Keep calm and get ready for the holidays photo of fall leaves and apples
In this week’s episode, Scott and Jon give you advice to help combat common issues that arise during the holidays. With proper strategy and execution you will get a leg up on the competition while they get fat on turkey and stuffing.

Hosts: Jon Dwoskin & Scott Fishman.

*E - explicit language is used in this podcast.

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Scott: Thank you for joining us for another episode of the Seven Minute Sales Minute Podcast, your bite-size and easy-to-digest guide to jump-starting your sales career, and putting you on the road to gaining more prospects, more clients, more business, and ultimately more income. Good morning, Jon.

Jon: Good morning, Scott. How are you today?

Scott: I’m doing great, how are you?

Jon: I’m doing great. It was great. I woke up this morning, the snow is coming down and the holidays are here in Detroit, Michigan.

Scott: Yes. Jon, I was thinking after last week’s episode where we talked about how to get past the holiday objections, I thought we’d teach our listeners how to gobble up more business over the Thanksgiving week.

Jon: Gobble, gobble. There’s a lot of business to eat up. If you don’t attack, then you’re just a turkey.

Scott: (laughs)

Jon: You’ve got to attack the business. There’s still a lot of time left in this year. Eat it up.

Scott: Without further ado, let’s go over a couple ways that we can boost our business this holiday season.

Jon: I love it. I love it. You start.

Scott: One thing I like to do on a week like this – and we talked about it – we’re going to get folks giving us the smokescreen of “Call me after the holidays”.  So, going in prepared for that … One thing I like to do is I start by calling past clients, old clients that I haven’t worked with in a while – and might not have talked to in a while – and trying to drum up some referrals. The reason I do that is one thing I know is that even if there were issues before a deal closed in the past, and the closing might not have gone as smoothly as we thought, absence makes the heart grow fonder, as they say. The further we get in the rear view, the more rosy those colored glasses are that they’re looking at everything through. They tend to like us. They forget the bad stuff, they remember the good.

Jon: Out of sight, out of mind. Absolutely. Especially during the holidays, when people are rushing to close deals, you’re easily forgettable if you’re not in front of them. I just want to comment on something you said: really asking for referrals. I know many people do, I think people have a difficult time. I think we’ve talked about it on past podcasts – asking for referrals. I want to really push everybody that it’s a responsibility for us to ask for referrals because we want to service all the people that we can really help. If the word “referral” doesn’t work for you, I talk to a lot of my clients to use the word “introduction.” “Hey, will you make an introduction for me to generate some business?”

Scott: It makes a lot of sense. I think folks will shy away from the referral word if you just say, “Who do you have that you can refer me to?” I think you’re right. It makes sense.

Jon: You talk about the different client bases, and I think everybody really needs to look at their current clients and their closed clients. You were talking about past clients, and older clients, and current clients, and closed clients. Those are four traunches of buckets I think everybody really needs to look at. Let’s break that down for a minute. Your current clients are everybody that are active in your pipeline. Your past clients, from my perspective, are people that you’ve done business with over the last 12 to 18 months and/or just had a deep, business relationship with them. Whether you’ve done a proposal, whether you’ve actually closed business – doesn’t matter- but, if you know that there’s more business to be had … Closed clients are everybody that you’ve ever closed a deal with, specifically broken down into the last 12 to 18 months, and really the last forever, of your career. Older clients are the ones that we all forget about as salespeople as we’re always rushing to the next deal. Any client that you’ve done business with over the last 5, 10, 15, 20+ years. You really want to create a list of those people, especially during the holidays.

Scott: Right. I think you’re right. Some of the things that we forget about, a lot of times, is those clients who keep coming back. I’ve got this guy – his name is Rob – that I wrote a loan for literally in 2002. I talk to him at least every 6 months. He calls and kicks tires. Sometimes, believe it or not, I get a little … “Oh, gosh. Rob’s calling.” Because I’m busy and I really don’t want to deal with him. I’m also thankful for that when times are a little bit slow and I can reach out to him and just shoot the breeze, because he’s a personable guy. If he’s calling me every 6 months just to talk to his mortgage guy, I can imagine he probably talks to his barber, the guy who sold him his TV, the guy who sold him his car, his insurance guy. He knows folks. I always humor him and talk to him, and I think that is a very important piece that we’re missing here. If we’re just reaching out to people we’ve talked to over the last 6 months to a year, or clients that are in our pipeline currently – those old clients – really, they’re gold.

