Here is what I suggest:
Call EVERY customer you have and EVERY contact you have within a customer. Naturally, you’re going to wish them the best for the holidays and the new year, but your objective should also include one or more of the following:
- Gain any additional year-end business that might be available
- Get orders set up now for the next year, including dates, quantities, etc.
- Learn how the customer expects to finish the year and what they expect next year to be like
- Ask for referrals
Nothing will say to prospects that you want their business more than by trying to reach them during the holidays when many other salespeople are taking the time off.
It’s a perfect time to gain that new customer who finds they can’t reach their existing supplier due to them taking time off. Even if you can’t reach them on the telephone live, be sure to leave a voice mail letting them know you tried to reach out to them.
The holiday period is the best time of the year to be reaching out to these people to not only wish them the best, but also to give and receive referrals.
Remember, if you want people to give you referrals, you need to be even more active in giving others referrals. If you have a large network, then trying to telephone everyone is virtually impossible. If that’s the case, don’t worry about it. Make your phone calls during the fringe periods of the day when you know you’ll get their voice mail. In my book, leaving someone a voice mail is better than not reaching out to them at all.
Call as many prospects as possible between now and the end of the year. You’ll be amazed at who you reach and the conversations you have.
With the holidays upon us, many businesses slow down and people begin to get looser with how they use their time. This means people who don’t normally answer their phone may just answer it.
Also, due to the number of people taking time off, the ones who are left working many times feel almost alone and they’ll answer the phone merely to talk and pass the time. It’s a great way to try and reach those people who you have never been able to reach before on the telephone.
Don’t put off until tomorrow what you could be doing today:
It’s easy to say you’re going to close up shop, take time off and say to yourself you’ll crank it up come January.
Sorry, that’s not good enough.
If you wait until January to crank up the sales machine, that results in things really not starting up in force until at least mid to late January. By that time you’ve already lost nearly one entire month. When you add that to your time off at the end of the year, it means you’re saying you’re going to expect to do 12 months of business in less than 11 months.
Who are you kidding?
If you’ve been struggling to make your annual number in 12 months, what makes you think you can suddenly do it in less time?
Take advantage of the opportunities the holidays provide you in being able to gain additional business — many times at the expense of those who have decided to shut down for the year.
Copyright 2011, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.