The sales year has four quarters in it — and the 4th Quarter is the most important of the year. “Q4” is the quarter that has a double impact to your performance.
First, consider that sports coaches always teach their players to compete until the end of a play, a game or a season. Many sporting events are not won until the last minute or play of the game. Yogi Berra’s famous quote, “It’s not over till it’s over” applies not only to sports but sales as well.
From a sales perspective, give your maximum effort until the last day of the year. Let your competitors coast through the holiday season. This is the quarter that sales performers will usually dramatically impact their annual performance and commission for a strong finish. I have also found that it is a great time to get in front of decision-makers, and some of your customers may even have budget money available that expires at the end of the year. Even if you find yourself behind your quota going into Q4, stay focused on a strong finish.
Second, it is also a critical time to lay the groundwork for a successful start to the next year. Our performance in the first quarter of 2018 will be traced to our activities in this final quarter of 2017. Many of us have longer sales cycles, so let’s get a start on building a strong pipeline (or funnel) of projects now. Coasting now may seriously impact your sales performance into the New Year.
So, compete to the end of the year, or, as they say in football, “until the whistle blows.” This will not only help you in 2017, but also help you set the tone for a successful 2018.
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