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Year-End Sales Strategy

It's Dec. 14 as I write this, meaning there are only 17 days left to exceed your numbers.

What? Well, if you count Saturdays and Sundays, you can still work to ensure that your year-end numbers will be hit. Maximizing time, increasing sales strategy sessions and focusing on every opportunity can make the difference at this time of year.

I can recall one year, on Dec. 27, we'd been told that a PO had been approved...but we hadn't received it by fax or mail. We called our contact who confirmed it was in purchasing and had been approved. We then asked him for the purchasing agent's name and phone number to follow up. When we called the purchasing agent, we learned that he was taking his year-end vacation time.

We were stuck, and our sales contact had neither the power nor idea to process the paper work.

In our strategy session, I brought up the movie "Watergate," which was about the investigative reporting of Robert Woodward and Carl Bernstein after the Nixon presidential campaign break-in. The reporters had one contact, one phone number, but couldn't determine who that person worked for in the White House or what department they worked in.

What did they do? They started dialing all the telephone numbers that "surrounded" the number they had and began to put the pieces together. We decided to do the same thing.

After multiple attempts, eventually we found someone who actually answered their phone. After we explained our dilemma, the person we spoke to realized that she actually sat next to the purchasing agent we were looking for. She went over the person's desk, found the PO and faxed it to our salesperson. That PO was enough to put that salesperson over 100 percent for the year! 

It took some creativity, extra work and pushing the envelope, but the numbers count.

What are your stories of doing "extra' to win the business? Please share with all our readers by e-mailing me at [email protected]!

Ken Thoreson, president of Acumen Management Group Ltd., "operationalizes" sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 12 years, our consulting, advisory and platform services have illuminated, motivated and rejuvenated the sales efforts for partners throughout North America. Move up and move ahead! Acumen Management provides keynotes, consulting services and products designed to improve business performance. HQNHTN8GWN7Q

Posted by Ken Thoreson on December 14, 2009