Sales Tips: A Critical December Tactic

By Gary Walker, EVP of Channel Sales & Operations, CustomerCentric Selling® – The Sales Training Company

By Gary Walker, EVP of Channel Sales & Operations, CustomerCentric Selling® – The Sales Training Company

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles,

December Action Plan for Year-endThe selling year is coming to an end for both you and your prospects. Are you prepared? Do you have a plan in place to maximize your use of the next fifteen (15) business days, such as:

  • Reduced selling time.
  • Limited availability to decision makers due to the Christmas holidays.
  • Pressure for excessive fourth quarter discounts by prospects, etc.? 

Here is what I’m suggesting you do immediately after you read this email. Pay attention to all of the dates I’m suggesting. They are critical.

1. First, send an email to all C (Champion) prospects, followed by a personal phone call, advising them that this is a critical three weeks and ask them if it is their intention to make a selection decision by the end of December. Explain to them that with the reduced amount of time, holidays, etc., that you would like to focus your energies and your company’s resources to provide them with the information they need to make an informed purchase decision by December 21st.

This is your opportunity to find out who is real and who is or not. Why submit what could turn out to be an embarrassing sales forecast? You want to spend this limited time working with the prospects that are real.

2. Second, if it is not their intent to purchase:

  • Document and confirm your understanding of that decision via email.
  • Let them know you will contact them after the first of the year.
  • Invite them to re-engage if anything should change between now and the first of the year.

3. Third, if it is their intention to purchase this year, ask them how they would like to complete their evaluation. Introduce an abbreviated Sequence of Events (SOE) as a way to accomplish what needs to be done before December 21st. If they want to know why you are pushing for December 21st, explain to them that it has been your experience that the people who are required to approve purchases/subscriptions like yours often leave for the holiday; you want those people to act before they leave for the holiday.

The final evaluation step in any mutually agreed-to Sequence of Events should be scheduled for the week of December 18th. After Friday the 23rd you’ll find that many decision makers are gone for the holiday. You’ll have potentially missed the opportunity to close this business by the year-end.  You’ve given yourself an additional precarious few days if something slips.

If there is any question regarding anything I’m suggesting, consult with your manager.

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