This is the time of year when most salespeople start to wind down in anticipation of the holidays. It is almost like we go into hibernation mode until the beginning of next year. Well, I’m here to say “DON’T DO IT!” Don’t think there is nothing left to do. Instead, put the pedal to the metal and accelerate for 2016!
This is the prime time to get a head start for next year. I am not saying you shouldn’t take time to celebrate the holidays and enjoy yourself…that’s important…but let’s not get all caught up in the hot totties and festivities without thinking about January. This is a great time of year, not only to reflect on 2015, but also to envision how you are going to shape 2016 into the year you want it to be.
Here are some tips on things you can do in lieu of crawling into a hollow log or a dark cave and going to sleep:
1. Take a look at your 2015 results.
Questions to consider:
- What were your results and how close were they to your original goals starting 2015?
- If this year is not ending the way you expected it to, what would you do differently to get a better result?
- In hindsight, what could have been prevented?
- If this was a great year, what made it great?
- What were the things you did that made a difference in your results?
Great sales professionals are conscious components and they know why the year was great, so that it can be duplicated. Take note so you can repeat your success in 2016.
2. Take a hard look at your sales pipeline.
Questions to consider:
- Are there areas that need improvement that you can work on now to make a difference in your first quarter?
- What strategies can you put in place to make sure you stay on target for the year?
- Is the front end of your pipeline full enough to kick start you in January?
Many of us suffer the first couple of months of the new calendar year because our level of activity in November and December is lower than what it needs to be to have strong results in January and February. Don’t fall into that trap.
3. Clean out your database!
How much junk do you have in your database that you know is a waste of space? If you haven’t contacted a company or prospect in a year or two, maybe you have to dump it or look for a new angle to gain the competitive edge to get activity going within that account or prospect. Don’t keep things that are dead in the database. It doesn’t do you or anyone else any good. Your database is only as good as the information you put in it. Think of it this way — if Santa’s sleigh hit you today and someone looked at the information in your database, would it be valuable and make sense to them?
Organize your filing system too. If it does not work as a quick “finding system,” make changes to make your time more efficient in the New Year.
4. Create your target lists.
This is the time to do some homework. Decide on the top five, ten or twenty accounts you want to go after and create a game plan. This includes finding the right people to contact, gaining phone numbers and emails, doing your due diligence to understand what the organization does, and coming up with a plan A and possibly plan B if you cannot get to the ultimate decision maker. Start creating that game plan and process now instead of waiting till the first of the year.
5. Get on the phone!
This is a great time to set appointments. Many decision makers have open spaces in their calendars during this time of year. If they are not seeing people until after the first of the year, be the first person they meet with in 2016! Average salespeople avoid setting up meetings at this time of year, which means exceptional salespeople get appointments before anyone else. We’ve all heard the saying “The early bird gets the worm!” Be that early bird.
Sometimes we need to do things differently in order to get on the fast track to improved results. Start to accelerate now and make 2016 the best year ever!
Wishing all of you a very happy and prosperous holiday season!