Yes believe it or not, depending on when you are reading this, we are just about to start or are already in fourth quarter. In my opinion, the fourth quarter is the most important business growth quarter of the year. However, it can often be the forgotten or most ignored quarter too.
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. I mean we are tired; we have worked hard all year long 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 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 2018, but it is the quarter 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, the behaviors and the sales expectations you have in fourth quarter will be the single biggest determining factor in how much business you do in the first quarter and perhaps all of, 2018.
Sales and business growth start long before they hit your bottom line. If you want to have a strong first half of 2018, then you need to start now, in 2017 on those prospects and customers that you want to do business with next year. And fourth quarter gives you the perfect opportunity for all those reasons that 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 reason you need 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 2018
- 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 that 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, time is not on your side. So you need to be clear about what you are going to accomplish and who is going to be involved. 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 Roadmap, a fourth quarter customer contact plan that everyone can follow.
- 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, 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.
- 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 your delivering presents or celebrating the holidays to let customers know that you look forward to coming back around the first of the year just to make sure they have everything they need to make 2018 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.
- 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, you have 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 busy closes deals before your competition even knew what hit them.
So yes, you have to love fourth quarter it 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 BANG!
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