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Outselling the Holidays

For Sales Professionals in the U.S. the period between Thanksgiving and New Years Day can have a negative impact on productivity. This reduction is activity has a direct impact on quotas, future pipelines, stress and ultimately your paycheck.

By
Jeb Blount
November 24, 2009

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For Sales Professionals in the U.S. the period between Thanksgiving and New Years Day can have a negative impact on productivity. This reduction is activity has a direct impact on quotas, future pipelines, stress and ultimately your paycheck. In this post I’ll give you some tips to help you outsell the holidays.

It’s that time of year again. For the next six weeks or so much of the western world will be in full holiday mode. Already in my business we are struggling to fit meetings and travel into our busy holiday schedule. In fact, just today we had our first prospect tell us that they “would just like to put things off until after the holidays.” From now until the first week in January this will be a common refrain heard by salespeople everywhere.

I’ve already written a couple of articles on selling during the holidays and will likely write more in the coming years. I repeat myself because I believe it is vital for salespeople to properly manage holidays. Consider that in the U.S., when we include the period between Thanksgiving and New Years Day with Memorial Day, the 4th of July, Labor Day, and the handful of other holidays, roughly 20% of the year is impacted holidays. That is a huge chunk of prime selling time that can be ignored only at your peril.

When managed poorly, Holidays wreck productivity. Customers are on vacation, some businesses shut down completely, prospects put off decisions, and in many cases our heads just aren’t in the game. With all of these variables, more than ever, it is critical to have a concrete plan in advance for activity.

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. The problem many of us face during the holidays is that we slack-off and let our self-discipline slip. We also have the tendency to allow the holidays to move us out of our normal daily routine. The result is reduced activity.

This slip has two consequences.

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