- December 1, 2014
- Posted by: Dave Kurlan
- Category: Understanding the Sales Force
It’s hard to believe that it’s December already. It seems like only yesterday that I made my annual reposting of one of my most popular articles of all time – a terrific holiday article that is worth a read even if you read it each of the previous 4 Decembers.
Does that resonate for you in December? All year long? Every day?
So let’s discuss December sales strategies. What can you do to assure that December (a short month with only 17 business days) as well as the 4th quarter and the year finish – all have a strong finish?
You won’t like my answer at all, but it’s the truth.
About the only thing you can do in December that will benefit the month of December, the quarter and the year is to make sure that the truly closable, qualified, and forecasted opportunities actually close. If you pull out all the stops, but do it with opportunities that are not truly closable (in December), you run the risk of alienating your prospects. This is where it is so important to know the difference between what you consider closable, and what your prospects consider closable. How do you know? At some point, they told you that you will get this done in December and you have a meeting or call scheduled to do just that. If that hasn’t occurred, then in all likelihood, you are guessing that you can close these opportunities in December.
Some companies need to spend their money this month or they risk losing it. Do you know which of your opportunities are in that situation? Those companies will buy from somebody this month – do you know whether or not it will be from you? Again, you would know because you would have learned that as you qualified them, not because you have a good feeling about it – a guess by any other name.
There are some things that you can do this month, that will have a tremendous impact….on next year….
Most salespeople spend their December days trying to close deals, sending cards, delivering wine, chocolate, fruit baskets, nuts, pretzels and special gifts. While important, minimal time should be devoted to those things. Instead, salespeople should be filling their pipelines, scheduling January meetings, and assuring that the 1st quarter of next year is strong.
How can you get prospects on the phone in December? This is a great month to use a service like ConnectAndSell, which provides up to 8x the conversations that reps get by dialing on their own. Instead of wasting all of their time dialing and not connecting with anyone, salespeople actually spend their entire calling session speaking with their prospects. It’s very efficient, powerful and useful! And when you find out how helpful it is in December, you’ll want to use it year-round for pipeline building. Whether it’s inside or outside salespeople that do the calling, maximizing your call time in December will be the one thing that will guarantee a strong start to next year.
There is also an emotional component to December. Many of us will be on well-earned breaks, staycations, vacations and trips between Christmas and New Years. There are four possible outcomes for December:
- You closed the forecasted business and built a strong pipeline for next year.
- You closed the forecasted business, but failed to build a strong pipeline for next year.
- You failed to close the forecasted business, but built a strong pipeline for next year.
- You failed to close the forecasted business and failed to build a strong pipeline for next year.
The outomce you end the year with will determine your mental state for not only your time off, but for when you return. How would you like to be feeling? Would you like to kick back and relax during your vacation or sulk around, beating yourself up for blowing it? How would you like to feel when you return on January 2? Do you want to be energized or still feeling the effects of screwing it up in December?
Close what you can close today, but your emphasis in December must be on building for the near future.
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