It’s that time of the year again. The selling year is almost over and the end of the year push is on! Pull out a calendar. When you take out the holidays, there are less than 30 selling days left in the year. That is not a lot of time left to secure your annual bonus!
The key at this time of the year is to ensure you have enough prospects on the go to produce the sales needed for you to finish the year at plan. Are you on track? Don’t kid yourself. When the December holiday season rolls around and people start taking their vacations, not every prospect you think will close will before the end of the year.
As such, as a sales person, you need to know where to focus your time and efforts. You need to ensure that you know the timing of the sale for each company on your hot prospect list. Essentially, you must separate what will close now, and what will close next year.
Ask your prospects if they are planning to implement the solution now or in the New Year. If it’s not going to happen until the next year, put it in your follow up file and move on. If they tell you it’s now, however, you should focus on nothing else other than whatever it takes to complete that sale.
If the customer needs to see an equipment demonstration, phone them today and schedule the demonstration. If you must revise your quote, calculate your new pricing immediately, and present it to the prospect tomorrow. If the prospect asked you a specification question, find the answer. Review each company on your hot prospect list, realistically determine the next step to the sale, and then complete it as quickly as possible.
Implementation schedules also affect your year end results. For example, if your product has a two week delivery time frame, and your customer wants to up and running before December 15, you need toget your contracts signed by December 1. Does your prospect know this? If not, you need to tell him.
It’s typical in sales to have an increased sense of urgency when it gets close to the end of the selling cycle. On the last day of the month, we all get that “whatever it takes” mentality. This takes on a whole new meaning at the end of the year. November and December should be treated as one long month. Always ask yourself, “Is this going to happen before the end of the year, and if so, what can I do to move this sale forward today?” If something can be done, do it now.
Remember, with the holiday season, business virtually shuts down around December 22, not on December 31. Each day between now and then should be considered “the last day of the month”.
Now focus, and go out and finish your year off strong!
For more information on controlling the time frame of the sale as well as the right questions to close the sale, check out my book, Action Plan For Sales Success.
Do you want to make more money in sales? For less than an average dinner out, you can consult with the B2B Sales Coach every day and receive the personal direction you need.
Susan A. Enns, B2B Sales Connections