As everyone around you in the professional marketplace winds down from a hard year into Christmas, you are presented with an opportunity. You can wind down with them, or you can take the opportunity to stand out a little from the crowd by stepping up your marketing and communications a notch or two, carefully positioning yourself and your business for the new year ahead.
At this time of the year, we know most people move to a self-centric stance, thinking about how they get through their workload to their holidays and what they will be doing while they are on them. And many also wind down their business minded thoughts from active to reactive, putting plans and planning on hold until the new year. But should we really be saying… “Well, lets just wait until the new year… No one is going to make a decision now anyway”… or is December potentially the most important month of the year setting you up for the period into Easter and beyond?
What is the opportunity?
Now is not the time to amp up your advertising to top volume trying to “sell, sell sell”, but it is the time to carefully build on the relationships you have been fostering throughout the year. Visit the people you care about and engage with them, without selling anything. Understand them, their challenges, their fears, their upcoming vacations and their year ahead.
It is also a good time to say thank-you and perhaps share a small, considerate gift (or time and ideas) with your most important clients
Just because your clients become me-centric, doesn’t mean they don’t want to be communicated with… in fact it gives you the opportunity to tune into this self-centric stance and get to know those contacts as people more than you do today.
Set yourself up for the year ahead
This time of the year is also a good time to revisit your plans and consider what you can do to build a bumper year in 2013. Are your communications, content marketing and media interaction all working for you the way they should be? Could they work harder next year with more suitable scoping, segmentation or a stronger understanding of the new tools available?
If you let it, this time of the year gives you the breathing space to make choices about your marketing and communications and get them into place firmly for the new year.
Make December your best month yet
December is great month to make a personal, engaging effort. People feel more social in December, and are more likely to embrace a casual or comfortable catch up. It is a good time to make your honest and genuine thanks known to your clients and contacts; and it is a good time to put plans in place for the next quarter.
This December, you can choose to flick off your productivity switch, or you can make it a bumper month for personal, high quality market interaction.
The choice is yours…
Rebecca Wilson is the Owner and Principal Consultant of Stretch Marketing