The Christmas period is fast approaching, and for many salespeople, that is met with doom and gloom. Deals often get put on hold, contacts take time off over the Christmas break, and December is a short month so more to do in fewer business days. Plus, it’s inevitable that a percentage of deals that would close in December, and get moved to January, will not close.
Unfortunately, Christmas becomes a fob-off objection which you need to see past and question the same things regardless. It’s an easy out for prospects but it shouldn’t be.
With excellent organisation and follow-up, Christmas doesn’t need to be a time of sales misery. Here are a few process tips to make this Christmas period one of the best yet.
Always confirm next steps: Never leave a conversation with no next steps in place. It’s vital for both yourself and the prospect to know the timeline of the process, and for you to understand the specific people and dates involved. Not knowing this information delays deals.
Focus on micro-commitments: Because prospects are often unwilling to make big commitments over the Christmas period, focus on small wins that keep the balling moving forward. That could be a free trial, or a trial review, or a pricing discussion. Regardless, micro-commitments progress the deal without giving the prospect the chance to slam on the breaks.
Include Christmas as part of the timeline: Be mindful that Christmas can be a slower period. Don’t let it be a throwaway question. Rather, make it part of a more detailed discussion over the timeline.
Over-compensate for January: If deals going on hold is an issue, fill your pipeline by booking loads of meetings in for January. Good salespeople do that but sometimes accept prospects delaying meetings until January. But great salespeople know that squeezing in as many meetings as possible in December will save them a headache at the start of the year.
Follow up properly before clocking out: Especially if you’re taking time off over Christmas, don’t forget to prepare properly. Chase up all accepted meeting invites for January, send a reconfirmation email to every January meeting, write a to-do list for when you get back in January, schedule call-back time with any prospect who was busy in December, and connect with prospects on LinkedIn.
Set realistic expectations: The difficulty in selling over the Christmas period can actually be overselling. If you oversell and put pressure on a prospect, then you risk the prospect accepting the next steps just to get you off their back, when they have no intention of actually attending the meeting, or simply putting them off forever. Part of the art of successful Christmas selling is working Christmas into the timeline, understanding their position on the holidays, breaking the conversation down into manageable micro-steps and coming up with a realistic timeline, with the prospect.
Starting 2022 with a bang
Following these tips will help you stay on top of your leads and make sure December and January don’t fall behind. Remember, even if the worst-case scenario is you get something booked in for early January, you’ll still be ahead of the salespeople who turn up at the start of the year with nothing active in the works and a lot of work to do.