Jon: They’re gold. I reached out to somebody that I didn’t even think I could do business with now, but he was our first client back in my Internet company in 2002. One of our very first clients. He had this product called [ocybate 00:05:12], his name is [Dave Miros 00:05:13], he was a great guy. He taught us a ton. I just was thinking about him one day and I dropped him an email, and I’m hoping that it’s the right email and that we connect. It’s absolutely critical that you are reaching out to everybody in the past.

Scott: Got it. Dave, if you’re listening, reach out to Jon (laughs).

Jon: Yeah. Dave Miros. What do we say when we talk to these people? The current? The past? The closed? The older? What are the talking points that we’re going to say to these people when we just pick up the phone? Especially now, during the gobble holiday.

Scott: Jon, one of the first things I do is I let them know that I’m not calling to sell them something.

Jon: That’s smart.

Scott: I think that’s important. If they know that you’re just calling, it’s a great time to call this week because it’s Thanksgiving. If you call and just start the conversation with, “Hey Jon, it’s Scott. Just calling up to say thank you. You’ve been a valuable client over the years. I really appreciate you doing business with me. I wanted to remind you of where I’m sitting, and that I am still here and we’ve got some great, new products that are available in case any friends or family members could use my services.” Then I leave it at that. I know that most people, 99% of people in America, will be seeing friends and family this week. If I just leave that bug in their ear and plant the seed, at least I’m on top of mind for them.

Jon: Bar nights, football games, dinners, post-dinners, family parties, holiday parties. There’s a ton. I agree, it’s Thanksgiving so calling to say thank you and not being a hard salesperson. But, I think salespeople have a hard time calling clients and saying thank you, and showing their appreciation to their clients. I just want to throw something out there that … Don’t be uncomfortable calling your clients and thanking them for their business, and just being a little bit vulnerable with them, and tell them how grateful you are for their business. It’ll go a long way. I think, sometimes, salespeople have a hard time being themselves in that nature.

Scott: Right. I agree. I think we want to project that confidence, and the confidence that we project, we don’t want to seem vulnerable. It’s a good word that you used. We don’t want to seem vulnerable, because that’s weakness. It’s not true. Vulnerability, that’s a hard one to say, Jon, is strength. We want to make sure that we do have that strength within us. It’s weak to actually act as if you’re not vulnerable, I think.

Jon: Right. There’s a great book I read called “Daring Greatly.” The name of the author completely escapes me right now. I don’t know why but it’ll come to me in a minute. It’s a great book about vulnerability and just putting yourself out there. I highly recommend it. It’s a great read for the holidays, to come back strong and just ready to put your best foot forward. Let’s move on to how to prep to really boost those sales and get ready for the week of November 30th. This is a short week for all of us. I think Tuesday is probably, somewhat, the last day. Wednesday – if people are working – this may be a shortened day or mentally-out day because they’re getting ready for the holidays and cook. Let’s give our listeners some things to think about to make sure they get done before they leave the office Tuesday or Wednesday for the holidays.

Scott: That is funny how you mention that Wednesday is an off day. It’s weird how, in America now, every holiday, even if it’s a one day holiday, is now a three or a four day holiday. We have to prep for actually being off work instead of being on work. One of the things that I like to do on Wednesday, before this holiday, is clean my email box. I’m not a big fan of “inbox zero” during the week, or during busy times. I think email clutter is fine because email serves a purpose. If you’re at inbox zero, you’re doing it wrong because you’re focusing on just your email. Clean your email box so that way when you do come back to work, everything is fresh. Clean your desk, it’s huge. Coming back to a clean desk is amazing.

