Q4 is undoubtedly the worst period for sales, although Q3 has its fair share of stress as well. While the rest of the world is picking out their Halloween costumes, shopping for tastiest turkeys for Thanksgiving and choosing their Christmas presents, sales are at the edge of their seats trying to crush their quota and close with people who are counting days to a well-deserved vacation…and don’t really care about your sales goals.
It is not a secret anymore that some companies wait until the end of the year to buy in order to save money, knowing there will be an abundance of discounts and that sales will be competing to offer the best price. Then there are other companies that simply have to spend the determined annual budget in order to receive at least the same amount next year.
Ideally, you planned your Q4 sales and made action plan at the beginning of the year. More likely, you didn’t really plan that much in advance and you’re in need of major help. You feel like you’ve tried everything and didn’t get any results. Plus, there are thousands of companies sending emails and doing the same thing you are.
Luckily, we’ve prepared a short set of steps that you can take in order to sell more in Q4.
1. Measure And Assess Your Previous Activities
Before you start to panic over your Q4 sales, measure your previous efforts and campaigns. Ideally, you did this throughout the year and you know at any time what works best, but if you didn’t, now is the best time to do so and optimize your sales process.
What companies bought from you? What messaging had the best response rate? Which solutions sold best? Which packages or pricing plans were the most requested? What were the biggest pain points? What discounts resulted in most sales?
All of this information will help you during your Q4 sales.
Focus on the products that sell best and offer them to other prospects. Try to anticipate what will sell better in the future and put more emphasis on those solutions as well. Look for companies that were your best customers and try to sell them something new that they haven’t tried before. Reuse the successful messaging on new prospects.
The sooner you plan your offer and promote it – the more likely you are to sell.
You have no time to pitch your products with low sales and try to grow sales in that area.
2. Set Goals And Determine Your Daily/Weekly/Monthly Actions
Now is the time to set realistic goals. Some suggest that you write it down and post it wherever you can – in your office, kitchen, bedroom, at your desk. Think of a reward that you will give yourself if you meet the determined goal. Maybe a nice vacation, new tech or just the luxury of keeping your current job. You can write or print that as well and post it next to your goal. Hit quota – keep the job! Got it!
Then plan your daily, weekly and monthly activities that will help you reach that goal. If you have trouble doing this yourself, ask someone who is more experienced to help you.
3. Focus On The Prospects That Are Most Likely To Buy
There is very little or no chance that you will acquire any new customers in Q4. So focus on the ones that are closer to the bottom of your pipeline, so-called Quick Wins.
Those are the people that you’ve already established some relationship with. Maybe a different offer or a discount will push them to make the purchase.
Try those missed opportunities and former customers as well. Let them know about any new solutions and offers you might have and see if that works for them now.
Make sure you gather information about those companies in your pipeline and if you see any changes that might be an opportunity for you – contact them and ask how you can help.
Provide content that is relevant to those companies and show your expertise in the industry. Try the not too demanding content like Reviews, Case Studies and Testimonials, that are fairly easy to make and can really support your claims in front of a future customer. If you’re really short on time – organize a webinar where you can share your knowledge in an hour.
4. Up-sell And Cross-Sell To Your Existing Customers
As a salesperson, you don’t have to be told that old customers are easier to sell to than the new ones.
Contact your former clients to see if they are willing to buy from you again and make a call to your current buyers to check if you can cross-sell or up-sell.
Maybe they have that extra budget to spend and your solution can really come in handy. Maybe there have been significant changes in their company and they could use a product or service they didn’t need before.
5. Ask Your Existing Customers For Referrals
If all else fails or you notice that you’re not hitting your quota, don’t be shy to ask your former and existing customers for referrals. See if they know any (similar) companies that may use your solution.
Nothing you say about yourself will have a strong impact as a simple recommendation.
Assuming you maintained good relationships with your former and current clients, this should be an easy task.
Bonus Tip: Repurpose Your Old Content
You really don’t have time to focus on brainstorming new content at this point. So see what old content was interesting for your customers and prospects, what was the most popular and try to communicate it again by turning it into a webinar, presentation, a video or simply just update it.
Don’t Be Too Pushy!
No matter how desperate you are and how much you want to sell – don’t try too hard and oversell.
The desperation can be smelled a mile away and it can make you lose perspective that your prospect is in focus and not you and your product. Your Q4 anxiety may make you talk only about yourself and your solution, put yourself first and spam your prospect with information about your company. But it’s the very opposite.
Just like you, they are at the end of the year and their problems seem even bigger than before, so you need to explain how your solution helps them solve it. For example, you can help your contacts justify the purchase to their superiors or promise they will have a full customer support from you all the way.
Sometimes, the best solution is just to ask your prospects where you stand and if there is any chance of closing. Even if they say no, it’s much better than remaining in the status quo because it will help you save your time and move on to those contacts who are more likely to buy.
If you need help with your year-end sales – contact us. We’d be happy to help.