Resist the urge to coast into 2022
If you find yourself easing your foot off the gas right now with the plan of coasting for the rest of the year, you’re probably not alone. It’s nearly December after all, and many people consider this to be a slow time of the year. Your prospects are going to have a reason to delay meeting with you, and your existing customers are going to tell you to reach out next year. It’s easy to get distracted and lose motivation as you start to assess your goal progress. I say that’s a big mistake. In fact, I think December can be a productive and profitable month if you plan it correctly. Here’s how to get the most out of December.
Plan for disruptions
Identify the major disruption in the month of December and plan to engage your prospects and customers in advance of those disruptions. Major disruptions are days when you anticipate shipping delays, when production might be paused, or when there will be customer service delays due to staff taking time off around the holidays. As the sales rep, you know about these delays in advance. None of those will be a surprise for you, but they could be for your customer. Make time to engage with your customer leading up to those dates so that they aren’t blindsided by possible delays. A blindsided customer is left with a bad impression of your service, causing them to delay making a purchase from you or cancelling business altogether. You’ll also want to plan for personal disruptions. If you know you won’t be around in that week between Christmas and the New Year, plan in advance and work twice as hard leading up to that time off. Let your customer know you won’t be around, and tell them how they can get support if they need it.
Use holidays as a reason, not an excuse
The holiday season can be the reason to meet or an excuse not to meet. What’s the difference? When you as the sales rep acknowledge that the holidays are busy and you want to get something on the calendar now, you are using the holidays as a reason to squeeze in a very productive, value-packed meeting. You are showing the prospect that you are a human who is busy and who respects that the prospect is also busy. And for that reason, you are going to make it worth their valuable time to get that meeting in before the new year. Now if you just go in and ask for a meeting, failing to acknowledge that the holidays are a busy time, the prospect will use the holidays as an excuse not to meet. “I’m sorry. I’m so busy right now. I can’t make it work. Reach out to me in the new year and we can set up a meeting.”
Plan and review daily activity targets
This is a simple strategy that people seem to forget about. Because we go into autopilot at the end of the year, many of us tend to abandon practices that have served us well all year. In December, you should continue to plan and assess your activity targets every day. You probably have these in place already because you’ve been using them all year, but even if you don’t, start today. Maybe you need to make 50 cold calls a day. Maybe you need to speak to 15 potential customers every day. Maybe you need to post 3 videos per day. Whatever it is, make sure you’re doing it every day and assessing your productivity every day as well. Part of being productive means holding yourself accountable to what you said you’d do in the beginning of the process. Can I remain productive now even when it would be easy to take a break?
Combining all of these things together will allow you to have a productive and profitable month of December.