Time. Is. Ticking.
You have 6 weeks until the end of the year.
You read that correctly, I did mean “6 weeks”.
If your business is anything like mine and you operate mainly in the professional services industry, then I have a rude-awakening for you… (or maybe you’re already all over this)…
Short time left to convert sales
Although the end of 2021 is really 11 weeks away, at best you have only 6 more weeks to close any major sales or deals.
Once the calendar nears the end of November, most people put their buying decisions ‘on-ice’ and won’t revisit them until the second week in February 2022 once school has returned.
Are you prepared to have NO new business signed up over the next 2.5 months?
I’m definitely not.
Because I’ve been in business for a while, I know how the cycle works in Australia, and I’m informed there are similar patterns for the Summer seasons elsewhere around the world.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed that shops are already selling Christmas stock, which means that as the days and weeks get on, people’s focus is going to turn to winding down.
I also know that there are 3 full months of the year where my ideal clients don’t make ANY buying decisions – December and January – (Christmas/school holidays) and June (end of financial year), so if I have any sales targets or plans in those months to convert high amounts of business, I’m setting myself up for disappointment.
Every year, when it gets to this time, I see business owners scrambling to get sales before the end of the year. They think they have more time than what they really do though. Once November ends, it’s pretty much all over for many businesses until February.
Many business seem to ‘forget’ this is the case each year and every January, they feel like they are having to start all over again to gain momentum for the new year.
I fell into that trip once – and only once – many years ago.
I found that people weren’t interested in my services in November, but I kept trying. I tried during December as well and even over January. But my phone calls went unanswered, my emails received out-of-office message, after out-of-office message. So because I have no traction during those couple of months, I found that when February came around, I had to start getting that momentum all over again… and it was pretty excruciating because it takes some time for people to decide to work with me, so I was starting all over again.
Hard lesson learned, but I vowed never to let that happen again.
Of course the caveat to all this, is that there are some businesses who do keep running right up to Christmas and over the holiday months, so if you are one of those – I wish you success for the months ahead!
So if you’re not prepared to settle for this, then here’s what you can do between now and then to ensure you are optimising what little time you have left and you don’t let these opportunities slip by you.
- Plan out just how many more new clients you have the capacity to fit work for by year end (my number is 5)
- Revisit anyone who you have spoken to over the past 12 months and pick up the conversation again
- By ‘pick up the conversation’, I really mean ‘pick up the phone’
- See how your product or services fits in with their priorities for this year by actually asking them that question
Just last week, I had a prospective customer that I have been in and out of contact with over most of this year. They went ‘AWOL’ for a while, but I picked up the phone (again) and we’re now back in dialogue.
Another prospect I’ve been in dialogue with for over a year now and it seems that in the weeks ahead, we will be moving forward with an agreement before the year ends.
The key is to get your calendar booked NOW, and schedule an appointment for February if these people are not able to prioritise your services or products before the end of the year. That’s one of my most successful strategies.
There’s nothing worse than coming back from Christmas with the feeling of having to start again, and you can avoid that by being aware of your sales strategy going forward.