This blog has a worldwide audience – so while today’s post is geared toward U.S.-based small business owners, the concept applies elsewhere.
Here in the States, our Thanksgiving celebration is next week. There are EIGHT business days prior to it,. We all know what happens after Thanksgiving through the end of the year – more holidays, and getting ready for holidays..
Unless you are a retailer on the web or in a ‘bricks and mortar” location, your business contacts may get harder to reach – they are planning family vacations, and generally dealing with more personal issues than other times in the year. And that is great – hopefully you are too. If you have worked a plan for end-of-year success, you can be sitting comfortably to enjoy the upcoming season.
If you are not at that happy place – there are still many things you can do to help with a good selling season through the end of the year. Here are some ideas:
1. Contact your top customers and see how they are doing. Ask them how you can help them, and if they know of others who need products and services now before it gets more hectic into the last weeks of the year.
2. Call those referrals you’ve accumulated and follow up with them. Let them know you have a production or delivery schedule (if you do) and that you want to give them the opportunity to order while it is feasible to deliver before year end.
3. Know that many companies have year-end money to spend – and budgets to deplete. Don’t hesitate to ask about when their fiscal year ends, and if they are in the situation to spend prior to the end of the year.
4. Don’t think that no one is doing business every business day of the year. I spent several years making calls between Christmas and New Year, reaching many “C” level execs at public companies – much of the idea of sales slowing down IS in our heads… so be smart and work a plan.
5. Print out your Outlook calendar for the rest of this month and all of December. Circle days or blocks of time when you will be spending time with YOUR family, and circle blocks of time when you will be prospecting, following up with referrals, making out holiday cards, printing address labels, and delivering gifts to those top clients who made your year this year.
It’s not too late – take a deep breath and work a plan.