In my new Upward Spiral coaching program, we’re talking a lot about how to turn small client wins into bigger clients wins, creating massive revenue momentum. The same approach holds true for the end of the year as well.
The stronger you finish out this year, the stronger you’ll start out next year. With that in mind, here are 5 strategies you can use to boost your sales this December.
- Help clients avoid losing their budget. These days, most big companies have aligned their fiscal year with the calendar year. That means December is the last month to spend whatever dollars have been budgeted for 2012. And while it might seem like the logical thing to do is just “roll” that money over to 2013, the fact is that “use it or lose it” still holds true when it come to many departmental budgets. So now is the perfect time for you to touch base with your corporate clients to see if there are any projects they’d like to get done now — or at least pay for before the New Year.
- Offer clients an incentive to book early. Along the same line of thinking, a highly effective sales strategy is to offer clients a discount on services you’ll provide to them in the New Year, so long as they sign an agreement and put down a deposit with you now. It’s a double benefit for the client because they save money, plus they get the tax deduction in the current year. (You’ll want to emphasize both in your sales pitch.) And it’s good for you too because it means you’ll start off the New Year with booked business in the pipeline!
- Hold a no-brainer holiday sale to fill “surplus” on your calendar. Do you have two or three days (or perhaps just hours) left on your schedule between now and the end of the year? Don’t let those go to waste! Let clients know you have just a handful of spots still available in your schedule and, because it’s the holiday season, you’re offering up those spaces at 50 percent off on a first-come, first-served basis. For clients who’ve wanted to work with you but haven’t been able to afford it, they’ll leap at the reduce rates even during the busy holiday season.
- Get more social. For 11 months out of the year, it can be challenging to get face time with corporate people because they are so busy. But come December, everyone is in a festive mood. Companies host holiday parties. Networking organizations hold holiday mixers. And clients are much more open to the idea of getting together for lunch, dinner or drinks. Take full advantage of this more relaxed atmosphere by getting out from behind your laptop and mixing and mingling with your target clients. Use the face time to glean information about what they still want to finish before the end of the year, as well as what his or her priorities will be in 2013. And while you won’t want to talk too much business in a social setting, you can most certainly ask for a commitment to schedule a follow-up meeting. Then refer to strategies 1 and 2 above.
- Send holiday cards. No kidding. Every year, I grumble when it’s time to send out the holiday cards. Admittedly, it’s not a task I enjoy doing. However, without fail, each year when I send out holiday cards (professionally printed, with a super-short, hand-written note from me and a business card included), I inevitably hear back from clients who’ve been out of touch. And, more to the point, quite a number of these clients say, “Angelique! I’ve been meaning to reach out to you and your company about a project. Can we set up a time to talk?”
Here’s a final thought. Just like you’re looking to close the year out strong — so is every other company and business owner out there. Now is the perfect time to shop for services, programs, resources and products you’ve either been wanting to purchase or that you know you’ll need for next year.
Give it some thought. Is there a coach you’ve wanted to hire, but have resisted because of the cost? Give him or her a ring and see if they have surplus in their calendar that they’d like to fill. Thinking about new headshots or a new marketing video? Reach out to your favorite vendor and see if they’ll give you a special offer if you book now and put down a deposit. Already know you’re going to need 12 full months of an online service provider? Call their help desk and see if you can negotiate better pricing if you pay in full for the year now.
Even if it’s not an advertised deal, a lot of businesses and entrepreneurs will leap at the chance to lock in your business today.
If you liked today’s article, you’re welcome to use it in your own ezine or blog as long as you include the following blurb:
Known as The Corporate Agent, Angelique Rewers, ABC, APR, teaches micro business owners and solopreneurs around the world how to grow their small business by working with Big Business. Get her FREE CD and articles at www.TheCorporateAgent.com.