The holidays are a time to slow down, spend time with family, take time off work, and more, but when a sales professional slows down for the holidays, it can curb their Q4 goals, slow their Q1 progress and effect their personal income as well as company revenues—but it doesn’t have to be that way! Sales teams can stay in the holiday spirit, enjoy some time off and still do some valuable prospecting and selling during the holidays. Read on to find out how…

A Well-Timed Phone Blitz

Sure, more people are off during the holidays, but that also includes your competition. So while you may have less success than usual reaching a live person on the phone, you’ll likely stand out to those you do reach, because your communications will stand out—while most of the working world is taking it easy, you’re still taking the time to reach out and connect with them, and it’s easier to stand out with less competition. Try the week before the typical Christmas holiday week for best results, and come back in the New Year ready for those follow-up calls.

Find Gold in Out-of-Office Responses

Emails during the holidays may be met with a near-constant stream of auto-replies and out-of-office messages, which can seem frustrating at first. However, there is gold in those responses! Be sure those messages don’t get deleted, and be sure to mine them for conversational fodder during your next connection with that contact. In those responses, you find out exactly how long a prospect has been gone, when they’ll be back, sometimes even hints as to where and how they spent their holiday, which is great for adding a personal touch to the conversation the next time you connect. In addition, they are almost always filled with alternative and emergency contacts—so that you can expand your network at that particular business in case your first line contact is no longer at the company someday. So open your CRM or sales record-keeping tool and save that important intel!

Take Advantage of the Time of Year

We’ve already discussed how yes, your prospects may be less busy this time of year, but remember, your competition is likely to be relaxing a bit too! Take advantage of this by running special promotions to try to take back those customers. Often-times, a few simple promotions, contests, or SPIFs can rejuvenate and re-energize a sales team during a time of year where a little extra gift or bonus can go a long way! Also, many companies have use it or lose it policy on their budgets that can come in handy for encouraging customers to make decisions before that extra pocket change is revoked by the company.

So there you have it—yes, the holidays can be an unconventional and perhaps seem a bit slow, but with a little creativity, they can still be a very productive time for any sales team or professional.