2019 is here!
February 2019 is on our doorstep….
My clients are already starting to schedule meetings for January for work set to commence in February NOW. That’s right: in December.
Now some of you reading this will be all over it. You’re way ahead of me. In fact, you were doing this in November!
Overachievers all of you, and I’m sending you the double high five emoji now! But for some of us though, it’s making us a little queasy….December just seemed to arrive…..
Traditionally December and January have been funny months for selling.
Not that long ago, these months were complete write-offs for getting deals across the line, let alone delivering actual work….People seemed to switch into holiday mode early and were out of the office for client lunches, Xmas parties, holidays…The December/January time made many offices look like ghost towns..
Not anymore….well, not as a rule anyway.
In fact, many businesses work right up until Xmas Eve and reopen just after New Year’s Day. Which means first of all, it’s almost business as usual, and second of all that when it coms to these businesses, we begin to run out of excuses for not hitting the ground running in January.
So, if you were in the queasy category, what can you do?
What if you’ve left it a bit late or are looking at a pretty empty opportunity pipeline for the first quarter in 2019?
Here are 3 ideas to action in December to set up your sales year in 2019:
Make a list and check it twice
It’s not just Santa who does this, you can too!
- Write up a list of all of those companies you want to work with in 2019.
- Who do you need to meet with?
- Who do you know who works there who is happy to meet with you to give you some company background and a lay of the land?
- If you don’t know anyone who works there, is there a non-competitive provider you know who works with them?
- Would they be willing to meet with you or speak with you on the phone to give you some insight?
- Book in as many face to face meetings as you can with direct and indirect contacts to make some progress
- Plan what outcomes you want from each meeting and your strategy for that conversation to achieve that.
- Check back after each conversation to see if you made progress
- Plan your next steps
Make Xmas/New Year work for you
- The festive season is a great way to meet with new business opportunities that you haven’t been able to get traction with. Find out if they’re working over this period and if they are, offer to take them for a coffee just to catch up.
- The catch-up is not the time for your notepad: your goal here is to see what’s changed since you last met/spoke, and what their priorities are for 2019.
- Determine where your solution fits in with that and if it’s not in their first or second level of priority, schedule a follow up in a couple of months.
- Keep it relaxed, light and contextual.
Join in the festivities
If you can’t beat them, join them!
- Invite clients to your Xmas party if that is possible. If not, go to them. Invite them for an after work drink, quick lunch, before work breakfast or at the very least a coffee before Xmas to thank them for their business.
- Hand-deliver a card or a present to each client. Please no computer e-cards. Hand write a personal thank you: try to capture in words how much you value them and why you love working with them.
- Spread some genuine Xmas cheer. Treat your clients.
- No agenda other than Xmas. Just because it’s Xmas and you’re grateful.
So, don’t rest.
Plant the seeds now so you can begin to reap the rewards next year. Always work 3-6 months in advance so you have opportunity in the bank while you focus on those ready to convert.
Make 2019 YOUR year.