Friday, October 9, 2009

Fourth Quarter Victory

We're nearing the end of the year, and if you're struggling to make sure you meet your goals, then this advice from sales trainer George Ludwig is for you! Today he shares his strategies to manage your time down to the minute, and fit in all those prospective sales still sitting in our pipeline. Read on, and get started!

Be a Time Management Master

Ludwig suggests you evaluate your sales funnel right now to determine which opportunities should be pursued. Come up with a short list by looking at factors like:

1. What's the size or profitability of the sale?
2. What's a realistic evaluation of where the potential sale is in the process and the probability of closing it by year-end?
3. What resources and actions are necessary to close the sale by year-end?
4. Are there any specific adverse customer behaviors as a result of economic conditions that may preclude them from being a hot-targeted prospect?
5. Are there any previous buying patterns the target has demonstrated as it relates to price, value, and purchasing urgency that might affect the opportunity?

After assessing these issues, prepare a brief strategy position for each opportunity on your list.

--Aim for the fruit closest to the ground. Consider a Q4 selling promotion targeted toward your current customers. In hard economic times, customers want to make safe choices with their limited funds, so they look to companies and products they know and trust. This is a good time for the sales department and marketing to team up and offer specific price promotions targeted to hit the sweet spot of current customers who are in the best position to purchase by year's end.

--Grease the skids with quick communiques. One way to save precious time in Q4 is to reach out to your customer and prospect database, especially your identified targets, using a variety of time-saving communication tactics. Email, snail mail, faxes, and telephone all complement direct sales efforts and keep you in mind, which helps close sales quickly.

George Ludwig is President of GLU Consulting which specializes in helping clients like Johnson & Johnson, Abbott Laboratories, and Northwestern Mutual improve their sales performance. George is the bestselling author of Power Selling and a widely recognized authority on sales success and peak performance psychology.

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