No, we’re not suggesting you risk arrest by climbing down any clients’ chimneys this year, but there are some pretty compelling sales tips to take from the jolly old man in the red hat. Here are five reasons Santa Claus would make a seriously good sales manager.
1. He Asks People What They Want
Every kid loves writing their letter to Father Christmas, or clambering up onto his knee to whisper what present they really, really want this year. And nothing beats waking up on Christmas morning to find he really has come through for you!
In fact, getting exactly what we need from someone who has clearly listened to our request never gets tiring. So why not take a leaf out of Santa’s book and actually ask your clients what they want from you the most? Just make sure you can deliver it on any promises you make – no one likes disappointment.
2. He Knows if You’ve Been Bad or Good
We’ve said it before and and we’ll say it again: data is only valuable if you know what to do with it. Santa doesn’t just see you when you’re sleeping and know when you’re awake, he’s also pretty astute at evaluating how well you spend that time, and whether it’s been worthwhile enough to earn a reward. His personal data analysis methods might be as mysterious as a Google algorithm, but he knows his end goal before he even starts collecting his information – and so should you.
3. He Thinks Ahead and Gets Prepared
Think your end-of-quarter reports are stressful? Santa Claus has the most onerous deadline of anyone. He might have 364 days a year to get organised, but when you’re catering to the whims of a billion fickle kids, things change right up until the last minute. Little Annie was dead set on a bicycle until she discovered the Raspberry Pi. Nish may not have been quite good enough for that Playstation after all. That December release of a merchandise-heavy Disney movie might throw a spanner in the works. You have to identify potential hiccups in the pipeline and be flexible enough to adapt. Can the elves work overtime?
Hopefully your sales operation isn’t that chaotic, but that doesn’t mean you can be complacent. Can you identify the risks in your pipeline? How accurate is your forecast, really? What logical steps will you take to meet your number by your deadline – and how well are you positioned to respond to changes and problems along the way?
4. He Understands the Power of a Strong Brand
Santa is everywhere. Come December, whether you’re in a mall in the US, a festive market in Germany or even walking down a sweltering city street in Cambodia, you’re guaranteed to see at least one white-fringed red hat. Half the world might not celebrate Christmas, but you can bet your life that the tiniest tots recognise Santa Claus – and they’re beside themselves with excitement.
This didn’t come from nowhere. We’re talking about an instantly identifiable style combined with a simple story that’s been shared over and over again for centuries – albeit evolving along the way. We’re talking songs and catchphrases. We’re talking consistent messaging, a reliable yearly campaign and a dependable outcome. We’re talking marketing fundamentals 101.
Selling is a journey. You can’t launch straight in with a customer and expect them to buy: it’s a long and carefully managed process. You need to know exactly what you stand for. You need to have your language, style and core message figured out, and to make sure this is apparent in every interaction you have with customers. You need to build trust. To establish yourself as a leader in your market. To show clients you understand their pain points and have the tools to solve them. That means laying the groundwork, building your brand long before you ask them to make a purchase.
5. He Gets That Everyone Loves a Free Gift
Why do kids love Santa? Because, frankly, he gives them stuff for free. Generosity and a propensity to surprise and delight your customers is one of the most reliable ways to win their loyalty. Perhaps you do it with great content marketing that adds value along the chain. Perhaps you send a present or offer a seasonal reward to thank clients for their business. Perhaps you give your sales team leeway to throw in a great upgrade or add-on to sweeten a deal at their discretion. “Free” is one of the best-loved words in the English language. Don’t take it from us – take it from Santa.