Problem: The holidays are a curious time of year for salespeople. They tell us that after the Thanksgiving holiday something strange starts happening. It seems as though they’re not able to contact as many prospects, make as many appointments, or close as many sales. If you sat in a room full of salespeople discussing the matter, you might get the impression that Santa Claus was public enemy number one!
Analysis: There are two schools of thought here. The first is that the whole idea of the slowdown in activity is in your own head. It’s kind of self-fulfilling. Initially you don’t believe it when your colleagues tell you that things are slowing down. You demonstrate your positive attitude and deny it. Within a short time, after a few unsuccessful attempts at cold calls, it is remarkable how quickly you become convinced that your colleagues’ assertions are true. The next thing you know you’ve completely bought into the idea.
By contrast, the other prevailing point of view is that there truly is a slowdown this time of year and it has always been that way. The salespeople who believe this do so because they keep track of their activity ratios and can prove it if challenged. In writing about this, we are not concerned with what school of thought you believe in as much as what you do about it.
Solution: Here are two ways to handle the Santa Claus blues. First, challenge yourself to overcome your “head trash” and keep your prospecting efforts up. If the majority of salespeople are thinking that nobody will talk to them, there will be less competition for the prospect’s attention. Your results will improve and at the very least, you will have planted some good prospecting seeds for next year.
The second way to tackle the problem is to use the extra time you have now to do things you normally don’t have time to do. One example is setting goals and mapping out your sales strategy for the upcoming year. Another could be to write those lead generation emails and letters you always wanted to write. Join in the festivities. Invite your best clients to lunch and have some fun while improving your relationships. It’s critical to maintain a positive mindset. You are in control of how you deal with reality and what actions you take. Why sit around singing the blues when you can get an edge on sales for next year and hit the ground running on January 2?