While it’s generally a time of slowed sales (and buying) activity, there are still many opportunities that make it possible to prospect in Q4. Just because it’s the end of the year, doesn’t mean it’s time to throw in the towel. Smart sellers know what to do to make fourth-quarter prospecting not only possible but also successful.
Why you should prospect in Q4
Common thought is that the end of the year should be for wrapping things up and slowing the pace. But this may cause lost opportunities and stall momentum.
“B2B prospecting gets a bad reputation around the holidays – out-of-office replies, increased no-shows, and a heavier focus on closing business,” explains Danielle Norris for Superhuman Prospecting. “But prospecting in quarter 4 is all about gaining momentum and using it to your advantage.”
Norris believes that smart sellers use this time period to seek out last-minute prospects, ensuring that come January, their pipeline is primed. Not to mention, you’ll get ahead of the competitors as they kick up their feet and wait until the year ends.
Seek smaller deals in the fourth quarter
To effectively prospect in Q4, you need to plan, as conditions will be a bit different than the rest of the year. Kendra Lee, writing for KLA Group, points out that sellers should seek out smaller opportunities, especially those with lower budgets.
“It may seem counterintuitive, but at the end of the year, many small sales are the better strategy," she explains.
This also aligns with the advice from Norris, who points out that many prospects may have less money to spend as the year closes. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have any money, and those remaining dollars could be yours.
As she adds, “The holidays generally represent the closing of the fiscal year for most of your customers. This is the time of year when companies are looking to expense write-offs and use leftover money in their budgets to get things they want and need.”
So when you plan to prospect in Q4, narrow down leads to those who may not have blockbuster budgets but rather offer a smaller, yet still lucrative, opportunity.
Revisit lost prospects
Use the final months of the year to reconnect and re-engage with prospects that you didn’t close earlier. Likely, you’ve got at least a few who fell out of the pipeline. Perhaps they didn’t see a need at the time, or they went dark. Whatever the reason, these leads create a perfect opportunity for prospecting in Q4.
Writing for his blog The Sales Hunter, Mark Hunter advises sellers to use this time to reach back out. “As far as lost customers go–you know the customer that you thought you were going to get, but ultimately they went with another option versus you? Well, in the fourth quarter, all bets are off because it’s amazing how things change and twist. And you can pick up a tremendous amount of business,” he explains.
Before reconnecting, though, make sure you have a strategy. SalesFuel offers some advice on how to make reconnection attempts effective. Take a look at these tips and take time to work them into your plan.
Keep the holidays in mind
These are only a couple of the prospecting opportunities to leverage as you prospect in Q4. But remember, while you aren’t slowing down, holidays, trips and time off will still be happening. Be mindful about potential prospects and their schedules.
And as Norris advises, keep that holiday cheer when communicating. “The holidays are all about connecting – in business it’s no different,” she writes. Remember, relationships are the foundation of sales. Empathy, compassion, patience, and gratitude will be especially appreciated this time of year.
Photo by Anete Lusina