Once Thanksgiving rolls around, many of us sales people feel fat and happy, and decide to pull off the throttle and take some down time. After all, nobody really wants to talk to sales people, make decisions, or think about expenditures. Right?
The little known secret is that the holiday season is a fantastic time to assemble a powerful framework that builds your business, and sets you up for a great first quarter. Why?
Less busy. With many projects wrapping up at the end of the year, and management possibly taking vacation time, decision makers are more inclined to chat, hop on webinars, or attend association luncheons.
In good humor. The holidays are around the corner! Your targets should be in good, jovial moods. This makes it easier to reach them and get appointments.
Instead of sleeping in and eating turkey leftovers in your pajamas, get in gear and use the holiday season to build more connections. Here are six ways to do it.
#1: Attend holiday luncheons.
Take advantage of your light schedule and say yes to networking luncheons, association meetings, or any other networking event where potential clients might make an appearance. If it's packed, you can connect with several people, and lock in some appointments for January. Even a small event can bring great rewards, especially if your competition is taking the month off. You will have those prospects all to yourself!
#2: Drop by a holiday gift.
The holiday season allows a bit of leeway in professionalism. Why not take a snowman cake, or decorated cupcakes to a person you would like to meet. Make up a funny card or a catchy jingle to go along with it. Humor tends to be more welcome during the holidays than any other time. A bit of effort just may get them to take your next call or your answer your email.
#3: Offer to donate.
The holidays are a time for giving, and decision makers appreciate generosity. Compose an email telling them your company has authorized a program to donate to a charity of their choice, and ask them to let you tell them about it. Talk to them and then make a donation to their charity. It's a wonderful way to make a connection, and a positive difference.
#4: Work on your LinkedIn efforts.
Social selling is a powerful tool that can supercharge your sales efforts. Unfortunately, a million other tasks drag you away from committing proper time to it. This holiday season, spend some quality time with your profile. Re-vamp your job description, add experience, an updated picture, and any other valuable information about yourself. Then, go hunting and forge some new connections. It will shock you how many of your leads who will barely answer your emails will freely connect with you on LinkedIn.
#5: Throw a party.
Why not talk your company into an open house, or meet-and-greet? Have it at a restaurant, or at the headquarters, if there is room. Invite your good customers and ask them to bring referrals. Offer finger foods and drinks, and have music. There's nothing like a fun soirée to help make friendly connections that can turn into business relationships.
#6: Schedule a training.
December is a fantastic time to participate in sales training. Getting motivated and learning new ways of connecting with clients sets you up to crush the coming year's sales goals. Talk to your manager about setting up sales training for all the sales people. Next year is sure to benefit from it!
While it's tempting to relax during the holiday season, keep your foot on the gas into January. Let your competitors lie around and drink eggnog—you have work to do. By employing these tips, you will build more connections, gain access to a greater number of buyers, and leverage next year's sales strategy to be the most profitable, productive one yet!