September marks for some, the last month of the third quarter (Q3) for 2007.
That meas the mad dash to close the final business of the quarter is here!
If you are in sales, where are you for your numbers? I hope you are right on target to meet your personal goals and professional quotas.
If not, here are some quick sales tips to help you close some last minute business. Remember, you still have a couple of weeks left in the quarter!
The Golden Rule of Sales - It is easier to sell to existing customers than to find new ones.
Concentrate on your existing pipeline!
1) How much more did you want to sell this quarter?
Let's say you wanted an additional $100,000.00 in sales this quarter. You have checked your pipeline and there simply is not a single opportunity which will help you make this number.
Consider adding together three or four opportunities to reach your target. It may take seven or eight smaller customers, but the number can be reached if it is broken up.
Which leads us to...
2) What is the current state of your pipeline?
Do you have any customers who consistently order $5000.00 to 20,000.00 at a time yet who are not in this quarter's forecast?
When was the last time they placed an order?
Now is the time to get on the phone to these prospects and line up an unplanned sale for the quarter. That customer who has placed $25,000.00 and 50,000.00 orders might need an additional, but smaller order now. If you can find three or four of these customers, you will be that much closer to your goal!
3) Check your channels; partners, distributors, and resellers.
Where do they stand? Do they have any opportunities which have not closed?
Do they need your help with the final call?
Have your channels optimized any and all leads and prospects sent their way?
Have these team members come in for the final big push and bring some business over the line.
4) How about inventory?
Is there any excess inventory? What about closeouts or end-of-life products?
Get with your company CFO and Operations people and find out what your can clear off the shelves.
These types of sales are generally high-margin or can be sold at a discount.
Remember: Your customers are just like you. Everyone loves a bargain!
5) What about those new prospects?
Sure, they may not be placing production sized orders, but they may be ready to put in that demo or pilot order.
Yes these orders may be small, but it might be the few small ones which push you over your number.
Before you start with point 1, do the following:
Check your attitude at the door - Anger, depression or bitterness have no place in sales.
Deal with the facts - Summer is traditionally a slow time and credit has been tight in some markets. This may be why you are below your number. Accept it and move on.
You cannot build a pipeline in the last month of the quarter - Pipelines are built over time through careful prospecting and networking. "Last minute, gotta have it, just walked in the door, Big Sales customers" are the stuff of sales legend and myth.
If you sold anything this quarter, 'you done good'. If you sell more, 'you done better'.
Most of all, start building for the fourth quarter which I have always said is a tougher quarter because of the holidays and shorter work time.
Hang in there! Happy hunting!
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