Thursday, December 15, 2011

Year-end tips to keep sales high and anxiety low


Keep the Momentum Going 

Year-end tips to keep sales high and anxiety low

The end of the year is fast approaching—your team is well aware of their goals—they have the skills to sell, but do they possess the will to sell this late in the game?  It is your job to make sure they do.  Coaching takes a conscious effort.  It is not easy and it requires a great deal of time and energy.  But it’s worth it.  Here are some tactics to keep the momentum going.

‘Tis the Season (to be selling)

Generally speaking, people are in good spirits around the holidays.  It’s the perfect time for your team to reach out to customers just to say “thank you” or wish them “happy holidays.”  This simple call could be a great opportunity to gain some last minute business as well. The key is to find unique selling points or propositions that fit into the holiday spirit. Encourage your team to try some of these tactics in their next sales call:
  • Offer a slightly lower price structure between now and the end of the year.
  • Devise a deferred payment structure that might entice the customer to buy.
  • Create a sense of urgency for buying by presenting an attractive special, limited offer.
  • Demonstrate how your product/service is the best use of your client’s company resources.


Time to Check-in not Check-out

Just because it’s the holidays, don’t assume everyone is on vacation.  If you check out early, so will your team. This is the time that you need to be most engaged.  If you have been “in the game” all along, this will not come as a threat to your team—instead they will welcome the additional guidance and follow-up.
A boss instills fear; a coach inspires enthusiasm.
The major difference between a coach who demonstrates effective follow-up and one who micro-manages is based on what happens before the follow up takes place. Assuming that there was a clear agenda set during your goal setting meeting; then your follow-up, feedback, and attention should be to motivate you and your team. Great coaches correct improper behavior through open dialogue, constant feedback, and recognition. Here are some tips to help you stay engaged with your team:
Hold daily sales huddles—Three simple words are all it takes to stay connected: “How’s it going?”
Help your team look for opportunities—A coach succeeds by helping others succeed; a boss commands and demands.
Stay positive—When the going gets tough, don’t get discouraged.

Motivate, Motivate, Motivate

Here are some additional tips to keep you and your team motivated:
  • Post a jumbo scoreboard in the office.  Create a giant scoreboard that lights up when sales goals are achieved. The scoreboard provides immediate, positive feedback to sales team members.
  • Super charge your break room. Provide healthy foods, plenty of water, and energy drinks to keep people fueled.  Post daily motivational quotes or stories on the walls to keep your team inspired.
  • Give recognition and rewards. It’s a fact—people are motivated by recognition and rewards, both big and small. Thank individuals for their hard work, recognize their commitment, and set small rewards along the way to keep everyone revved up.
  • Pick a theme song. “Eye of the Tiger,” “Right Here, Right Now,” “We are the Champions”—no matter what song you choose, be sure keep those inspirational tunes playing to keep everyone pumped up

Remain Flexible

You can’t make progress unless you make mistakes, learn from them, and adjust your behavior for tomorrow. Keep track of what’s going on within yourself and your team by taking notes of what’s working well and the challenges you are currently facing. Remember, the end of this year only brings the beginning and promise of the next year. Your coaching obligations do not end on December 31. You must always be looking for better ways to communicate with your team, build cohesion, and achieve success.
Make a list of tactics you think you can improve upon. Do you need to improve your communication skills?  Have you earned the trust of your team?  Do you need to inject some creativity into your monthly sales meetings?  Did you clearly set goals and expectations for each individual?

When you have a clear image of the coach you would like to become, you can then sell yourself on becoming that person. You can do it!