holiday selling and prospecting

Prospecting and the Holidays

There is a huge misconception that business stops during the holidays.
We see it every year around this time. Our clients and potential clients start to reach out with their concerns and questions about the holidays.

“Is it a bad time to call?”
“Are decision-makers answering their phones?”
“What do you think about budgets at the end of the year? Are people buying?”

Our answers usually sound something like this:

Despite the chaos surrounding the holidays, there are still plenty of reasons the end of the year can be a great time to make calls and close deals.

We really want to avoid the days right at Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Years, but all other days are generally good, if not GREAT to call.

Take a look at our holiday data from October 2020 and December 2019. (We call on over 50 diverse industries!)

Pay attention to the last 3 metrics and you’ll notice that our results were actually as good, if not better than, the last month of the year!

So, while there may be a small influx of “out of the office” responses, that doesn’t mean you should give up on your prospecting strategy.

In fact, the holidays can actually provide an effective shortcut for those who have a detailed strategy in place. So, stop paying attention to all the misconceptions that can steer your business in the wrong direction and take a look at these holiday prospecting facts.

Myth: Prospecting Around The Holidays Is a Waste of Time and Energy

Fact: You Should Never Stop Prospecting

2020 has been full of ups and downs, the one thing that should remain consistent is your selling goals.

Jeb Blount puts it best, “In sales, like it or not, activity is everything. If you are not prospecting, questioning, presenting, and closing you will fail – no matter what time of year it is.” He argues that we all have a tendency to allow disruption during the holidays – an illogical excuse – to not put in the effort.

When you stop prospecting, everything takes a hit, not just your closing ratio in December. A loss in your pipeline means fewer sales, lost revenue, and MORE work to do after the holidays. You work too hard all year to lose long-term momentum, which can have a major impact on stress levels and future income. Keep the sales pipeline full – SELL!

Myth: No One Will Purchase Right Now

Fact: People Are Looking To Spend End-of-the-Year Budgets & More

The holidays generally represent a closing of the fiscal year for most of your customers. This is the time of year when companies are looking to expense write-offs and use leftover money in their budgets to get things they want and need.

Your B2B customers are looking to get the most with their end-of-the-year budgets.

Use this to your advantage! Get creative with your touchpoints and interactions. Ask questions about their upcoming goals and tailor your pitch accordingly. The more you find out about their needs, wants, and budgets – the more you can offer.

Myth: Everyone is Out of The Office, Not Making Deals

Fact: More Decision-Makers Are Near Their Phones

Sure, there are many people who work shorter hours during the holiday season. However, research shows gatekeepers are far more likely to be away from their desks or not answering the phones. This is not typically true for decision-makers.

Use this time wisely. Assess your overall prospecting strategy, determine your decision-makers, and use the holidays as a creative opportunity to make deeper, more meaningful connections with them.

With less on their schedule and possibly working from home, decision-makers tend to be more relaxed this time of year, making them more willing to review your information and hear you out.

Remember: The human-to-human connection and 1-on-1 conversations will always reign supreme.

Myth: It’s The Worst Time of The Year to Prospect

Fact: Holiday Cheer Makes People More Friendly

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right? When making your end of the year calls, use the holidays to warm-up conversations. Strive to put that holiday cheer into your voice!

You may want to avoid mentioning a specific holiday to prevent alienating your audience, but your voice should reflect the spirit of the season and is a great way to start conversations in a positive light.

Myth: I’m Competing For Their Time

Fact: Your Competition is Out of the Office

With all of these misconceptions, it can be difficult to find the willpower to keep making those phone calls. This creates a massive opportunity for the strategic few, who recognize their competitors are off the ball. Some sales and marketing gurus believe that the customers you acquire during the holidays may even bring in more profits than usual.

So, start planning and get ahead of the competition. Demonstrate that you and your company provide more value than the rest by being available and communicating all year round!

Ultimately, good prospecting means not taking days off.
But in this ultra-competitive environment, your aim should be to work smarter, not harder.

And prospecting during holidays, it turns out, is definitely the smart move.

Read Ryan’s latest blog on Industry Standards for a more in-depth look at our appointment setting and cold call results data.

Download our Q1 2020 industry report here

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