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Autumn I'm told the selling season is underway. By December, customers will be decorating for the holidays and there'll be shoppers right up until Christmas Eve. And then it's over.

How will you maximize these 10 weeks? Especially with customers expecting a long winter and worrying about heating and electric bills? It doesn't matter. Long or short winter, you just need to get moving!

  • Get on the phone. Stop procrastinating. Who have you been meaning to call?
  • Get notes out to your existing customers. These are the "gold" customers. I was in a State Farm office last week and asked how business was. They said they'd recently sent a mailing to their 2,000 active customers and 200 of them had called the office. I asked what their note said and the rep, Susan, descibed it simply as "How are you? How's your life? We miss you." 50% of the 200 bought various products.
  • What are you waiting for? Your customers already love you and want you to succeed. It's like calling old friends. Give them a call with a special holiday offer. How about a  gas card? Though prices are dropping, a gas card still wouldn't hurt! The bigger the purchase, the bigger the gas card.
  • Turkeys for the holiday might work. Don't forget soy turkeys for your veggie customers.
  • How about a bag of groceries from Whole Foods or your local co-op?  Something a little different.
  • Network with everyone you know. Your dry cleaner, where you get your coffee, where you get your car fixed…
  • A great game to play to think about new leads is to pretend you're in another business (for example, running a small hotel). How would you get business? Which ideas could cross over into your business? Someone mentioned having a Wii system in their hotel room and decided to put one in their store! Destination floor store!
  • Are you working your personal hangouts?
  • Who do you give business to? Who keeps asking for favors? Have they reciprocated?
  • Who haven't you seen in a while?
  • Buy locally – the little bakery, the convenience store, etc. Ask, how can we work together to do business?
  • Working on a job, have you asked for more leads? Why not?
  • Finishing a job? Ask if you can take photos, then ask "Who did your landscaping and your painting?" You should have a bunch of names. Go see them and tell them you saw their work and it was great and you would like to refer them. Now you have a good business connection. Don't forget to show them them photos of your work and ask if they can refer you too.
  • Call up customers who are on the fence. Holidays are a great time to spruce up the house.
  • Host parties featuring jewelry, Mary Kay, clothes, candles, or simply to exchange holiday recipes –anything fun to bring in women. Ask your female employees, they'll know what will work.

So what are you waiting for… start dialing!

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