The end of each fiscal year may seem to be a dead month to some businesses, as many companies tighten their fiscal policies and compute revenues. While many sales management teams may consider this time for regrouping and planning, it is vital to continue to try and procure new customers.
Operating as a salesperson during this month may be difficult, but it does not mean that the task is impossible. Barrett Riddleberger, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Resolution Systems, Inc., a sales training and consulting firm, offered advice on how to create revenue and keep operations afloat during December, or other months such as June that are the end of many companies' fiscal years.
The executive noted that there are several key points that each manager needs to consider and relay to their sales staff when addressing alternative ways to approach end of the year correspondence with customers, and ways to help organize the next round of selling.
•While many salespeople will think that the last months of the year will be empty of a large sale, a lot of companies will actually have money that is left over. If the business does not spend this extra cash, they may lose it in the following year.
•Salespeople may look to other departments within the company to which they are selling, as one sector may have additional funds that can be reinvested in new opportunities.
•Inter-departmental transfers and budgetary adjustments may occur, leaving certain sectors of a company with money that can be diverted to a new area. A spend-it-before-you-lose-it mindset can usually apply here, and managers need to know the right questions to ask in order to determine where the resources can come from.
•If the company does not have the resources to make a big purchase, a representative can use the time to plan a future project with the customer. Preparatory work can be used to help secure the best possible sale when the client is able to open their check books.
•Representatives can also use this time to try and get a meeting with one of the executives at a company, as many businesses will have a significant amount of downtime in the last months of the year.
•Project planning can be done with the business partners and subsidiaries of these potential customers, as they might know what companies will have in terms of overhead or expendable resources.
•Referrals, testimonials and references may be the focus of a rep during this time, due to the time that many companies will have for this type of correspondence. This will free up time during the year if these documents are already on-file.
•Debriefing about the next round of sales, past mistakes and improvements and future clients should be addressed. A manager should have a plan so that this type of talk does not have to occur several times during a period when selling is occurring at a higher rate.
•Managers should use this time to discuss personnel changes, which departments are re-adjusting and which openings are available.
Riddleberger noted that during these last several months, a manager can truly set up their plan for the coming year. Representatives should be informed about the process, and should be ready for the next round.
Wasting these months by allowing for a slower period of work would hamper a company's power to expand and obtain new clients. There is no such thing as too much preparation, as anything that can be done sooner rather than later should be accomplished during these down months, according to Entrepreneur.com.
"If you look at December as a dead month and you shrug your shoulders, you're missing out on some huge opportunities," according to Riddleberger.