It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Less than two weeks to go and no doubt excitement/delight/panic/dread/irritation (delete as applicable) and any number of other emotions are beginning to overtake us all.  It’s a significant and pivotal time of year, but what does Christmas mean for the B2B sales community?

It’s not the end of the world
It may be the end of your company’s financial year and if not, it will be a quarter-end, so you’re under pressure to hit your target, right?  Wrong.  Your customers, and professional procurement in particular, know you will feel under pressure and will exploit it.  Don’t be tempted to give that little extra away just to close a deal in December, that ‘extra special price’ this month will become the baseline for 2018 negotiations.  Short-term gain with long-term pain is never a good strategy.

It’s not the end of the year
Whilst it may be the end of the calendar year, many UK companies align their financial year with the tax year, which runs April to March, so for many, New Year is the start of Q4, the last period of their business year.  That means it’s a time of great activity as everyone focusses on achieving year end goals by March.  Can you help?  Do you have a product or service that could help a company make that final push?  Does your Value Proposition articulate it clearly and concisely?  If not, make sure it does.

Not everyone takes two weeks off
There’s no doubt business activity slows down at this time of year, but that doesn’t mean everyone disappears completely.  Some people may be working right up to Christmas Eve, and between Christmas and New Year, and there’s a good chance it will be more senior people who turn in; the ones with most responsibility, perhaps the ones without young families.  Who knows? Maybe your elusive number one prospect is at their desk, whilst their steadfast gatekeeper is away enjoying the festivities.  Now might be exactly the right time to make that call.

Slow time isn’t lost time
Chances are you’ve been really busy for the last few months; chasing deals, writing proposals, generating leads and all the other stuff that fills every day.  So when was the last time you gave yourself some quality time to reflect and plan?  Maybe when things went quiet in the summer, maybe this time last year, maybe never?  We all need time to sit back, reflect on what’s gone well, or badly, think about new trends and approaches and plan for what lies ahead.  It’s not wasted time, it’s vitally important.  If things are a bit slow, take time out to reflect and plan.  If you’re still full-on, make time to do it.

It is a holiday
Having said all the above, you deserve a break.  Getting the work-life balance right is vital, if you don’t feel well you can’t perform well.  Take time out, and that’s not just running around making sure everyone else has a great Christmas; make sure there’s some you-time in there too.  Relax and enjoy yourself.

Wishing you a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous 2018.