During a long stretch of my career, I worked for a company that had an unwritten but mandatory rule that those of us with a quota could not take time off at the end of the month. Which meant that we didn’t attached vacation time to company-wide holiday closing.
It was a stupid rule, given life by stupid ploys like “if we can close this by the end of the month, we’ll add an additional 10% discount.” But I digress…
Suffice to say, I was in the office around the holidays for more than a decade. It sure seemed like everybody else was gone – colleagues in other departments, most of my account contacts, and most of my prospects.
But, there were people working – a handful, a fraction of the people who typically made up my day, but there were people.
And, it became an incredibly productive time for me.
I had time to read. I had time to sort out my desk – find the post card or the email of a tool I wanted to check out and actually check it out.
Because my attention wasn’t being splintered in a dozen different ways, I could think about larger issues for my accounts and conceptualize a better mousetrap.
And, when I called someone or answered the phone or an email – I didn’t have the typical distractions (conference calls, meetings, forecast deadlines, etc.) and could really have a conversation with these people.
I could spend time. I could give above average attention. And, gasp, I could get to know them better as people – with other interests besides a sales transaction. I was developing relationships and building trust that would pay multiple dividends.
The same concept applies to marketing campaigns. Did the November and December campaigns have lower results than other months? Yes. But there were results. Not marketing during “slow” times pretty much guarantees no results. And, in my case, with a 7-9 month sales cycle, it meant a dip in pipelines 5 to 7 months out. Ask any salesperson, and they’ll tell you, when it comes to pipelines, something is better than nothing.
Time slows down a bit during the holidays and just as it meant that I had more attention to give, it also meant prospects had more attention to give.
You are only as successful as your relationships and the holidays are a great time to build relationships and usher relationships through the Know>Like>Trust>Try>Buy>Repeat>Refer Marketing hourglass.
In terms of your business, what has been your holiday experience?