Why December is a great month for B2B sales prospecting - and how it will kick-start your year
Updated: Nov 30, 2019
Let me start by saying that I do love Christmas – family, mulled wine, kids’ faces lighting up, etc. But for me, the best part is that the decision makers who are usually hidden behind a shroud of gatekeepers and back to back meetings are a lot more accessible during December, and are also a lot more open to meetings in the New Year than any other time. In fact, I arrange more high-quality decision maker meetings for the first 10 weeks of the New Year during December, than most people do for the entire 12 months – and did I mention that I do this with zero trade off to my own time off over Christmas!
Still not convinced? Let me debunk those December prospecting myths once and for all and show you what 30 years of first hand, real world experience has taught me. Read on to get 2020 off to the right start with a healthy pipeline.
Myth: Prospecting in December is a waste of time & money
Believe me, Christmas is anything but a waste of time and money for those who really care about sales - and there are several reasons why. Here are four that stand out for me:
You get responses - quickly. Why is this? Quite simply, most companies will go out of their way to avoid internal meetings beyond mid-December. This is mainly due to staff being preoccupied with Christmas parties, school events and the like - and perhaps also a general lack of concentration. The good news for you is that this means you are far more likely than usual to catch decision makers at their desks.
1. Beat the gatekeeper.
Many people take time off before the Christmas holidays (especially those with children in school). This means that decision makers are much more likely to answer their own phones.
2. Less stress.
With less on their agenda, fewer conflicts to resolve and possibly with them working from home, decision makers tend to be more relaxed and chattier at this time of year, making them more willing to review your information and hear you out.
3. You’ve got the upper hand.
Let’s face it, nobody bothers contacting prospects beyond mid-December - meaning that you have the upper hand over your competitors, who are likely sitting back and waiting to implement a new lead-gen strategy come the new year. Bad luck for them that you’ll already have your prospects in your diary.
4. Open calendars.
Few decision makers are likely to be enthusiastic about a meeting in the latter half of December. If, however, you suggest a date for NEXT year (which is just days away), their calendars are usually wide open. Get in there, ask for a meeting in early January and watch your 2020 calendar fill up.
A closing note before I move onto the next myth - remember it’s the season of goodwill and happiness, so don’t forget to embrace the Christmas spirit.Of course, that doesn’t mean sounding unprofessional, but make sure you approach people in a manner that reflects this cheerful, fun time of year. Your value proposition may not be all that different from your competitors, but your delivery can be. Keep in mind when contacting clients that a genuine smile can be heard and the occasional Christmas emoji in your content is fine.
Myth: There’s nobody in the office
If you’ve dealt with decision makers in the past, you’ll know that they use their time wisely. While many staff members will take more annual leave over the Christmas period, this is rarely the case for decision makers who often prefer to take advantage of the fact that there are less distractions. In fact, contrary to popular opinion, many find it an extremely good time of the year to spend time at their desks. This means that you actually have a betterchance of catching your prospects in the office during December.
Myth: Decision makers won’t want to meet you
Wrong. Given the reasons outlined in the previous sections, sales prospecting in December works especially well with hard-to-reach and senior level decision makers. Most importantly, remember that you are not out there to close deals before the year is out but to get meetings booked in for the New Year.
Once you’ve reached the decision maker, it is what you do next that really matters. Your aim is to compel your prospect to agree to a meeting and that means delivering a content-rich message that is both relevant and on point. They may have more time available than usual, but it is still valuable to them nonetheless.
Myth: It’s better to wait until January
Definitely not. Come January, companies are moving rapidly towards the last quarter of the financial year and will be much less keen on starting new negotiations before spring, when new strategies and budgets often come into effect. If you can reach decision makers before the end of the calendar year, they will be in a much more relaxed and open mindset, making them much more receptive and approachable. Missing this window of opportunity can often mean that you set back your sales by months, leaving you playing catch up for the rest of the year.
Getting your diary filled for the first six weeks of 2020 can often be enough to hit your quarterly and even yearly targets with ease. Now wouldn’t that help you to kick back and relax over the Christmas break?
To find out how to do this without trading your time off over Christmas, click on the button below to schedule a call with Semper Paratus Group.