Jeb Blount, of Sales Gravy, has written a well-timed blog post that everyone in sales needs to read. Here’s part of it…
For the next month much of the western world will be in full holiday mode and salespeople will be met with this constant and frustrating refrain from prospects – “we’re just going to hold off on doing anything until after the holidays.”
You’ll also be tugged away from sales activity by many pleasing distractions – the perfect excuse to let your guard down and slack off. From now until the first week in January everything in sales tends to get turned upside down.
It’s critical for salespeople to properly manage holidays. Consider that in the U.S., when we include the period between Thanksgiving and New Years Day with Memorial Day, the 4th of July, Labor Day, and the handful of other national celebrations, roughly 20% of the year is impacted by holidays. That is a huge chunk of prime selling time that can only be ignored at your peril.
It’s Harder to Sell During the Holidays
When managed poorly Holidays wreck sales productivity. Customers are on vacation, some businesses shut down completely, prospects put off decisions, and in many cases, with all of the distractions, your head isn’t in the game. During the holidays, more than ever, you must have a concrete plan for sales activity.
The brutal fact is it is harder to sell during the holidays and you basically have two choices: give up and give in or get focused.
In sales, like it or not, activity is everything. If you are not prospecting, questioning, presenting, closing, and taking the actions that move deals through your pipeline you will fail no matter what time of year it is. The challenge you face during the holidays is there is a much higher probability that deals in your pipe will stall and die because your prospects have an easy excuse to procrastinate. Because of this you must be even more focused and on top of your sales pipeline. You’ve got to work harder to keep every deal moving forward. You also need prospect even harder to ensure that your pipe is full of qualified opportunities going into January.
Maintain Activity or Pay the Consequences
During the holidays it is so easy to allow your self-discipline to slip and relax. It’s easy to drift away from your daily sales routine. When you allow this to happen you face peril as your pipeline velocity slows, your closing ratio drops off a cliff, and many of your prospects disappear into a black hole.
Read the rest of Jeb’s blog post here…