The 100-Day Sales Sprint Begins Tuesday September 4th
Communo CSO Blair Enns says next week is the most important week of the year to win new business and engage in sales activities. In addition to being a Communo executive, Blair is the founder of Win Without Pitching, the new business training company for creative professionals, and the author of The Win Without Pitching Manifesto.
Here is Blair’s advice for how you can capitalize on the most important week of the year…
The first Tuesday of September – the day after Labor Day in America (and Labour Day in Canada) marks the end of summer in North America. On this day, the continent’s entire economic engine explodes into life and the most important sales period of the year begins, the 100-Day Sprint.
Vacations are over, decisions can be made again and the realization that there are roughly 100 business days left in the year that hits everyone full force, triggering five considerations that mark this as the most fruitful sales period of the year. So enjoy the rest of your downtime but make sure you’re ready to hit the ground running on September 4th. Here are five reasons why this week is money-making week, and some things you can do to take advantage.
1. Decision Makers Are Back
The greater the number of decision makers involved in the sale, the less likely you are to close in August when nobody is available at the same time. That all changes the first Tuesday in September. It’s time to close those lingering opportunities. Don’t wait for the day to arrive – set the meetings now for Labor Day week and get those deals done.
2. Year-End Goals Loom
Not only have all the people returned, but they can now see the end of the year in front of them and the goals they set, or were assigned, behind them. They’re starting to get a sense of how close or far they are from meeting those goals. This point in the year contains just the right amount of panic to inspire action. Leverage it in conversations by talking about year-end goals with your prospects.
3. Budgets Need to be Emptied
In larger, more bureaucratic organizations, a thought begins to appear in early September: my budgets might not be depleted and therefore renewed for next year. Some people have money to spend for the sake of spending money. Ask existing clients if they have any budgets that need emptying and new prospects if some of these unused budgets might be appropriate for innovative pilot projects that would allow you to test the fit (and preserve a budget).
4. Budgeting for Next Year Begins in Earnest Now
Clients with long sales cycles who’ve been putting you off until budgets are allocated for next year are about to begin the process. Your job is to be involved and helpful in that process rather than an outside spectator waiting to hear the results of the race. It’s a great time to sell a diagnostic so you can get paid to help the client scope the problem and budget for a solution. If you’re successful here you’ll almost certainly have the inside track if the larger job does go to an RFP or a pitch. If the client has a direct award maximum that they have to keep under in order to hire you directly without going through procurement, make sure the price of your diagnostic comes in under that amount.
5. Almost Everyone is at Their Desk (Waiting for You to Reach Out)
Building on point #1 at the top, the week after Labor Day is a great time to get people on the phone. If you’re only going to do outbound telephone one week of the year, next week is the week. I’m not overly fond of activity volume targets when it comes to consultative sales, but if there’s a week when you want to set some activity goals to try to build some momentum for a lucrative sales period, the week after Labor Day is it. Set some targets for number of conversations, calls or emails and sprint like crazy for a week. Create momentum now that you can harness over the next 100 days.