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It's December - It’s Go Time

by Matt Bertuzzi on Tue, Dec 08, 2009

I ran across this post from Garth Moulton (Jigsaw Co-founder & VP of Community) the other day and literally laughed out loud a few times.

Garth (@garthm) was kind enough to let me re-post a big chunk of it here. In it, he dispenses some spirited (read: colorful) "advice" on what Sales people should not be doing while trying to make it happen in December.

I especially love his comments as I've been on several different sides of the end of year rodeo, including:

  • Inside Sales guy - "Mr. Prospect I don't see why we can't strike that language, write a little custom code and push billing off a few quarters. Now when can I expect the PO?"
  • Product Manager guy - "You want to do what to the licensing agreement?!? Wait, how much per seat?!"
  • Marketing guy - or as Garth calls us OE's (overhead employees)

Anyways, I hope you get a good laugh - enjoy!

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The cold hard reality is that December blows for salespeople trying to eke out new business. Every decision maker is in the same boat you are:

  1. knee deep in planning for next year (for salespeople that means interviewing)
  2. trying to wrap up those end-of-year projects (deals)
  3. checked out altogether (preferable)

Unfortunately, the only real life experience-backed advice I can offer for December selling is what I used to do in the rare occasions that I wasn't fully engaged in number 3: Identify what can close by the 31st and pull out all the stops to make them happen.

But wait, an idea is gelling- let me tell you a bunch of things that you shouldn't be doing while you are making it happen in December:

  1. Going to internal sales meetings.
    By this time your short timer manager or Sales VP has probably abandoned his resolve from earlier in the year to "really make the weekly sales meeting count." Do he and you a favor by not showing up- tell him you are "buckling down on EOY revenue opps." Make sure you have a reason why he can't come.

  2. Going to internal anything meetings.
    Just because there are a bunch of OE's (overhead employees) that are feeling the year end scrutiny to justify their jobs doesn't mean you need to go to the new Conference Room Naming Meeting.

  3. Responding to Email.
    That's right, I said it.  Letting Outlook run your day is a luxury reserved for CEOs, Founders, and Biz Dev people. Spend your valuable daylight hours completing the tasks that you defined when you started working (or better yet, just before you quit the day before) prioritized exactly in the order of how much they can bring in those few deals. Obviously, this doesn't pertain to emails sent from your EOY deal customers, Dipsh^t. 

  4. Listening to anybody but your customer.
    Who cares what some executive in your company, or sales consultant, or even worse, blogger pundit says. Nobody should know your deal better than you.  Break all the process rules. The only thing that matters is what your customer is telling you (or showing you) that will make the deal close. If there is a feature that needs to be addressed, find a product guy that can draw a picture. If there is a legal issue, give on it. If a discount will get the deal in, pull your pants down!  Like Tim Gunn says in Project Runway, "Make it work!"

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So what do you think? Sound familiar? Any end of year war stories to share?

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