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Successful Prospecting During Holiday Months.

Holiday season, tax season, vacation months are tough on sales professionals. Decision makers are more interested in their plans and monetary obligations. “Let’s revisit this solution after the holidays – tax season – vacation” is their mantra. What I have found, however, is that this can be a great time to prospect… with a strategy. Here are six fresh ideas that can help you with successful prospecting during any distracting season or holiday.

 


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Six Fresh Ideas for Successful Holiday Prospecting

1.) When visiting family/friends during the holiday and/or vacation months… Ask them to help you out – Don’t sell to them! You want to get invited back to family/friend gatherings right? Anyways… Offering business cards for them to hand out to those that might benefit from your offering works well. Try it… you’ll be amazed of how many sales referrals you will get with no pressure.

“The only people who aren’t involved in network marketing are people who don’t understand it.” – Mark Segars, Network Marketer

2.) Reaching a decision-maker can increase during a holiday or any vacation season. Gatekeepers are on vacation many times with managers and owners filling in. A great and easier time to contact them. Another tip that has worked for me is arriving around closing time. Typically the only person still there is the owner and/or manager.

3.) It’s cold/hot outside and you don’t want to foot-blitz etc… Great! Telemarket! You need a fresh approach however when cold-calling during the seasons. Here’s an example.

Sales Prospecting Script – Lead Gathering

    Opening:
    Hi (CONTACT) – This is (YOUR NAME)… I just wanted to touch base and wish you a (GREETING). How’s the (INFORMATION RESEARCHED ON CONTACT) coming along? Have a nice chat, then continue with this…

    Lead gathering:
    Do you know anybody thinking of buying (PRODUCT)?

    The offer:
    The holidays/vacation are a time when many people put these things on hold. We find this a great time to make contacts and offers. With that in mind we have (SPECIAL OFFER).

    OR

    Tax time is typically a stressful time… Did you know there is a special (TAX OFFER) tax savings by buying now!

    Lead gathering:
    Just keep me in mind would you? And give me a call if you hear of anybody who could benefit from our offer (or tax savings)! (WELL WISH).

4.) Help potential customers with new year’s resolutions. Get creative about what kinds of tips, services, products, and programs you can offer to help people meet their resolution goals. Great ice breaker would be… “What resolutions has your company made that I could help with?” or “Did you know that if we plan now most of this purchase could be written off your tax debt?”

“Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department.” – David Packard

5.) Re-ignite old networking relationships and recognize the ones that have been fruitful. The holiday/vacation season makes it easy and fairly inexpensive to meet and align good cross-reference goals. While I am not a huge fan of gift giving here are some examples of gifts that could work during these times…

    Movie passes.
    Mugs, pens, notepads and/or other office paraphernalia with your business logo.
    Gift certificates for lunch at your referral sources favorite restaurant.

6.) Plan, Plan, and Plan. It is extremely easy to let time get away during any holiday – vacation – tax season month. It is critical that you make sure your calendar is full of daily prospecting, lead generation, information gathering, presentations, demos, and closing meetings early on. Take into account all of your activities and build them into your schedule. Do this early and stick to it. Otherwise you’ll find your pipeline looking pretty bleak.

These are just a few of the creative ideas that could be had for successful prospecting during the distracting vacation – tax – holiday months… Maybe you have some that you would like to share?

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Chris Lott is a business solutions consultant with over 10 year’s sales management experience including business ownership, product management and marketing. He also owns and contributes to SalesBlog! and totallysales.

 

4 thoughts on “Successful Prospecting During Holiday Months.

  1. I feel it helps to really get to know your clients, especially when THEIR downtime begins. Forewarned is forearmed. In that way you won’t be seen as butting in on their time. A friendly reminder of your products/services and the benefits helps to stick out in their minds. Thank you for the article (especially the tip on the business cards…live and learn 🙂 ).
    Richard Benchimol
    Leads Indeed-www.leadsindeed.com

  2. EXCELLENT!!

    After a 30 year career in Retail Industry, most retail companies realize upwards of 40% of their total year’s sales volume in just 8 weeks!! From ‘Black Friday’ (the day after Thanksgiving through the first two weeks of January!! Mor advertising, etc.. Our business in the Direct Sales and Netwaork Marketing Industry is no different. TAKE ACTION NOW!!!

  3. In real estate, many agents expect a “dead time” between Thanksgiving and New Years.

    I contend that the reason for that is that they simply quit marketing! In fact, I wrote an Active Rain post about it: http://tinyurl.com/7l2z628

    Real estate buyers who take time out from the holidays to shop are serious… agents shouldn’t ignore them!

  4. December is normally my best month for sales. This is solely a result of preparation throughout the rest of the year. In some cases where I receive substantial resistance to a full blown, fact finding meeting or presentation format earlier in the year I suggest that their Holiday season might not be as busy and we can meet for a longer interview at that time. Oftentimes I receive permission to do that and then I follow up with reminders of what I need to have from them to prepare for this. If I’ve been persistent, thorough and professional it usually comes together.

    Earlier in the year while making prospecting calls face to face or even when I’m doing a fact-finding interview I ask when the fiscal year end is for that particular business. In some cases, particularly large businesses or government entities they either spend the money they have budgeted or lose it. Not wanting to see the budget reduced going forward they will spend, spend, spend. Yes, even in this economy. Often, the year end is also the end of the fiscal year. Because of my past professional involvement I know that many tax-planning decisions need to be followed through with or funded at this time. I operate on the assumption that the business owner needs my product more than he needs a higher tax bill.

    I make calls on reluctant prospects or even new ones that I’ve had difficulty obtaining an appointment from and bring a dozen home-made cookies, large ones usually chocolate chip and/or oatmeal rasin. Gatekeepers, usually women, cannot resist fresh baked cookies and will open up more than any other time I may have visited. I visit clients in the same fashion and obtain additional referrals this way. Trust me when I say this approach makes me “welcome” even in the future. And yes, I bake the cookies myself.

    This one may sound wierd but in December you often can easily discover (from a sign on the wall or something) when the office lunch or informal Christmas party might be. Stop by then with your cookies and you’ll become part of the festivities and can meet virtually anyone in that business that you wish on a no pressure basis. Business owners who you haven’t even met yet will assume that you are already part of their “family” and will invite you to return to discuss business.

    Nuff said. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

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