Do you have a sales strategy for Q3, your Christmas Quarter? With just under 11 weeks until the great NZ Christmas shut-down, business leaders need to have both short-term and long-term sales strategies. What’s your plan to grow sales and make the most of any seasonal opportunities?
Here’s a handy Christmas sales strategy checklist to help you and your business get the most from the fast-approaching festive season:
One – Check your Sales Pipeline for consistency of data
Here at Magnify, we talk a lot about your sales pipeline. Just like the digestive system, a functioning sales pipeline is critical for ongoing sales growth, and accurate sales forecasting. Make sure your whole team are entering all their data, and especially that they are using your agreed company data rules. This will make it easier to search for specific insights and results that you can use to help power better business growth decisions.
Two – Your Christmas sales strategy means preparing a sales forecast for the next six months
With so many holidays coming up, it’s critical that you establish expected sales and cashflow levels to get your business through the next two quarters. Just in case you hadn’t realised, we’re about to break the public holiday drought from Queen’s Birthday weekend (Monday 03 June) with Labour Day on Monday 28 October, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and then more regional anniversary holidays in January.
Now that you’ve checked your sales pipeline for consistency of data and you’re comfortable that it’s as accurate as it can be, you’re ready to do a sales forecast for the next six months.
- Sales that will be confirmed and paid for this side of Christmas
- Sales that will be confirmed this side of Christmas, with ongoing work through December and January
- Sales that will be confirmed this side of Christmas, with work booked to start mid to end January
If you can only see sales that will be confirmed and paid for this side of Christmas, and the others are either minimal or else missing altogether, you could potentially be facing a sales dip somewhere during the next six months. Doing your sales forecast now will help you to anticipate any sales dips and take decisive sales actions to create the workflow that you’d like to see in your business.
Three – Create a sales strategy for each of the three key types of sales
This is challenging for many business owners and business leaders. If you’re like most people we encounter, you’re already busy, with your head down – frantically trying to get as much as possible done before December arrives.
Book out a three-hour block in your team’s calendar right now. Order muffins and coffee, sushi and spirulina or pizza and beer. Whatever works to get your creative business development juices flowing – start brainstorming together how you’ll ensure good sales consistency over the next six months. How will you juggle the short-term sales needs while still ensuring you’re thinking about February 2020? Now is the time to work together to create three mini-sales strategies to keep sales momentum going for your business.
Four – Share the sales workload
There’s a lot to do, if you’re going to execute successfully on three mini sales strategies. If you’ve got a team, share out the jobs, making sure that you factor in annual leave.
If you’re low on team members or simply lack the sales resources carry out all those great sales actions you’ve now identified and prioritised – think about outsourcing all or part of your sales function to make sure you give your business the best opportunity for sales success over the upcoming holiday season.
Five – Revisit your ideal client profile
Check that everyone involved in sales knows the full details of your ideal client profile. Remember that your ideal client is that perfect client who has the perfect amount of need, the perfect amount of budget and the perfect timeframe and decision-making power to make a purchasing decision with your business.
When you’re allocating your most precious resource of all – time – focusing your sales efforts on those potential clients who most closely fit your ideal client profile will be more likely to result in the kind of sales you need to sustain your business in both the short and long term.
Six – Go back to your ideal clients with something special
What can you do to show your ideal clients that you care, and that you’re willing to do your part to help build that positive and profitable client relationship?
Did any of your ideal clients ‘go cold’ at some point in your follow up?
Do you know why they didn’t buy from you? It could be time for a coffee catch up, to see how they’re doing and check where things are at for them.
Was your price too high? If you don’t want to move on price (Magnify always recommends you demonstrate value rather than drop your price), how can you make your business more appealing to your ideal clients?
There are lots of ways to make clients feel valued without breaking the bank.
- Can you offer them more favourable payment terms?
- Would they appreciate a mention in your client newsletter?
- Is there a business you know who they might appreciate being introduced to?
What can you authentically do to show your potential clients how awesome it will be when they choose to work with you?
Seven – Send out a newsletter
Regular clients and those who’ve signed up for your newsletter/information want to hear from you. They’re interested to learn helpful, informative tips from an approachable expert. Give them what they want and send them a newsletter.
Most businesses do email newsletters – a very cost-effective way of reaching a large number of people simultaneously. To stand out even more, consider printing your newsletter on good quality paper and posting it to your best clients. This may encourage them to pass it on to others they know (who most likely also fit your ideal client profile).
If you’re not already doing a newsletter, it’s a good time to start. Some businesses send a quarterly newsletter, some as often as daily. Talk to your team and your business advisors about the right approach for your business. If you’re not sure how to do a newsletter, there are loads of options for outsourcing or at least getting some training to help you get started.
Eight – Step up your marketing, especially your social media
Marketing supports sales. Make sure your message is out there on all your relevant communication channels, including the social media channels your business uses. Remember to consider where your ideal client will be on the internet – which channels do they visit the most and why? The content you write needs to answer their concerns and questions, engaging them so that they come another step closer to contacting you. Is your branding speaking to your ideal customer about the marketing messages you most want them to hear?
Organise another refreshments break with your team to brainstorm your marketing and social media plan in the lead-up to Christmas. These next few weeks are when many purchasing decisions for the next four months will be made. That project you’d like your business to be doing in February starts now with good marketing and sales follow up.
Nine – Get to know your numbers
Now that your three mini sales strategies are in full swing, you need to measure how you’re doing. What does success look for your business? What can you measure for your sales success metrics?
Keep on track to reach your sales goals by monitoring:
- Number of coffees with ideal clients
- Number of webinars
- Number of likes on Facebook
- Number of emails
- Number of sales conversations with decision-makers
- Number of articles opened in your newsletter
- Number of dollars in your business bank account
Start tracking your progress across a whole range of factors. Even if you haven’t previously studied your sales data in such detail, start keeping records and then analysing percentages. You could be surprised at what you discover, and at the new business opportunities that open once you realise exactly where your business’ sales potential really lies.
Ten – Keep smiling – your clients can hear your smile!
That’s right – simple but important. Keep Smiling. Keep happy.
You’ll need your smile a lot over the busy Christmas quarter, especially if:
- Your team member forgets something in the rush of deadlines
- Your client loses their temper because they’re stressed
- Your supplier is late with a delivery
- Your dog eats your steak while its sitting on the sink bench
Remember to smile when you’re talking on the phone. Your clients and team members can hear your smile through the phone. People buy from people. Smiles can literally move mountains when you’re in sales.
Eleven – Celebrate your sales wins!
Celebrate the sales wins! Don’t just wait until the week before Christmas – celebrate the sales wins along the way! And especially – celebrate the little wins on the way to the big wins!
- You have a great conversation with an ideal client
- You get that email sent on time
- You book another meeting
- Your webinar is fully booked one whole week in advance
- You get a referral from a happy client
- You receive a signed contract for a new sale
It’s time to take sales action
There’s a big task ahead of you – shoring up sales for as much of these next two quarters as you can, in just a few weeks. Enjoy the journey, celebrate the wins – go out there and sell!
Let’s talk about a strategic approach to growing sales for your business.