Jon: It’s amazing. It’s critical. I’m going to suggest that everybody, and I think we’ve talked about this, too, on past podcasts, go electronic. Anything that’s on your desk that you don’t need – that you haven’t looked at for X amount of months – scan it, file it, put it in Dropbox, whatever you’re doing, a flash drive, get it off your desk. Clear the clutter. Absolutely clear the clutter. It is costing you money. It’s holding you back.

Scott: I can’t tell you how much having a scanner has really changed my life as far as getting the clutter off. I just scan stuff and then I keep it filed in different spots on my desktop (my virtual desktop) rather than my desk. I’m a clutter guy as it is, so anything I can do to de-clutter definitely helps.

Jon: So important. Printing out your business plan and reviewing it right before you leave, and getting it fresh in your mind how you’re going to get ready to come back and attack November 30th, and what that shortened business plan is that we went over last week as far as “what are you going to do the remaining 15-ish days of December, 15-20 days of business days, that you’re going to really attack?” Get it clear in your mind.

Scott: Right. I like to have a clear and concise to-do/hot-list for coming back to work on Monday, which is very important, so I know where to knock out. One last thing to do just as I’m leaving the office, is any client that I have anything outstanding with, or is in my pipeline … I’m a big fan of the BCC. I love doing this. I send myself an email, and I’m very careful to make sure I’m BCC’ing my clients, every single one that has any loose end. I tell them to have a great holiday, have a great weekend, remind them that there may be a couple things still outstanding for us, and I do need them to address it at some point over the weekend when they get a free moment. And if they have a question, “Here’s my cell phone number.” I think that goes a long way. I can tell you, very rarely does my phone ring over the holiday, but just giving that cell phone number is such an olive branch and it makes clients … Gives them that warm and fuzzy feeling, and it really doesn’t cost you anything.

Jon: Give them the assurance that whatever you’re working on for them is under control, and they can enjoy their holiday because they know you’ve got everything taken care of. I’m also going to suggest that you plan out your November 30th day before you leave, as well as the entire week. Know what you’re doing when you come to work on the 30th. Otherwise, just like you were saying earlier, it becomes almost like a four-day holiday because you’re coming back after a lot of restless days and you are wasting November 30th because you’re just trying to clean up your emails, clean up your day, plan your day. It just becomes a mess. Plan your week. At minimum, plan Monday.

Scott: That makes sense. I always talk about turning the treadmill up to full blast and just jumping on rather than ramping up. Sometimes that’s what that Monday can feel like if we don’t have it planned ahead.

Jon: I just remembered the person’s name: Brene Brown. She actually has two TED videos that have gone viral talking about vulnerability. It’s a great, great read for the holidays.

Scott: I’ve actually heard a couple interviews with her. She’s great.

Jon: Yeah, she’s really good.

Scott: To remind people what we talked about – the holiday objection – the holiday smokescreen is just that. It’s just a smokescreen. Our mindset is what dictates our business. We don’t have to let our business fall during this week. Hopefully, these tips and the tips we gave you with last week’s episode help you get past this little “holiday slump” that people perceive to be real when it’s really not, and you can keep your business flying throughout the holiday season.

Jon: Right. I would just end with also saying control your time. Don’t let your time control you. Really take some of these tips that Scott and I have been giving you, and that you get from other people, and execute and control what you can control.

Scott: Thank you again for all the folks who have listened, subscribed, and reviewed us on iTunes. We’ve actually been jumping up the charts and we’re very grateful and thankful, in this Thanksgiving week, for all the new listeners and reviews that we’ve gotten. Please, don’t forget to drop us a review if you’ve listened and have not done so. Every review helps. Thank you very much. Look out for great things coming soon. Jon and I have been having some meetings and we’re looking at some great surprises for us when we start the next season of the Seven Minute Sales Minute Podcast.

Jon: Well said. I concur with everything. Have a great day. Thank you very much for listening, and we’ll talk to you soon.

Scott: Thank you.

Jon: Thank you for listening to this episode of the Seven Minute Sales Minute. For show notes and work sheets pertaining to this week’s show, check us out at thesevenminutesalesminute.com. Take today’s strategies and run with them. Increase your sales and increase your income.