2016, It’s almost a wrap!

The holidays are upon us. There is still so much to do in these last days. In spite things being hectic, some say it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

But it can be a challenging time of year to stay focused on the job at hand. A lot of people… and companies for that matter…tend to “check out” in December, and the all too familiar “Call me after the New Year,” becomes the objection of choice.

Knowing you’re not one to “check out” when there is work to be done, how do you make the most of your time during the holiday season?

Here are some ideas for you:

1. Take time to visit your customers.
Notice this heads the list. A yearly customer review goes a long way in showing your customers they’re important to you and you’re willing to work with them as their needs change. Find out their goals for the coming year. Do you know how business was for them in 2016? How will you help them achieve their goals in 2017?

2. Take time to THANK your customers.
When was the last time you sent a hand written, hand-addressed thank you card to your contact…and to the president of the company? People like to be recognized and thanked. Either take the time to thank then in person or send a personal note — the good ‘ole fashioned way — not by email!

3. Take time to take stock.
Step back and analyze your year. Figure out what you did well, and what you can improve on for next year. Really analyze your numbers. On average, how many dials did it take you to get a contact? On average, how many contacts did it take you to set an appointment? What was your conversion ratio of First Appointments to Closed Sales? Is this ratio going to work for 2017? If not, what are you going to do differently to make an impact on your numbers? Make a contract with yourself (call it a New year’s resolution if you like) and stick to it.

4. Take time to refine your prospecting approach.
What industries have you had the most success with this year? Do you have reference letters to support this success? Why not ask for them? Based on your 2016 successes, what new prospects do you want to target in the new year? Check out the HERB (Highest Executive Responsible for Buying) you will contact. What is your backup plan if HERB is not accessible? Plan to aim higher and wider in the organization than you have in the past.

5. Take time to organize and regroup.
Do filing, catch up on correspondence, and so on. You really are most effective when you’re organized. Also, think technology, efficiency and increased productivity. Is there new technology out there that could make you better at your job? Do some research on the latest and greatest. It could be time and money well spent.

So enjoy this festive time of year but don’t check out of 2016 until it’s officially over. Have a strong end of the year and a great start to the new one. Happy selling, Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays to you!