Guys who have offline an business - What do you do different in December?

18 replies
As this is my first year in business and we are rapidly approaching holiday season, I was wondering if some of the more experienced peeps could impart some wisdom here.

I am referring to the fact that people are getting ready for holidays and the focus goes off business.

How tough does it get to make sales in December?

Do you guys do anything special to keep yourself ticking over with work?

What strategies can be employed to keep one from resorting to an over indulgence in Christmas cheer to see one through till the new year?

I have no expectations so please, enlighten me
#business #december #guys #offline
  • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
    Originally Posted by PositiveVibe View Post

    As this is my first year in business and we are rapidly approaching holiday season, I was wondering if some of the more experienced peeps could impart some wisdom here.

    I am referring to the fact that people are getting ready for holidays and the focus goes off business.

    How tough does it get to make sales in December?

    Do you guys do anything special to keep yourself ticking over with work?

    What strategies can be employed to keep one from resorting to an over indulgence in Christmas cheer to see one through till the new year?

    I have no expectations so please, enlighten me

    Our offline sales always drop this time of year. the only way to combat that
    is to make more phone calls then you normally do.

    and you can use what i call holiday closes.

    holiday closes just remind them how much money they are wasting
    on the holidays.

    You can also try .. here ( your offer ) , and you can get it now for the holiday price. but if you wait until later, the price will be double.

    stuff like that.
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  • Profile picture of the author mjbmedia
    Depends who your clients/ prospects are.

    Restaurants, hotels wont be going quiet, they'll be busy especially if youve implemented a festive marketing plan for them.

    In the run up to the Xmas period I focus more on existing clients making the most of the time ,maximising profits , I turn the heat up, the lead gen down ,spend some time away and with the family as I know that come Jan every business will have its New Years resolutions to live up to, and they will ALL include 'win more business' .
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    Mike

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  • Profile picture of the author WikiWarrior
    I was also worried about this last year, which was my first Christmas season after starting out marketing services to local businesses. Around this time and into December you definitely get a lot more "give me a call next year" type responses, especially if you are targeting one-man bands like I was.

    The good news is you do still build up your sales funnel and some of those prospects who ask you to call in the New Year will take up your services. I just checked my log and I managed to take on 5 new customers in December, 2 of which wanted websites. I think it's simply a case of redoubling your efforts, making more calls, sending out an extra mailshot, send more emails, whatever you do to generate leads.

    It's amazing what you can do when failure is not an option. I remember one afternoon after a particularly unfruitful cold-calling session mid-December. I was sitting in my car in the town car park, feeling a bit despondent and it had gotten dark and cold without me realising after a couple hours dialing. I had been through the local newspaper front to back and paused to look at the last ad I could call. I spent a good minute thinking "can I be bothered to get another damn "call me next year" response.

    Well it was a good job I did make the call because I ran into the "perfect" customer, who was pleased to hear from me, had been thinking of getting a website made and was ready to get started right away. He even popped over the next day with his son for a quick chat and handed me a check for $500. Not exactly megabucks but that money pretty much paid for Christmas and New Year and gave me peace of mind to enjoy the holidays. Not to mention that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you know things are going to be ok.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    From experience I know that no matter what I do, starting around Dec 20 and ending around Jan 5 is going to be D-E-A-D. So I accept the fact that those weeks are useless for revenue generation, and have fun with my family & friends.

    Prior to this, in October & November, I have my worried eyes on December's revenue target. I simply know that I MUST make more money than average in October & November to make up for the deadwood month that is December. This year, for example, I already have made the money targets to pay for everything through January. In other words, I plan and work the Fall season so that by Nov 30, if I do absolutely nothing else through February 10 (when the rent is due) and decide that sitting around contemplating my navel would be better, the bills are paid.

    If you don't have annual & monthly revenue targets--and most people, most salespeople do not--take the time to develop them. You'll be surprised at the size of the figure you actually do need to keep everything running. Then you can figure out what you have to do to reach those targets.

    Oh, and the poster above me is SO right: it's the call you make AFTER you want to give up, take your bat and your ball and go home that's the one that always seems to be good.
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  • Profile picture of the author sdentrepreneur
    Offline Marketing is still such a growing business, I don't see anything slowing down in December and don't recall any of the past 4 years being slow. Offer special Holiday Pricing or Holiday Marketing Package that will address the businesses needs for more clients during December themselves.
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  • Profile picture of the author javarog
    The sharp guys in the USA are going to be looking for a last minute tax deduction so I see it as a huge opportunity
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    And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.

