It’s been a busy couple of weeks with travel and the upcoming holidays, so last week’s blog never got published. But here it is, a guest blog and outstanding sales article by Mark Hunter, The Sales Hunter. It’s about prospecting in November and December, and why it’s easier than you think.
If you’re in business you know how important sales and a marketing plan are, and how they work together. You need sales to keep your pipeline full of ideal customers and marketing to get their attention. We won’t even talk about adding PR training to the mix (yet).
Bottom Line: A Targeted Sales Approach + Strategic Marketing = Healthy Business
I hope you enjoy 10 Prospecting Hacks for November and December. Join me in thanking Mark Hunter, this week’s guest blogger, for sharing.
“Can you still prospect in the months of November and December?
Yes, you can.
Putting in the effort now boosts your fourth quarter, while simultaneously setting up the new year for success. Let’s walk through 10 strategies and approaches that you can use to prospect during Q4.
1. Thanksgiving week
Believe it or not, it’s a great week to prospect. Why? Because so many people are on a different schedule. There are a lot of people off. I get it. That means meetings that normally occur don’t happen. So, I can make phone calls on Thanksgiving week and I can have conversations with people that I don’t normally have the ability to reach. They answer the phone because they’re willing to talk, willing to have a conversation.
This is especially true for higher up people that you don’t normally have a chance to reach.
2. Holiday hours
If you are in any kind of a business that’s a supply business, you can call a prospect and say, “Hey, I want to let you be aware that we’re going to be open X day, X time.”
You communicate with prospects because they may be buying from a different supplier (and they’re going to be closed!) Cha-ching. It’s an easy way for you to pick up additional business.
3. Thank you calls
You may send out holiday cards, you may send out Christmas gifts, whatever it is. But what I love doing is picking up the phone and calling people and saying thank you. I do this with existing customers, people who perhaps used to do business with me or people I just know.
It creates conversation, and from that–opportunities. Prospecting is all about creating opportunities!
4. The personal touch
Let’s say you see somebody make a comment somewhere, perhaps LinkedIn. Well, you add a personal touch, you add a personal comment back.
People’s mindsets shift during November and December and they’re far more open to personal conversations. Take advantage of it.
5. December holidays.
The last two weeks of the year are always weird. This year for instance, Christmas and New Year’s each fall on a Sunday. So, the holidays are going to bleed into Mondays. It’s going to mean a lot of disrupted weeks.
Just like Thanksgiving week, it’s an excellent time to be making calls. Yes, a lot of people are out, but there will be people you do get a hold of. What a way to jumpstart the first quarter! While most people are just starting to get going, you’ve already got meetings on the calendar.
6. Speed meetings
Q4 is not the time to say, “Hey, what’s your calendar look like a couple weeks from now?” Speed meetings are, “Hey, have you got 15 minutes tomorrow?” Think 15 minutes this afternoon, or 20 minutes now.
What you don’t want them to say is, “Why don’t we just touch base after the first year.”
7. Reach out to old customers
Old customers may be buying from somebody else and then suddenly they need you. Yes, even that is prospecting because I’m creating opportunities!
You won’t know unless you contact them.
8. Lost deals
You may have had an unbelievable opportunity in the first quarter that you didn’t get and went to somebody else. Call that customer up. “Hey, how’s that working out for you? I want to find out because we are here to help you.”
It’s amazing how much business you can pick up which isn’t involved in that other contract.
9. Lost customers
They left you because they weren’t happy. Don’t think for a moment that you can’t reach back out to them. In fact, you need to, because the end of the year is the best time of year.
People begin to evaluate. Imagine hearing, “Yeah, you’re right. We left you guys. We weren’t happy with you, but we went over here. You know what? They’re not any good at all. We need to talk.”
Year end is a great time to pick up lost customers.
10. Break the Routine
Do things differently.
Now, I’m all about having a schedule and staying focused, but never hesitate to break the routine this time of year.
That means I may be making calls Friday afternoon, or at eight o’clock in the morning. I’m going to break the routine in how I reach out to people because again, schedules change. Be prepared for that.”
This content was generously shared from Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of A Mind for Sales and High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.