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It’s the final lap of the year and it’s an opportunity to recovery from those slow summer months or perhaps close out with the extra end of year bonuses only designed for A+ players.  Even if the fourth quarter is meaningless to your sales process, it’s still important to many of your decision makers buying process.

Qualify in October

October is certainly indicative of the fall season and for sales it’s the season to start dropping those opportunities that are unlikely to close before year-end.  October is the month of qualifying.  You’ve probably been working deals all year long and have heard the “let’s talk later this year” or “I’m thinking this is a Q4 project.”  Circle back with all these prospects and ask great qualifying questions…or perhaps “go negative” as a way to qualify. The go negative strategy is simply a way to re-frame your value proposition to check with your prospect and imply there is not a “fit.”

Example: “Based on the previous numbers we discussed, we’re looking at decreasing your operating cost by 30% within 3-6 months of going live.

Create a Timeline

You know your sales process well and you’ve learned a lot about your prospects decision-making process.  It’s time to work backwards and make sure your prospects understand your sales process and why it’s important to decision making process. If you’re proposals require a consultation then get the calendars aligned to ensure your project doesn’t get pushed out to next year.

Help your Prospects with Creative Budgeting

Okay so “creative budgeting” sounds bad but sometimes the year end budget could be slim.  You’d be surprised with the increase in shared budgeting across modern day enterprises.  That health information communication solution (your solution) certainly affects more than the IT department…ask your prospect about other stakeholders in the organization and why they should be involved.  In the end it might take a joint contribution to move your deal forward.

Don’t get Blind-sighted by Vacation Schedules

This might sound obvious but it’s a friendly reminder to ask about holiday plans.  That 2-week Hawaii vacation sounds nice but it’s not going to be your friend when meeting your annual quota.  Create your prospect timeline and don’t forget to ask about holiday plans…check!

It’s difficult to turn your back on an opportunity but sometimes, especially in the 4th quarter, it will pay dividends to focus on the low hanging fruit. Remember these 4th quarter sales tips – the other opportunities will be there next year.

Would you like to create a social selling strategy?  Check out our worksheet guide below.  

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