It seems to me that the holiday season has begun a little earlier than in years past, which, considering the world of retail and the current economy, isn’t so strange. And don’t be surprised if you soon see companies start the holiday advertising cheer right after Columbus Day. The mentality: the more calendar days to milk, the better.
I know salespeople who use other terms for this time of year, R-rated words I cannot print in this space. Many of these B2B folks have difficulty closing during this time. They have to battle with a client who is barely in the office, or has no budget, or is waiting for his budget to be finalized, or is distracted with thoughts like “Let’s just sit tight and ride this year out and begin 2010 fresh.” In other words, for the client, the year is over. Finito.
This, of course, is not the case for everyone (Halleluiah!). There are people who are battling long hours every day—selling and buying—right until the end of the year. But there are many salespeople who are going to run into typical holiday objections.
“Oh, we’re going to take a ‘wait-and-see’ approach. Call me the first of the year.”
“It’s just crazy here!” Not really. “With the holidays coming up and … ” Yeah, right.
These folks have mentally checked out. For them it’s the last day of school before summer—their minds are elsewhere?—and nothing gets accomplished. Move on. Stay clear away from these amateurs.
But there is, however, an upside to the “Silly Season.” People for the most part are in great moods. They’re loose. They see office parties in their future, more baked goods filling the office, and who’s that guy in the white beard and red suit? Oh, it’s Saint Nick! So early? Yeah, why not? Office moral is low.
This is an ideal time to prospect, to look back and see what worked and what didn’t. Look back, but go on the attack. Reach out to new prospects, not the same ones you’ve been pitching for months now. These brand new leads may turn to deals in the New Year, which isn’t that far away to begin with. You may discover that people are more patient during this festive period, more willing to learn about your company and product. Take advantage of this opportunity and go after new leads.
Finding that common bond with the prospect—which is difficult to do sometimes—just got a whole lot easier. Remember, this is the “Silly Season.” Talk about upcoming vacations, business plans for 2010, the best movie of the decade, Christmas shopping.
And, depending on the prospect, you may want to talk about how nothing seems to get done during this time of year.
And the prospect may agree with you. And he may just buy.