Are You Open for Business?

Here we are entering the holiday season and I find it fascinating from a business and sales perspective. I hear frequently that “it’s slow out there,” “no one is around,” “not much happens in sales this time of year.” But is that true?

I was recently at an event and a Realtor announced to everyone, “It’s the slow time of year.” Now I’m not naïve enough to think that it doesn’t slow down, however, business is still being conducted. And do I really want to affirm out loud that business is slow? What we focus on expands.

Too many of us view the world as a binary, “either/or” choice meaning it’s either I get to enjoy the holiday season with family and friends or focus on my business. Why not both?

My observation is that the best salespeople- people in general- “zig” when everyone else is “zagging.” Here’s what I mean: while the masses of salespeople have already bought and paid for the excuses listed above, the best salespeople aren’t buying. They’re thinking, “Okay, some potential customers may not be around but there are plenty of people to talk to. Yes, it may be slower, but there’s still business being conducted. “

Most salespeople also buy the “call me after the holidays “excuse. This is a very common brush-off this time of year to get rid of pesky salespeople. Often potential buyers are just being nice when they say this as they haven’t been provided a compelling reason to have a call now or after the holidays. Good salespeople don’t melt when they here this. They dig deeper to see if they can potentially help the buyer or not.

Unfortunately, too many salespeople buy all these excuses and choose not to prospect during the holidays. Not the good ones. They decide (yes, it’s a decision), “I’m going to double down on my prospecting efforts so I have a full pipeline and hit the ground running on January 2nd.  When the other salespeople are just getting back at it, I’ll be writing business.” These salespeople have a written business development plan and time blocked on their calendars to execute it. Do you?

The holidays also provide us opportunities to be around other people. Is your next client standing next to you at your neighbor’s party? Could these people introduce you to the right person? Or, could you help them in some way?  Engage in friendly conversations, be curious about the other person and what they do. You never know when and where you might have a game changing conversation.

Decide that you can enjoy the holiday season with family and friends AND be open for business.