Thursday, September 17, 2015

4th Quarter Selling Strategies That Do Not Involve Discounting

It’s the 4th quarter and that means the race is on to make the yearly number. What it also means is we’re only a few weeks away from the time of year when stupid ideas start to become reality. Sad comment is there is no reason for anyone to do anything stupid, and when I say “stupid,” I’m referring to offering discounts to gain a sale before the end of the year. Eliminate right now the idea that making the number requires price cuts. Price cuts make it onto the list of year-end strategies only because nobody took the time and effort to develop other strategies early enough in the year to avoid year-end price discounting.

First, examine where each salesperson is spending their time.
The focus is on gaining business this year, not next year. Too many salespeople get themselves into trouble because they’ve spent too much time dealing with prospects who have zero ability to become customers this year. From October on – and even earlier for some industries – the focus must be on customers who will generate business this year. Some people will take this to mean I’m implying sales shouldn’t be focused long-term. No, that is not the case. As much as the 4th quarter is geared toward closing immediate sales, the 1st quarter should be geared toward long-term business. The objective is to optimize how you use your time.

Second, look for ways you can secure more business from existing customers.

This is often overlooked, and even if it isn’t overlooked, it is rarely capitalized on fully. Reason it makes sense to focus on existing customers is because they are already set up in your company’s system and you’re set up in their system as a supplier. Last thing anyone wants to hassle with at the end of the year is suddenly facing problems with accounting and credit in getting new accounts set up in a timely manner.

Third, develop packages that make it easy for both existing and new customers to buy from you.

Look at your product offering and find areas where you can strip away anything but the basics. Idea is to make it incredibly simple for the customer to buy. Beauty with this tactic is for many companies it means also having the ability to service orders quickly. That allows for new customers to experience your superior level of service even faster.

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