In earlier blogs (like here and here), I’ve talked about the need to be very organized going into December due to the level of distractions that can arise both good and bad.   This can be an interesting time of the year when it comes to sales motivation, as it can either plummet or soar.  Before we get any closer to the end of the year, take a minute and develop a list of the key things you need to get accomplished in January 2011 and the 1st quarter of 2011.

I’m not telling you to take your eye off the ball in terms of  maximizing your year-end results, but what I am saying is to be careful in how you deal with issues that pop up over the next couple of weeks — and the tendency to say to yourself or even tell the customer how you can “take care of it in January.”

For many salespeople, myself included, January is a very busy month. If I’m not careful, I can very easily over extend myself with customers.  When you over extend yourself, all you’re doing is making your 2011 sales goals that much harder to meet.

Yes, there will be things that get pushed from December into January and that is to be expected. The key is to make sure you don’t suddenly find yourself waking up on January 2, 2011, to a schedule and client project list that is unattainable.  Talk about a hit to your sales motivation.

One strategy you can use right now when confronted with those customers that want to push things off until 2011 is to be upfront with them and tell them how your January is already quite full. Mention that you may not be able to deliver them the same quality of service you can now while there’s still time in 2010.

I’ve found the best approach with a customer is to be upfront with them (assuming your January schedule is already fairly full.)  Customer and prospects will appreciate the candor, rather than being told one thing now only to have it go unfulfilled in January.

Copyright 2010, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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