Archive for September, 2017

Friday, September 8th, 2017

Opportunities Abound for Now and 2018

by Susan Novicki

I have been on many sales calls over the last few weeks and it is interesting to see the opportunities for business both this year and next. Many companies have a fiscal that matches the calendar year, and many of those companies are now starting their budget process or are in the midst of it.

As you all know, it is critical that we are talking to decision-makers now about their plans for 2018 while they are in the process of evaluating and writing recommendations for next year. I often find when I am making calls that my Valid Business Reason for making the call is that I have found out some information about the company and I want to talk to them about their plans on activating it moving into 2018. This tends to open the door for conversation and many times gets us homework assignments for fourth quarter as well as first and second quarter of 2018.

A few quick examples can point this out and two are in the Consumer Packaged Goods / Grocery category.

1) With one CPG company, I was talking to a Regional Sales Manager in the Midwest. We were discussing new products and his focus moving into fourth quarte

r and the New Year. While initially he told us his budget was spent for the remainder of the year as we discussed opportunities to focus on two major initiatives for the company he gave us an assignment to put some ideas together for the holiday time frame. He told us that he had some funding for one specific retailer for this year and that he could also get some dollars from the Shopper Marketing team if there was opportunity for more shelf space with the program.

2) On the other end of the spectrum we had an assignment from the Communications Manager for an association that wanted to drive traffic to retail. We were asked to create ideas for second and third quarter 2018 and in a further meeting we were told that they liked two of the ideas and presented them to the board for review. Our timing was perfect because they were meeting with the board the following week to map out their advertising and promotional calendar and what they wanted to do.

As you all know it is much easier to get larger dollars when we are in front of the dollars.

We have had great meetings over the last few weeks in automotive, home improvement, telecom, and health care to name a few categories. With each one we are talking about 2018 and we are also finding some additional smaller opportunities for fourth quarter.

If we called to say we wanted to talk to them about doing something in October, the doors would be slammed shut.

By focusing on the information we found during research and opening up communication about 2018, not only are we getting the decision-maker’s attention just as they are working on budgets, but we become part of the solution and have an opportunity to get some dollars for fourth quarter.

Opportunities abound if you are smart about how you are working your prospects.