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A Great Selling Month Can Be a Matter of Perception

A Great Selling Month Can Be a Matter of Perception

Keith Rosen, MCC

Ahh, the holidays. A time for festivities. A time for vacation. A time for family. A time to relax, enjoy and reflect upon the year and your accomplishments. It is also a time when many businesses prepare for slow sales and a fall in performance and production. This is the time of the year when sales and appointments slow down and more work must be done to generate the next sale. After all, your customers are more focused on preparing for the holidays, right? Sales quotas are compromised and expectations of strong sales are lowered.

Many sales professionals, managers and business owners anticipate a slow December by budgeting and preparing their staff for the inevitable. It seems as if everyone in the business community not only plans for this but accepts the notion that sales will be slow; period.

I recently spoke with several managers in different industries and heard things like:

1. I tell my sales staff to see what they can generate within the first two weeks, since it is a short month anyway.

2. People are busy preparing for the holidays and don’t want to be bothered with any type of purchasing decision.

3. People want to wait until the New Year before making their purchases.

4. The leads are going to slow down since many people go on vacation.

5. It is just “that time of the year.”

6. The only money people are looking to spend is on gifts for the holidays.

Everyone seems comfortable accepting the notion that sales will always be slow in December. Some companies even close up their doors for a few weeks. “Hey that’s just how it is. It’s this way every year.”

Does it really have to be this way? Consider for a moment that business owners, managers and sales professionals, actually created this obstacle or objection themselves! When did you decide that every December would bring about the same old thing? Many organizations have been saying this for so long that they have conditioned themselves for this to be the only truth.

If you are a manager or business owner, what message are you sending to your staff? The philosophies and expectations of performance will always start from the top and flow downward. If the managers are expecting a slow month, you can imagine the results you are going to get from your staff. By informing your staff that they have to work twice as hard to compensate for the slow month may actually be setting them up for failure. This way, when they have a bad month, you have already given them the out to justify why their sales are slow. You are helping them validate their poor performance.

I remember a few years back hiring a salesperson during the month of November. Sure, I could have done what I did in the past by preparing him for a slow December, informing him about this imminently slow time of the year. Instead, I tried something different. We sat down and discussed why December is a great month for selling. This is what we came up with.