Making the Holiday Lulls work for You

‘Tis the season to be jolly. Unfortunately, the season can also mean a lull in sales, making holiday cheer harder to come by for sales professionals.

With so much activity going on around us—businesses wrapping up their year, decision-makers taking extended time off, attention focused on holiday parties and gift-buying—how can we make sure that the holidays bring tidings of financial joy to our companies and ourselves?

In thinking about the sales challenge the holidays can present, I’ve come up with a few helpful suggestions as to how you and your sales team can keep up your momentum into 2009.

The holidays can make it difficult to get face time with clients, but they are a great time to build or reinforce relationships with them. Send a gift basket, or even just a holiday card. Not only will they appreciate the thought, but it is a great way to get your name in front of the customer one last time before the New Year.

Speaking of the New Year, use this slow time to introduce to clients the new things you’ll be launching in 2009, such as new programs, pricing, strategies or products. Building up excitement for your company will surely start 2009 off the right way.

Focus on team building. Lead your team in an evaluation session where you examine the best and worst practices of 2008, and allow only the best to see the New Year. Look ahead to the opportunities 2009 presents and, as a team, plan the best way to achieve company goals. Use this time to strengthen the team. Continue to sell for 2008, but plan ahead to make 2009 even better.

When in doubt, most will agree that a holiday bonus is sure to motivate your team to sell hard. That, combined with special discounts for your clients, has the potential to give your company and your team a little end-of-year sales boost.