Unfortunately, yet typically, the fourth quarter of the year is viturally non-existent for most salespeople.  They tend to hibernate from Halloween until New Year’s.

Some believe that everyone else is focused on the holidays and just not going to do anything until after the new year.

Others view the two holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas as two long, drawn out months.  They get caught up in all the drama, etc.  I find this especially funny when the salesperson in question is doing nothing for Thanksgiving beyond driving an hour to a relative’s house.  Or, better yet, their spouse is preparing for Thanksgiving at their house where they, themselves, have to do nothing but eat.

And still others just want to stop working for a couple months.

Whatever the reason, it’s pretty easy to hibernate for the fourth quarter in sales.  Affiliates and customers send in trays of lunch platters, cookies, cakes, etc. -every day you could be in a food coma by 1:30pm.  Holiday parties are all around, so it’s easy to have a bunch of late nights, leading to foggy next days.  If you’re in an area where you have the winter season, it gets dark earlier (I hate that!) and it’s cold.  That typically doesn’t make for optimal mental motivation.

And, if you do work during the fourth quarter (and by work I mean do more than show up, I mean actually do the same things you do the other 9 months of the year), it can be a struggle because customers do tend to have the mentality of waiting for the New Year, which means it’s harder to find motivated people.

So, then you feel like you’re working twice as hard to get half the business you normally get and….aw, screw it….what kind of cookies came in today?

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Working in the 4th quarter is going to set you apart from your competition.  Working in the 4th quarter is going to set up your first quarter of next year, and possibly your whole next year.

True, you may feel like you’re spinning your wheels in December, all your work will pay off in January, February and March.  Meanwhile, your competition will have just woken up again in January and try to start from scratch.  Their whole first quarter will be like your fourth quarter, and they won’t ever catch up to you if you keep working through the year!

What you have business-wise, in front of you now, is a result of how you worked the previous three months.  So, naturally by working the 4th quarter, you will have a great first quarter next year!

AND…I’m not saying work through the holidays.  Take time off, enjoy your family, friends and holidays.  Just be sure to work on the other 40-50 something weekdays of the quarter when you come into the office.  Don’t screw around on those days.  Only screw around on your designated “Screw Around Days” (even if you want to make those days once or twice a week this quarter, it’s still better to work 3-4 solid days a week than to just blow off a whole week due to screwing around.

So, take time off, enjoy the holidays, but don’t let the holiday season be the season of sales hibernation for you.

Scott Friedman

scott@yourethedifference.com