Many of us tend to chuckle or smirk at the people who are buying holiday gifts and getting them wrapped and put away in October or early November. It made me think about how, in different stages of our lives, we have learned to make more planning time and take more proactive action in areas of focus. Doesn't this apply to identifying more probable prospects for your products and services?
Follow along with me for a minute.
October is half over. Once November hits, everyone starts blocking out time for family due to upcoming holidays. I remember a comment that sticks out in my mind -
The Great Year-End Sales Predicament:
Q: What happens between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day?
A: Not much.
Make this a time of your big push -- the time that you proactively contact all of your clients, as well as those more likely to become clients now to work on developing relationships before people are even less available than they are now. In other words, identify which are the gifts of sales revenue for the months to come, and wrap those up now. Improve your relationships, build trust, and then you simply can nurture them in a planned manner. If you don't do this, probably you will be in more of an end-of-year panic -- just like what happens to many sellers.
By planning ahead, building relationships, creating new strategic partners, and nurturing potential customers you will have more creativity and vision to see what is possible. When you are panicked and depleted you miss much of what there is to see in possibilities.
Example: A SaaS salesperson I know had a list of 100 semi-qualified prospects at this time last year. He was so busy working on existing deals, he let his list slip and by the time he could work on it again, he found that most of this list would not talk with him until the first of the year. This year he has a similar list from the same annual event, but he already has a ten-point plan in place on how he will get the 150 semi-qualified leads into a smaller group of qualified leads and put the rest into a nurture program all before November 15th.
One suggestion is to get help from within your company to work this as a project. Projects are great because they have a start and a finish, so it is often easier to get internal support when you are definite about what you need and for how long. If you do not have good support within your organization, find someone who can help you temporarily to get this project knocked out. It is worth paying someone $10 or $15 or $25 an hour to create a list of more probable prospective customers.
However you do it, it is a time of HUSTLE.
Do you have lists of contacts that you'd like to reach before the end of the year?
How will you make time to learn more about them and then contact them?
Is it important to do it now and not rush in a month when everyone else is?
Lori Richardson is recognized as one of the "Top 25 Sales Influencers for 2012" and one of "20 Women to Watch in Sales Lead Management". Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside and outbound sellers in technology and services companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog and the “Sales Ideas In A Minute” newsletter for tips and strategies in selling.