When you think about the holiday season, you probably think about family, fun and feasting. But did you ever stop to think that the holidays are also a great time to reach out and call your small business customers?
There are several reasons why now is an ideal time to contact customers by phone.
- The holiday season is a time for celebrating relationships, and talking in person can help reinforce and cement your business relationships.
- With many businesses short-staffed during the holidays, decision-makers who normally don’t answer the phone may be a lot easier to reach.
- While rank-and-file workers typically take time off, C-level execs are more likely to be working, frequently coming in early or staying late to take advantage of the quiet office and uninterrupted time to focus.
- At many companies, budgets need to be spent before the year ends, so there might be money available for projects you might normally have trouble selling.
- Other companies are planning their budgets for next year, making now a good time to get on their radar.
So how can you make your “reach out and touch” customer calls successful? Try these four tips:
- Make a list. Use your CRM system or other customer data to identify potentially most lucrative customers. For example, you might check who purchased from you this time last year or whose fiscal year is about to end.
- Set a goal. Calling is a numbers game, so it’s important not to get discouraged. Set a goal to call a certain number of customers per day, and just power through.
- Be prepared. Know what you’re going to say in advance so you don’t waste the customer’s time. Yes, small talk greases the wheels, especially this time of year, but people are also busy.
- It’s not all about the sale. These calls aren’t focused on making an immediate sale (though that would be nice), but on enhancing your relationship with the customer and finding new ways to serve him or her. Explore their needs for the coming year, what they’d like to do differently and how you can help them achieve their 2015 goals. Ending up with a firm commitment to talk in 2015 is a good start.