The Christmas tree is up, your office is planning its Secret Santa, and your team is talking excitedly about what they’re going to do in the long-deserved holiday break.
However, does this mean you should stop making sales calls?
We asked our Founder & CEO, Owen Richards, his thoughts on the issue…
When November rolls around, we’re often asked by our clients if they should stop their lead generation campaigns. Their logic? People are either away on holiday or not in the mood for sales calls.
My response? ‘Carry on like you would any time of the year.’
Does this make me sound like a Scrooge in the run-up to Christmas? Probably. However, the facts show that you need to keep prospecting in December instead of slowing things down.
The evidence: why you should keep those calls going
As an agency specialising in outbound sales support, Air Marketing make hundreds of thousands of calls on behalf of clients every year. As a result, we get to identify patterns in behaviour.
Our data for 2021 shows that positive decision maker engagement increases significantly in the run-up to Christmas. Why? People are cheerful, excited, and willing to talk more.
As well as this, the likelihood of an appointment converting into a lead is still high. Even in the week commencing 20th December, when businesses are starting to wind down, the conversion rate is still comparable to the weeks before.
Now, at this point, you might be thinking, ‘but Owen, that’s one isolated year. It was the first year back in the office after lockdown, and people were just happy to speak to another human. Look at another year, and it will probably be another story.’
We also carried out a similar study in 2019 where we compared clients that kept their lead generation going in December 2018 and January 2019 against those that didn’t.
We found that conversations with decision makers increased by 18%, and the time required to generate a qualified sales lead dropped by 51%.
So no matter which year you look at, it’s still important to pick up the phone all the way through the festive season.
Why you should keep picking up the phones in the run-up to Christmas
So we’ve looked at the statistics behind prospecting in December, now to see why you should keep making those calls.
1. The quality of conversation increases in December
According to YouGov, 38% of people say their mental health improves over Christmas. There are family and friends to visit, lots of food to eat and best of all… no work for a week!
As a result, we’ve found that decision makers are more talkative and happier. The quality of conversations increases, as does the length of phone calls. This increases the chance of a positive interaction and a prospect turning into a lead.
You also have a quick win up your sleeve in December; you’ve got something in common with the person you’re calling. You can talk about what they’re up to for Christmas, when they’re finishing for the holidays, and if they’re having an office party.
Use it as an opportunity to forge a connection with your prospect and structure a successful sales call.
2. People are planning their budgets for the year ahead
In December, departments are starting to think about budgets for the upcoming tax year. This makes this time of year ideal to introduce yourself and state your case as to why they should work with you.
Decision makers will be in a better mood and have more time to talk, meaning your conversion rate will increase.
Will prospective customers want to meet up in December? Probably not. However, you can ’keep them warm’ until they’re back in for the New Year and arrange an appointment then.
3. People aren’t going to write off 8% of the year
Think of the year as the equivalent of a Christmas cake, cut into twelve slices.
You think, ‘I don’t want to bother people just before Christmas.’ That’s a slice gone.
You then think, ‘People are going to be away in August for the summer holidays.’ There goes another slice.
Finally you think ‘There’s no point calling people at Easter.’ Another slice. Before you know it, you’ve given up a quarter of the year, and that’s before you start taking holidays into account.
When there are targets to hit in the workplace, every moment counts. This means people will keep on working, and it will be business as usual for many of your prospects.
Unless your key decision maker has decided to take the whole of December off, they’ll still be around to listen to you.
A Christmassy caveat…
Another question our clients frequently ask is if they should start a new sales campaign in December.
My answer? It’s never a good idea to start something new in December. If you’ve already begun your campaign, keep the momentum going in the run-up to Christmas, but leave the brand new initiatives until you’re back at work after New Year.
That way your sales team will be recharged, refreshed, and ready to go!
My final thoughts
When the Christmas lights are up, and you’re doing your Christmas shopping during your lunch break, the last thing you want to do is pick up the phone and talk to prospects.
However, December is the perfect time to make calls if you want to see positive engagement with decision makers.
Don’t forget, if you’re planning your sales campaigns for quarter four, it pays to get started now. Our team of sales specialists will fill your sales funnel and help you reach your sales goals.
Contact Air Marketing today to find out how we can work together in the months ahead.