The Power Of The 4th Quarter
And believe me I get it; keeping the energy high and the drive going can be tough as we head into his last quarter of the year. We are tired; we have worked hard all year to meet our sales quotas, excel at our goals, and ensure that our bottom lines are healthy and strong. Not to mention the fact that with fourth quarter comes budgeting, holidays, parties, and a much needed break in the everyday routine.
It is exactly for those reasons why fourth quarter is my favorite quarter of the year. It is the quarter that not only determines how strong you will start 2017, but it is t where most of your competitors have taken their foot off the gas. Success in business is about finding the opportunity and then capitalizing on it, and there is no better opportunity than fourth quarter. Make no mistake – the actions, behaviors, and sales expectations you have now will be the single biggest determining factor in how much business you do in the first quarter and perhaps all of 2017.
Sales and business growth start long before they hit your bottom line. If you want to have a strong first half of 2017, then you need to focus in 2016 on those prospects and customers you want to do business with next year. And fourth quarter gives you the perfect opportunity: while your competitors are slowing down you need to ramp up your fourth quarter strategy.
Holidays, parties, and yes, even budgeting give you plenty of reasons to head out the door to call on customers. One of the hardest parts of sales is just getting in the door and the unique happenings of fourth quarter give you every opportunity to get that door to open. So how do you get started and what do you need to do?
4 Business Growth Strategies To Jump Start 2017
1. Make A Plan – first and foremost, you need to make a plan, and you need to commit to make fourth quarter your strongest sales behavior quarter of the year. Work with your team to determine which customers you are going to call on, which prospects need to make your list, and then specifically ‘when and how’ you are going to call on them. Time is short in the fourth quarter, with end-of-year obligations, holidays and vacations, so time is not on your side. Be clear about what you are going to accomplish and who is going to be involved – both from a customer and an employee standpoint – and how you are going to do it. I advise my clients to have a 4th Quarter Road Map, a fourth quarter customer
contact plan that everyone can follow.
2. Reach Out – again, fourth quarter gives you the best reasons ever to get in the door. You can invite your clients to parties, take them an end of the year gift, or just stop by and wish them a happy holiday. The holidays and the “party” atmosphere lends itself to getting out of the office and visiting with your current customers and staying-in-touch with those all-important prospects.
3. Set The Stage – while inviting clients to parties or thanking them for their business is nice, it does not a sales call make. Fourth quarter may not be the right time to ask for the business, but it is the perfect time to set the stage. Meaning – visiting with clients, wishing them a Happy Thanksgiving or a wonderful holiday season is a great start, but you also want to leave clients with the understanding that you will be back. Now is your chance, when delivering presents or celebrating the holidays, to let customers know that you look forward to coming back around the first of the year to make sure they have everything needed to make 2017 their best year ever. You set the stage, plant the seed, so when you give them a call January 3, they are not only expecting you, they have already opened the door and are ready for the conversation.
4. Strategize – and last but not least you need to strategize. When all your competitors are using December to drink too much eggnog and eat too much cake, you need to be meeting with your team. Debriefing whom you called on, what you discussed, what presents you delivered to customers, and how they enjoyed the holiday drop in. And most importantly, what are your next steps? What is going to happen to turn that holiday drop-in into bottom line revenue? Then before you head out the door for the slowest week of the year (week before Christmas and New Years), you have your strategy, your action plan, and you are all on the same page. You know exactly what to do when you walk in the door January 3 and your business closes deals before your competition even gets started.
So yes, you have to love fourth quarter as the quarter of opportunity. So what are you waiting for? It is time to rally the troops and put these four solid business growth strategies into place so you finish strong and start 2018 with a BANG!
Business Growth Expert, Meridith Elliott Powell, is an award-winning author, keynote speaker, and business strategist. She works with clients to help them decrease their stress, increase their results. Her innovative strategies put you in a position to succeed no matter what this economy does. Visit her at www.valuespeaker.com or call 828 243 3510!