Crank It During The Holidays!

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It’s Dec. 26, and the fourth quarter of 2007 is one week away from entering the history books. It’s been a wild ride for the past three months, as it always is in our industry, and you are looking forward to spending this last week relaxing, puttering around the house, winding down. After all, you’ve worked hard this year, your clients are all on vacation and what could possibly happen business-wise in these final five dead working days of the year? You should relax and eat that cheese ball and take some naps, right?
Wrong. Way, totally wrong.
You can relax when you’re on vacation or dead. Of course, the former is much more fun than the latter. Unless you’re vacationing in Pittsburgh. Why would you do that to yourself?
When you are bold, different and memorable, the final week in the year could be one of your most productive and active sales weeks.
“Whazzat?” you say. “Splain yourself, Ricko.”
Okay, here goes… Most of your competition isn’t working the last week of the year. Is there a more perfect time to prospect for new accounts and create some new relationships with which to begin 2008? Show these potential clients that you are on it and working it during this important planning week!
Many of these prospects and your existing clients won’t be around … but many will. Call them. Connect with them. Develop those relationships. Find out how their holiday was. And, while you’re at it, you might also want to find out:

  • Is their marketing plan complete for 2008? How can you partner with them to make that plan a reality? Let’s hit the ground running by getting things into position this week.
  • Are they exhibiting at any trade shows in the first quarter of ’08? You can help get show attendees into their booths and remembering what they do before, during and after the show. You can help them move beyond mere “brand awareness” and create “brand preference” at their 2008 trade shows. Have an e-flier ready to e-mail at the drop of a hint of a wisp of a suggestion: “Top 10 Trade-Show Items Available in Two Weeks.”
  • Do they have any promotional dollars in their budgets that they need to spend or lose? You can happily oblige them and get them invoiced in 2007, thus preserving their full marketing budget for 2008. Say it with me … “pro-forma invoicing.”
  • Are they open to placing those upcoming 2008 reorders now and locking in 2007 pricing? In most cases, prices will go up in 2008. What a perfect week to get these orders placed and handled for them.

Our biggest industry show of the year is coming in just three weeks in Las Vegas. What can you keep your eyes open for at this show on their behalf? Work up a list of projects and products that you can resource for them at PPAI Expo (or in Orlando).
Are they available for lunch tomorrow, Friday or Monday? Things are quiet and this is a perfect time to connect socially, thank them for their business, break bread and make plans for 2008.
Many of us who work for medium or larger distributorships can get enough booked to hit that next sales award level during this final week. Go out in a blaze of sales glory, kids!
So, let’s recap, shall we?
Forget about the couch, the naps and the cheese ball. Kick it up two notches on that week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve and create new relationships, energize old relationships, get those ’07 budget dollars spent, have lunch with your three favorite clients, get some trade-show planning and promos working, solicit new projects for PPAI Expo and Crank It, Baby!
I’ve always wanted to end an article with the phrase “Crank It, Baby.” My work here is done.
This article was written by Rick Greene for Corporate Logo Magazine. Reprinted with permission.
Rick Greene, MAS, is the Western region vice president for HALO/Lee Wayne Corp., the incoming vice president of SAAC and the author of the recently published comic fantasy novel “Shroom!” He’s also not a big fan of cheese balls.

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