Please keep in mind the special circumstances and opportunities posed by the end of the year. It is often a great time to initiate with new clients at corporations. Here’s some simple counter-intuitive experience I have unearthed in 17 years of helming my executive sales outsourcing firm Corporate Rain International.
Remember the end of the year is a time of accounting shenanigans. Corporate CPAs, as often as not, may well want to have their clients lose money in December. Thus, a different pattern of spending and ROI sensitivity may animate the last month of the year.
There is often selling opportunity in this circumstance. Even in a scary and cautious business environment, December may give an impetus to the experimental and the new. Almost every year one corporate client or another of mine will unexpectedly pull the string on a new project after discovering end-of-the-year revenue.
In addition to tax adjustments, individual departments within companies may have surplus funds left over from the year. They need to use this money or lose it. Corporate managers do not like leaving money on the table for a couple of reasons. One, it reflects ill on their strategic fiscal plan from the beginning of the previous year. And two, it may have budget reduction implications for their department’s strategic allocations in the next fiscal year. So I have often found it is very worth an extra nudge to recalcitrant or timid potential corporate clients as the holiday season approaches.
A second counter-intuitive suggestion is not to view December as a selling dead zone. While it is true that corporate decision-makers are often very busy with parties, vacations, personal travel, and family from Thanksgiving on, they also frequently find themselves with unexpected pockets of inactivity available. It can be a particularly propitious time for sales initiation and spec meetings. There is always opportunity in times of disruptive corporate patterns. So while many decision-makers may be especially hard to reach in the holiday season, those that are working may have out of the norm availability for real consideration of the new, the out-of-the-box, the uncommon, the magical—a particular opportunity for the creative entrepreneur.
So, as far as problematic holiday executive selling is concerned, I stand with Lee Iococca, who said, “We are continually faced by great opportunities, brilliantly disguised as problems.”