By Jeff Beals
“Happy Selling Season.”
That’s what I said to members of my mastermind group as we finished our monthly teleconference yesterday.
What’s “Selling Season?” It’s the period of time between the U.S. holidays of Labor Day (the first Monday in September) and Thanksgiving (the fourth Thursday in November). It’s autumn, the harvest season.
As a sales practitioner, that two-and-a-half-month period has always been my favorite time of year.
Things get done and business happens during Selling Season. Children are back in school. Family vacations are over. The holidays have not yet started. People are back at their desks and trying to be productive. Decision makers are zeroed in on their work and focused on making business decisions during that time. Selling Season is when hard-working B2B sales pros can “make hay while the sun is shining.”
Upon mentioning Selling Season yesterday, one of my mastermind members asked me if I had any hard data that proves a larger amount of B2B sales happen during Selling Season. I don’t, but it has always been the case for me.
Over the course of my career, I have basically sold three types of things. In all three of those professions/industries, I have always been the busiest and had the most success in the early-to-mid fall (the second-best time of year is March through May).
Now that we are at the very beginning of Selling Season, what can you do to make the most of it?
I recommend you go on the offensive. Selling Season goes by fast, so there’s not a lot of time to sit around and think about what you’re going to do. Ideally, you prepare for Selling Season during the lazy-hazy-crazy days of summer when things are a little slower. If you didn’t do that this summer, there’s no use in fretting over it. Just jump into it and get going.
To maximize this rich time of year, practice of the discipline of “time blocking.” That means you literally block out times during the week on your calendar during which you will make prospecting calls, direct emails or in-person visits. Consider your time-blocking periods to be non-negotiable, in that you refuse to do anything but prospect during these protected time periods.
In order to be most efficient during Selling Season, do your prospect research and pre-call preparation during the weekends, evenings or very early morning hours. Save the prime contact hours for direct communication with prospective clients.
When you go to networking events, go with a purpose in mind. Too many sales pros miss lead generation opportunities when they don’t maximize networking events. This is especially important if your clients tend to be geographically concentrated, i.e. you do most of your selling in one metro area. Remember that you’re not going to networking events to socialize or hang out; you’re going to meet prospects.
Much of your success during Selling Season comes down to attitude, the right mindset. Autumn is a time for you to go the extra mile. Because prospects are more available and more focused on their work during the fall, we all need to work a little harder lest we waste an opportunity.
When you’re tired of calling, find the energy to make one more call. When you’re tired of knocking on doors, stop by one more office. When you don’t feel like going to an after-hours mixer, suck it up and go meet some prospects.
If you maximize your efforts and intensity during Selling Season, you’ll have a happier holiday season and you’ll likely be in an enviable position heading into 2019.
Jeff Beals helps you find better prospects, close more deals and capture greater market share. He is an international award-winning author, sought-after keynote speaker, and accomplished sales consultant. He delivers compelling speeches and sales-training workshops worldwide. He has spoken in 5 countries and 41 states. A frequent media guest, Jeff has been featured in Investor’s Business Daily, USA Today, Men’s Health, Chicago Tribune and The New York Times.
To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 402-637-9300.