Your Sales Team Should be Networking During the Holidays!

During the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it’s easy to let networking slip through the cracks. We get it, things are digital, work is remote, and priorities are shifting. It’s understandable that your sales team may unintentionally overlook its importance.

But guess what? The holiday season is a hidden gem for networking and business development, and it’s time to unwrap its potential.

Beyond the holiday cheer, it’s a chance to power up professional connections, not just for the year-end wrap-up but to set the stage for a killer year ahead. Here’s why you should send your team out to network even if it’s cold outside:

People are Still Working:
It’s a wide-held belief that “no one’s working during the holidays anyway.” Research shows this isn’t actually the case. The number of businesses searching the web for new opportunities doesn’t drop as significantly as expected in the days leading up to and following Christmas and New Year’s. Research does indicate, however, that the number of meetings and project/product launches does decrease during the same window of time. How does this benefit your sales teams? Clients and prospects have more time to answer your phone calls and respond to your emails… much more time than they will come the new year.

Strengthening Existing Connections:
The holidays provide an excellent opportunity for sales professionals to touch base with existing clients and contacts. Sending end-of-year cheer with personalized holiday greetings, whether through a traditional card, phone call, or thoughtful email, can strengthen the bond between you and your client. It’s a chance to express gratitude for the business relationship and show appreciation for their partnership throughout the year. This simple gesture can go a long way in solidifying existing connections. (Be prepared for them to ask about the new products or services you have on deck for next year! It’s never too early to get started on your 2024 goals!)

Spotting New Opportunities:
The holiday season often brings about a slew of events and gatherings where professionals from various industries come together. Attending these events can open doors to new opportunities and partnerships. Your sales team can use these occasions to meet potential clients, collaborators, or mentors. The relaxed setting of holiday events can make people more open to conversation, making it easier to strike up meaningful connections.

Showcasing Professionalism and Gratitude:
Taking the time to connect with clients and colleagues during the holidays is not just about business; it’s also about showing gratitude. Your sales team can express appreciation for their clients’ trust and loyalty, which can contribute to a positive and lasting impression. Demonstrating professionalism and thoughtfulness during the holiday season can set you apart from others and set the stage for a strong start to the upcoming year.

Staying Top-of-Mind for the New Year:
Networking during the holiday season ensures that your superstar sales team remains top-of-mind as the new year approaches. The connections made and relationships strengthened during this time can lay the groundwork for successful collaborations and partnerships in the coming months. When the business gears up in January, these holiday connections may prove invaluable in generating leads and securing new opportunities. Additionally, pitching new products/services on January 1st doesn’t feel so awkward when you’ve had a great conversation only 30 days ago.

It’s easy for sales professionals to find themselves caught up in the whirlwind of year-end goals, deadlines, and holiday festivities. While it’s tempting to slow down and relax, the holiday season provides a unique opportunity for sales teams to step back, connect with others on a personal level, and lay the foundation for future success. Whether it’s strengthening existing relationships, discovering new opportunities, or simply expressing gratitude, networking during the holidays can have a profound and positive impact on a sales professional’s career. So, as the festive season unfolds, let’s remember that ’tis the season not only for giving but for networking and building lasting connections that can fuel success in the year ahead.