you: Make a conscious decision to increase your prospecting activity during this critical month and you will leap ahead of your competition in January and beyond.