Not sure about you, but seeing this fall foliage picture gets my pulse up. After the summer we’ve had here in St. Louis, I’ve never been more ready for fall and football!
But there’s another really important aspect to fall, and with just a week to go until Labor Day, it is time for my 3rd Annual “Selling Season” post.
Ten years ago, a favorite client and I were bemoaning the summer slowdown and working to create a focused new business sales blitz that would help his sales team get laser focused heading into the fall. We architected a high frequency sales campaign and declared that the eleven precious weeks between Labor Day and Thanksgiving would forever be known as the Fall Selling Season. And for the previous ten years, as September approaches I begin beating the drum and preaching to everyone who will listen.
I love the concept of seasons – especially for salespeople, who, as a whole, aren’t known for great ability to focus over extended periods of time. And in many businesses, there is no more critical season for a sales team to focus than during the fall. Summer is hard for developing new business. The world slows down. Everyone takes vacation. It’s hot. Salespeople who don’t like to prospect have plenty of excuses, and those who do want to prospect become frustrated by the slow summer business climate.
But summer is ending. The kids head back to school. Vacation season is over. Businesses get serious about year-end decisions and begin looking at budgets and plans for next year. Intensity goes up and so must our focus as sales professionals.
Are you ready for the Fall 2012 Selling Season?
- Do you have a strategically-selected, finite, focused, written workable list of target accounts to pursue? (Chapter 5 in New Sales. Simplified.)
- How sharp is your “sales story?” Can you get a prospect’s attention with your succinct, compelling, client-focused, differentiating sales story? (Chapter 8)
- How effectively are you using the phone to prospect and get yourself in front of key people at your target accounts? (Chapter 9)
- Do you absolutely own your process for conducting face-to-face sale calls? (Chapter 11)
- How will you time-block your calendar to ensure new business development is a priority and what key activity metrics will you commit to and monitor? (Chapter 14)
So, with one week left to prepare, are you ready? Are you ready to come out of next weekend sprinting like crazy till Thanksgiving? Can you clear your personal calendars and remove distractions that steal your time and mental energy? Will you forego vacation days for the Selling Season sprint? Are you willing to get up an extra hour early and then use that time in a selfishly productive manner? How about challenging yourself to have more meaningful conversations with target accounts than you’ve ever had in an eleven week period?
Selling Season is upon us: Eleven critical weeks to ensure you finish 2012 strong and set the stage for a wildly successful 2013. How will you make the absolute most of it?