November and December close the year with a festive bang. Holiday shopping. Plans and budgets for 2018. New Year’s parties. There is just too much going on, and it’s understandable that your sales take a hit. January should be the month that turns all that around. And yet most companies can’t seem to get their numbers up until March. Winter is a slow, sluggish season for some. How can you maintain sales numbers during these cold, tedious months?
Which industries are most active during winter?
Holiday shopping is over, but holiday business doesn’t end there. With late gifts and extended winter vacations continuing to congest traffic and airways, logistics and transit companies are thriving at this time of year. They’re not so busy as they were at the end of 2017, but that’s why this is the perfect time to contact them for a sale. Winter is the best season for vacation and hospitality industries in the Northern hemisphere. Not only are folks travelling to get away, they’re also travelling to see one another for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and other celebrations. Plus, Valentine’s is just around the corner! Which means gifts are back in season so soon!
The businesses that stand to profit from this season also will have more money in the budget for new projects or product upgrades. Take advantage of this opportunity by calling them sooner rather than later. If you’re having trouble finding which industries relevant to your market are most active this time of year, consider a CRM with database and prospect monitoring functionality. Activity alerts help track when companies make announcements with your keywords, post RFPs, RFQs, and Service Requests on public marketplaces.
Shifting territories between the seasons
Every year, we spring forward and fall back for daylight savings time. It’s an irrelevant practice now that we have modern technology, but it’s so ubiquitous and unimportant that no one has bothered to get rid of it. Don’t let year-round territories lead you into the same trap. If you know that the Midwest is an unreliable lead source between November and March, then why are you still looking for scraps every year? If everyone in France seems to drop everything for a months-long vacation every July and August, you wouldn’t market to them at that time. Follow the snowbirds – take your sales efforts South for the winter and bask in the warm glow of plentiful leads.
Use January and February to pleasantly surprise customers
I am sure you give plenty of love to your existing customers, calling them every day and sending them holiday fruit baskets, right? I know better. You probably have too many to spend enough time on each throughout the year. Let this winter be a time for friendly surprises. Check in with your client base. More than likely, your company is releasing a new product or service soon, so don’t worry – you’ll have something to talk about.
What’s more, once you get them on the phone, you’re sure to catch some in their own winter slump. Bringing up new add-ons or winter discounts could score you an upsell just when you thought that well had run dry. That reminds me, this is the perfect time of year to introduce special pricing. Most companies do it around Christmas or Black Friday, but once the holidays are over, their lead pool will be a ghost town. You’ll be the only company for miles offering a discount that doesn’t end until Groundhog Day. With decreased competition from competitors who are in between major sales, this is a perfect storm. Or, should we say perfect blizzard?
Predicting the weather to predict the market
Studies show that inclement weather increases online shopping of wholesale and clothing by 12 percent. Many retailers will use weather reports and sales data to find correlational patterns and stock their shelves accordingly. It’s gotten to the point where informing retail chains of unexpected or short-term weather changes is its own lucrative business. If you can predict sales numbers based on the weather, then you can better allocate your assets next year.
January and February are some of the coldest, most illness-prone months of the year. You can take this year to begin making note of weather changes and lead receptivity. Or, if you think you’ve got your thumb on the pulse of your client base, try using the cold weather to your advantage now. Maybe unusually cold days catch more employees working from home. Are they easier or harder to sell to in that environment? Could go either way, depending on your market. If you need help reviewing and analyzing your content and data for this project, you could consider an ECM. Like most marketing projects, collaboration is key, so make sure your files are stored in a place where they can be accessed and reviewed by the team.
Bad weather is good for business
January can be a gloomy month. The nights are long. The sales are low. The snow’s turned to slush, and the holiday cheer has faded away. Don’t let that fool you into thinking this is the month to coast. Winter can be your most productive month! Take advantage of the market areas left untouched. Use the weather as an oracle and an ally! There is so much business to be seized during this time of year. You just have to stay alert and stay hungry enough to make it happen.