It’s here…the 4th quarter.

How are you doing?  If you’re like most salespeople, this is it — the time is now to pull it all together.  Even if the 4th quarter doesn’t mean anything to you, it still does matter because to many of your customers, this is their final quarter of the year.

A few things you need to do right now include:

First, schedule meetings with every one of your existing clients and past clients with the objective being to explore if there is business you can get now in this current year. You’ll also want to pump their thinking about what they need put into their budget for next year.

If you’re chasing a number this year, it can be easy to not talk about next year but don’t fall for that tendency.  Now is the time to make sure they have a budget set up for next year that has funds allocated to you.

Second, set up meetings with any prospect you believe could become a customer in the next 6-9 months.  I’m always amazed at how the end-of-the-year thinking can change a prospect’s thinking about something.  What might have seemed like a distant hope can quickly become a “yes” if the prospect is nearing the end of the year with money left over in their budget.

Again, don’t think your focus should only be on those who you know have to make a decision by 12/31. Think longer term.

Third, get your boss out with you early in the quarter.  I’ve always been a fan of the 4-legged sales call. This is where you take somebody else with you in on a sales call.

For some reason, having a second person can and will allow more productive conversations. It’s amazing what additional questions can be asked and information found out.   Too many sales managers wait until the end of the year to go out and make desperation sales calls to close sales.

In my book all you’re doing is giving away the farm and the customer knows it.

Make the calls now and get ahead of the game in exploring the customer’s needs, so you don’t have to resort to the “I’ll do anything to close this sale” approach to year-end sales.

Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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