Fall is in the air, and with it the 4th Quarter is right around the corner! Are you ready to make this your best quarter yet or are you feeling a little stuck? Napoleon Hill once said, “Reduce your plan to writing. The moment you complete this, you will have definitely given concrete form to the intangible desire.” I want to help you write your 4th Quarter success plan!
Last week, Laura Bruno of The Referral Institute, interviewed me on the monthly Ask the Expert Call. Immediately following the call, one of the Sales Coach Now members emailed me thanking us for the questions that were asked and the content that was shared. Specifically, she said that the information was timely and perfect for getting everyone re-energized for 4th Quarter. So, I thought it would be useful to expand on those ideas in this month’s ezine!
5 Strategies to Ensure a Strong 4th Quarter:
1. Revisit and Update Your Projections
Remember the projections you created at the beginning of 2010? (Oh, wait, did you create projections?) If you have projections, drag them out and take a look. If you don’t, it’s time to create them! There are four months left in the year. How much would you like to sell between now and December 31st? Notice the first number that comes up. Don’t limit yourself, go with that first number. Now, double that number and divide it by four. How does that number feel to you? To find your “true” stretch, find a number between your original goal and the doubled number. It should feel like a stretch, but still feel believable. You now have your “new” sales projections.
2. Revise Your Ideal Schedule
I know, you’ve heard me say it before. You have to follow your Ideal Schedule. Here is the deal. You need to have a schedule that includes your sales calls and your follow up calls-every day if possible. If you don’t make those items a priority, it will be tough for you to grow your sales. Create a strong Ideal Schedule for 4th quarter!
3. Make Sure your Sales Pipeline is FULL
Your Sales Pipeline, or your Work in Progress Report, is a list of all of the sales you are working on. It should list your brand new prospects, sales that are 99% closed and your closed sales. One of the reasons that many sales professionals and entrepreneurs do not reach their sales goals is because they count on everything in their pipeline closing. Everything in your pipeline will most likely NOT close, so you need to double your sales goal (to be really safe-you can lower it as you get a clearer understanding of your closing ratio). For example, if your goal is $10,000.00, you would need $20,000.00 in your pipeline if your closing ratio is 50%.
4. Identify your Top 20%
Once you have developed your sales pipeline, then break it out by your top 20%. Your top 20% are those prospects that represent the top 20% of the clients you do business with. In other words, they are similar in terms of industry, size or both. They should be the “cream of the crop” of your target clients. Begin calling on those clients first because by increasing your business with your top 20%, you will more easily grow your sales and you won’t be wasting time with clients who aren’t really a fit.
5. Schedule Time to Call Them!
Back to your Ideal Schedule! Once you have identified the clients you are going to begin with, schedule the time on your calendar. If it doesn’t make it to your calendar, it probably won’t happen. As you make the calls, be sure to update your Work in Progress or Customer Service Management tool so that you can track your progress.
Action Item: Go through the strategies above step by step. Add time to your calendar to implement and then follow through!
Ensuring a strong 4th Quarter is critical to setting the foundation for a profitable 2011. Implement the strategies listed above and you will be on your way to a successful close to 2010!