Making the Most of 2011

As the end of the year rolls around, we all get a little preoccupied. We start worrying about menus, budgets for holiday, New Years Eve plans, family gatherings and impending vacations. And that’s just on a personal note. On the business side, we worry about what the end of the year reports will reveal about our profits, revenues, productivity and overall performance.

With all of the personal and professional end of the year tasks at hand, it seems natural to table marketing campaigns, and prospect and lead generating activities. Not only is it hard to imagine fitting more work into our end of the year schedules, but we generally assume that all businesses slow down this time of year, making it an imperfect time to pursue new leads.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the end of the year may actually be an ideal time to pursue new and improved business opportunities.

Like you, your customers and suppliers are assessing their expenses and revenues for the year, and are evaluating ways in which they can reduce their expenses and increase revenues for the upcoming year.

Because everyone is taking stock of their contracts and business relationships, this time of year is ideal for touching base with your customers and suppliers to discuss with them ways in which partnering with you can help them reach their fiscal goals for the upcoming year.

When you go about contacting your customers and suppliers, make sure you are prepared so as not to waste their time or yours. Like we’ve already stated, time during the holiday season is a very valuable commodity. Respect the time your associates spend with you and make the most of it.

For current customers, demonstrate the value of the services you provide by preparing a report outlining the services, time, parts, resources, etc. that you have provided over the last year along with the corresponding costs to your customers. Use the report as a springboard to discuss plans for the upcoming year. In addition to determining additional services you can provide to your customers, together, you can develop mutually beneficial, customized billing agreements for the upcoming year based on a set of services, hours or projects. By giving your customers more competitive rates and addressing more of their needs, you should be able to win additional or more regular revenue opportunities.

Similarly, when meeting with current suppliers, prepare reports showing the services, parts and time that they have provided you. Based on the data in the report, discuss with your suppliers various customized arrangements that would benefit you both — lowering your costs and increasing the recurrence of your business or payments.

While it is always easier to broach current customers and suppliers than it is to pursue new leads, the end of the year also presents you with an ideal opportunity to follow up on new leads while your competition focuses on end of the year paperwork and festivities.
Make the most of the lull in your competition’s active marketing activities by giving your current customers rewards for referrals, and by daring to be different as you use the holiday season to grow your business.

By impressing current and perspective customers and suppliers with your business’ efficiency and meticulousness now, you can secure for your business a rewarding future before ringing in the New Year. Isn’t that something worth celebrating?

Until Next Time,
Success Team

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