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Prepare your pipeline in advance then hit the floor running
By the time you read this, the holiday will be long over.
This particular holiday was the 4th of July. But it doesn’t matter which one it was, all holidays carry with them the same sales stigmas:
- No one is in the office.
- Everyone is on vacation.
- Everyone left early.
- People aren’t willing to meet with me until after the holiday.
- I can’t get anyone on the phone.
- It’s a slow time of the year; I’d rather wait until ____. (You can fill in the blank.)
- It’s taking longer to get a decision made because of the holiday.
- Customers aren’t in the mood to buy.
- Blah, blah, blah.
All of these excuses create a frame of mind for salespeople somewhere between, “I’m not going to make any sales,” and “I’ll just wait until the holiday is over.”
Both of these thoughts are recipes for sales disaster.
NOTE WELL: Many decision-makers stay in their office until the day before the holiday. When there is no activity, executives can get personal work done.
Many business owners (like me) stay in the office through the holiday because all of their employees want to take a well-deserved extra day off. And someone has to be there to guard the business.
Oftentimes, companies are in the middle of important deals or circumstances that preclude them from taking extra time off around a holiday.
- Every day is a sales day if you believe it to be a sales day — and vice versa.
- Everyone will return your call if you believe they will return your call.
- Everyone will return a favorable decision if you believe they will return a favorable decision.
When you’re lamenting your fate, what you are really saying is, “Based on the actions I’ve taken and the results I’m getting, I really don’t believe strongly enough in my company, my product, or myself.”
If you would spend as much time strengthening your belief, taking better actions and improving your value offerings as you did complaining that someone won’t return your call or isn’t in their office, you could make a fortune.
But most salespeople would rather gripe.
Rather than griping that no one is available, why don’t you take a few days off yourself and renew your attitude?
Why don’t you take a few days off and revive your attitude so when you come back to work you’re in high gear and high frame of mind?
And please don’t think this message is specifically about the 4th of July. It’s the same for Christmas, New Year’s, Thanksgiving, Labor Day, Super Bowl, Presidents Day and any other day deemed by the government or you as a “holiday.”
You, as a salesperson, already know the holidays are coming. Your job is to prepare your pipeline in advance of the holiday, so that one day after the holiday, you are full of meetings and full of activity that is directly related to your sales and your success.
This way, when you do go away, you’ll feel great about leaving and great about coming home.
It never ceases to amaze me how many salespeople grumble about “what isn’t” — the guy isn’t in, the guy isn’t calling me back, yadda, yadda — rather than embrace and take advantage of “what is.”
The fact is holidays are not a surprise. They’re on the calendar years in advance. Everyone knows when the 4th of July occurs – it’s on the 4th of July!
If your mindset is still “no one’s in their office, everyone’s on vacation,” then take off the 3rd, take off the 5th, go somewhere to relax, and come back to a full calendar.
Oh, and while you are on vacation, read a book.
Jeffrey Gitomer’s website, www.gitomer.com, has information about training and seminars, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.