The holiday season is oftentimes a time when salespeople and business owners think that no more business is going to get done. They assume that their prospects are checking out for the holidays and that there’s no real point in trying to continue to push on sales until the New Year starts.
But that’s actually a huge mistake, especially if you are selling any sort of professional services, like Agency services!
Business owners are setting big goals and making plans for the New Year now and they will need your help to get them done.
They are reviewing their current year’s performance and either really motivated to make next year a bigger year and build on this year’s momentum, or to make next year a better year because they’re disappointed in this year’s results.
Either way, it creates an opportunity for you to get inside of their head while they’re making their big plans and capitalize.
For this reason, I’ve often found that the holiday season is the best time of year to sell Agency services or any other professional services and to create momentum for the New Year.
Here’s a proven set of sales and marketing strategies that you can still deploy before the year is over to get more deals done and create momentum heading into the New Year.
Send Your Clients a Gift
Everybody loves to get a gift, and the holiday season is a perfect time to send one! Here’s a strategy to make a big impact without breaking the budget:
Take your top 20% of your clients and send them something really nice. Let them know that you appreciate their business, and that you look forward to working with them in the next year. This should be about 50% of your gift budget.
Take the other 80% of your clients and send them a thoughtful card or a handwritten note with a smaller gift and also thank them for their business and show them their appreciation. This should be about 30% of your budget.
Send the top 20% of your prospects a thoughtful card or a handwritten note with a smaller gift and let them know you look forward to the opportunity to work together. This should be 20% of your budget.
Then send the rest of your prospects a holiday email and wishing them the best for the holidays and the new year.
In all three of these situations, you should include a special offer for the holidays. We’ll talk about what that special offer is later on in this post, but it will make this gift-giving process profitable!
(FYI: Food always makes for a great gift to send to an office. I’ve spent literally tens of thousands of dollars with My Grandma’s Coffee Cakes of New England…people ALWAYS love to get them!)
Offer a Pre-Paid Discount
The strategy has worked really, really well for me over the years, because you have more clients than you know that have a surplus of profits and cash at the end of the year that would love to spend it before the New Year to get a tax break.
So give them the opportunity to pre-pay for services now, lower their taxes, and get a discount on your services for the pre-pay.
This is one of the best cash generation strategies that you can put to use for the end of the year!
Create Urgency to Get Projects Scheduled In Advance
As I said, many business owners are making aggressive plans for the new year now and they want to start the year with momentum – the last thing they’ll want to hear is that their projects have to be pushed back because they waited to long to schedule with you.
So send them a message now and let them know that your Q1 schedule tends to get booked up very quickly and let them know that you’re making scheduling their projects a priority because of your relationship with them.
They’ll appreciate it and get their projects scheduled with you before the year’s over.
So reach out to all of them and let them know that you want to schedule them in advance to make sure their projects get prioritized. They’ll feel like you’re taking good care of them, and you’ll have a packed calendar in January before the year has even started!
You’ll be amazed at how much momentum this can create for your Q1.
(For the last two strategies above, I’ve created a set of email campaigns that have worked like gangbusters for me and many others over the years – you can get them here!)
Throw a Customer Appreciation Party
If you have the majority of your clients or customers in the local market, putting together an event where you get them together and show your appreciation is a classic and proven way to build goodwill with your prospects and clients.
It’s also a great strategy for getting prospects together with happy clients so that they can spread the good word about what it’s like to work with you.
This doesn’t have to be anything very expensive. Just rent a room or a section of a restaurant and let them know that you’re having a happy hour for a couple of hours where you’re picking up the tab.
This small gesture can really build good will and can give you the opportunity to connect in a festive and informal way.
Create a Special Holiday Offer
Use the holidays as a reason to give your prospects and clients the gift of a special offer. This is a marketing opportunity that is just too good and too easy to pass up on.
I particularly like to use this opportunity to cross-sell or upsell services that maybe don’t get as much attention during my regular selling process.
For existing customers, segment them by what services they have and don’t have and create a discounted offer that is good until the end of the year for services that you want to upsell and cross-sell to them.
For prospects that you are sitting on the fence, offer a significant one-time discount and/or bonus offer that is really compelling and make it very clear that the offer won’t be available after the New Year.
Urgency and scarcity = sales!
The holiday season is a really natural opportunity to pull out the stops in your marketing and make a splash, so do things like send direct mail pieces, run retargeting campaigns, create fun office videos, and promote your special offers in all of them in a fun way!
Really do a full marketing push to demonstrate that you are a MARKETER!
These are five proven strategies that you can deploy right now before the holiday season really gets into full swing.
Do as much as you can. Do them all if you can!
Go for it, and you can generate a ton of sales before the end of the year and start your New Year with great momentum.
I hope this serves you well!
All the best,