Trouble Prospecting During the Holidays? Try These Tips

BY Jessica Helinski
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Prospecting during the holidays can be tough, as many potential leads are out of the office, working atypical hours, or stuck with spent budgets. Sellers may struggle to get into contact with prospects. Or they may have trouble getting calls and emails returned. But there are ways that you can keep your sales pipeline healthy even when it's the busy holiday season. 

3 tips for successful prospecting during the holidays

"The period from Thanksgiving to New Year’s can be a tough time in B2B sales," Kevin Warner writes for Sales Hacker. "You still have goals and quotas, but instead of workplaces abuzz with activity, you encounter tapped-​out annual budgets, vacationing decision-​makers, and an overall atmosphere of wanting to take time off."

Don't despair this time of year; there are ways that you can break through the holiday busyness and connect with prospects. Warner shares tips for navigating this time of year to keep your pipeline full. His suggestions don't require a lot of extra effort on your part so that you won't feel bogged down either. 

Shift your focus

Instead of solely pursuing new leads, what about the ones you're currently working with? Those with whom you've already connected represent a great opportunity to keep the momentum going. Nurturing current leads can ensure that your pipeline stays moving, and you've already done the tough part of having first contact. "Look at your sequence touchpoints and identify those who have engaged with you in the past but have fallen by the wayside in favor of higher priorities," Warner suggests. "Set a goal to identify an X number of those prospects who you would like to put into an end-​of-​year re-​nurturing campaign."

Use a multi-​touchpoint sequence of different tools, from email to phone and social media. This way, you boost your chances of connecting since the lead is already warm and more receptive to your messages. You can be more familiar with these leads, so consider making a timely reference to the busy holiday season. Continue to play on earlier contact by mentioning a past conversation to personalize your outreach. Also, if they've expressed interest in something you offer, be sure to bring it up. 

Emphasize the end-​of-​year budget

Depleted budgets are a major challenge when prospecting during the holidays. By this time of the year, many of your prospects are working with a very tight budget after a full year of spending. But Warner suggests you make this work to your advantage. "B2B clients are focusing on getting the most out of their remaining budget," he explains. "Let your competitors take the end-​of-​year slump as an excuse to knock off early. Get focused, look at those touchpoints again, and follow up with promising leads."

Take advantage of remaining funds by mentioning the budget outright. Don't be afraid to bring up the topic! Prepare for their response by having different pricing scenarios ready. Be sure to ask questions as well to understand what they are prioritizing right now, along with their goals for the new year. Also, discuss any billing adjustments you may be able to accommodate, in addition to onboarding.

Schedule 2023 appointments now

Even if your prospects are too busy to meet now, you should still get them on the calendar. Connect with them now to schedule a meeting first thing in the new year. And if you’re having trouble connecting due to holiday time off, consider using a scheduling tool that allows them to respond when they are able and set a future date. And don’t forget to follow up. “If you get an out-​of-​office message, make a note in your CRM of the date that the person will be returning,” Warner advises. “Follow up a day or two after they get back and get the ball rolling.” 

These tips, along with the others Warner suggests, should make prospecting during the holidays a bit more effective. These slight changes to your usual strategy can help you not only connect with leads during this busy season, but also set you up to be off and running in January. 

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk