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Business Matters: Christmas Time and After the Holidays

Glen J. Dalakian, Sr.

Just like every season, there are pluses and minuses for business at Christmas time. Setting accurate expectations and then taking action to achieve the desired end results are key in getting through this time of year. For some companies, the last quarter is by far their strongest (starting with Black Friday for retailers). But for some, the last few months of each year can be lean. Let’s focus on how your company can move forward through these months and make the best of this Christmastime for all concerned.

“Why” is a key factor in anticipating your level of success, especially at year-end. Ever heard the words “after the holidays” when trying to close a deal? The first thought that comes to mind when I hear this all-too-common statement is “Why?” Does the prospect truly have a fiscal limitation that prohibits their ability to purchase?  If so and you can’t work around it, then you will only frustrate them if you press hard. But perhaps you could come up with an alternative that could close the deal. How about deferred invoicing or a signature now with a PO in January?

Do we just sit back and take what comes? In any organization, revenue is not the only important factor. What about using a slower time of year to sharpen your team or tune your operations? If you know sales will be down, this may be a good time for training, facility updates, reflection, and other endeavors that will better position you for the new year. Who doesn’t want to hit the ground running on January 1?

Have you mapped a strategy? Here are a few hints for December and January:

  1. Provide a year-end incentive that will motivate your potential clients to commit.
  2. If a deal can’t be closed due to year-end, get a commitment for the new year.
  3. No matter what the client’s response (or excuse), ask and satisfy the “why.”
  4. Offer your staff a bonus or other incentive to close deals in December and perhaps a slightly lower encouragement for sales closed in January.
  5. Share your expectations of productivity with your staff in advance to address the distractions that are typical during this season.
  6. Be sure your employees and your clients are aware of any changes you’re making due to the holidays: days closed, shorter (or longer) hours, etc.

Although this article is primarily for commercial purposes, let’s not forget the reason for the season. Christmas became a national holiday in the USA in 1870 and has been celebrated across the nation since. Most Americans identify with Christmas and what it represents. There are others who celebrate their own holidays in November and December, as well. I hope for all of you, this is a time of peace and joy as we reflect on God’s blessings. I wish you and your family a most happy and healthy holiday time and a very Merry Christmas!

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