    Abraham Lincoln

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    • Profile picture of the author Jagged
      Originally Posted by javarog View Post

      The sharp guys in the USA are going to be looking for a last minute tax deduction so I see it as a huge opportunity

      The opposite of that would be those "budget challanged" businesses who couldn't afford to add services in the later part of the year. These are prime to pitch your services to in December as they are putting their marketing budgets together for 2012...

      Your existing customers may have had a website done in 2011 but could benefit from implementing an email marketing plan, social marketing or text/mobile marketing to their marketing plan/budgets that they could not afford last year.....keep priming the pump!

      ~Ken
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      • Profile picture of the author StrategicCheetah
        Thanks alot people, some awesome responses!
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        Precision beats power
        Timing beats speed

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  • Profile picture of the author vip-ip
    I'm giving Amazon Affiliates another run. I wasn't successful the first time around.

    Best Regards,
    vip-ip ...
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  • Profile picture of the author localvseo
    Use it to fill your pipeline. Start talking to people about planning for 2012. Position yourself to be ready to capture business in January. When everyone else is just ramping up you should have a pipeline of people ready to talk contracts. December is a great month to network and build new relationships too, people are often more open and may have more time to have meetings. Go to as many holiday parties as you can.
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    • Profile picture of the author dtaylor
      This thread has some great responses. I have appreciated them.

      Personally, I segment my work at this time of year. For retail and food service that means marketing for the holidays.

      Prospecting for new business, at least for me, is in the non-retail, non-consumer sectors. For example, carpet stores and home remodelers will be busy finishing up work until Christmas is over. This is a busy time for them and they are making money so this is not the best time to contact them.

      Many other businesses slow down somewhat this time of year which makes this an excellent time to contact them. In fact, for those businesses in the B2B sectors, I have found the week between Christmas and New Years to be an excellent time to cold call. The owner is available and is interested in stimulating business.

      DTaylor
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    • Profile picture of the author FSCLeadServices
      Originally Posted by localvseo View Post

      Use it to fill your pipeline. Start talking to people about planning for 2012. Position yourself to be ready to capture business in January. When everyone else is just ramping up you should have a pipeline of people ready to talk contracts. December is a great month to network and build new relationships too, people are often more open and may have more time to have meetings. Go to as many holiday parties as you can.
      I totally agree with this and have been using this approach lately. Many of the businesses I'm working with are in the "off-season" (one client is a landscaping company), but they're interested in using this time to develop strategies that will be in full effect in a couple of months.

      It's a good time to talk to people about embarking on a new approach for next year. It can be a great topic of conversation at holiday social events.
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  • Profile picture of the author RentItNow
    This was the month I used to go do a bit of my fall-back (construction, painting, whatever) but it seemed to have been fine last year. Hoping this year also. The places that are slow are more likely to pay attention to my pitch now more than ever before.
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    I have no agenda but to help those in the same situation. This I feel will pay the bills.
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  • Profile picture of the author gecko1
    yep, fill in your pipeline with off season businesses. AC repair is one that I have had success with.
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    • Profile picture of the author DennisMc
      Originally Posted by gecko1 View Post

      yep, fill in your pipeline with off season businesses. AC repair is one that I have had success with.
      Thanks for a great idea! This is one I didn't think of, seasonal businesses.
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      "You can have everything you want in life if you'll just help enough other people get what they want" Zig Ziglar
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Bucker
    I agree with several post. There is no one answer. If it is slower in Dec. all that means is slower. It is a numbers game so up the number of prospects greatly in order to make the same sales.

    Also if you have a current data base to work from see both what you can up sell them and also pump for referrals.

    Where there is will there is a way. Key word is your WILL.
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  • Profile picture of the author terip
    Hmmm... I guess it depends on what type of product/service you sell. Some businesses have downtimes during the Holidays while others have no problems with marketing their wares.

    What kind of business do you run by the way?
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  • Profile picture of the author malia
    there are certain services hard to sell this late in the year, because it's really late to do them for the year (mobile, websites, SEO, etc.). However, if you offer backend management type services, like email list management, customer follow up management, that's a great pitch because a lot of businesses will get an influx of customers, that they won't know what to do with after the rush has died down.

    Then they sit around for a slow first quarter not realizing they should be tapping into their new 3rd quarter customers and re-marketing to them.

    So if it were me I would target them with a marketing campaign to turn those new holiday customers into year round buyers.

    Also keep in mind that improvement businesses will have momentum because of people's new year resolutions so fitness businesses will get an influx of new customers. Also tax related businesses.
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