The Best Quarter for Building Materials Sales (Hint: It’s Not the First)
Every year I am reminded that the fourth quarter (not the first) is the best quarter for building material companies to grow their sales. Here’s why.
Your Competitors Have Stopped Selling
Many larger building material companies are driven, above all else, by meeting their financial budgets. Almost all publicly traded companies and those owned by investment firms act this way.
To make their numbers, they cut back, or even put a stop to, as many expenses as they can. This is the time of year when you’ll hear them throw around terms like travel ban.
What this means is that they’ve stopped thinking about their customers. They are now more concerned with pleasing their owners and investors. That’s your opportunity. When they stop caring about their customers, it’s a great time for you to go after them.
They Stopped Defending Their Position
If you ramp up your sales efforts now, your competitors are less likely to respond. If there is an important customer that you would like to convert, now is the time to go after them. Go meet with them, make presentations, take them to dinner – whatever works. There’s a good chance you’ll be the only 0ne paying attention to them.
In sports, you don’t stop playing in the fourth quarter of the game to make your financial numbers for that season. The results of the current season will have a huge impact on the financial results you can expect next season. The same thing applies in building materials. If you lose market share or major customers because you stopped competing in the fourth quarter, it will make the next year much more difficult.
Marketing today moves so fast that it’s like a political campaign. The situation changes daily. If you want to win, you can’t stop campaigning. If you run out of money, you get some more or you fall behind and lose.
Finances are important, of course. But companies that aren’t driven by quarterly performance are at a real advantage right now. They can pursue opportunities whenever they arise.
Your Customers Are Ready to Buy
There is a mental shift when summer is over. Everyone gets back to work. They start thinking about how this year has gone and what they want to change. There is a window of time between early September and the beginning of the holiday season in mid-November that is a great time to sell.
Your customers are under less pressure to say yes or no than they will be in January. They can take time to consider bigger changes.
Win the War
If your goal is to win the war and not just the battle, don’t let yourself be driven by this year’s financial statement. If your competitor is publicly traded or owned by an investment firm, this is when they are most vulnerable. While they’re pulling back, use the fourth quarter to grow.
Ready to Finish This Year Strong?
If you’d like to make your fourth quarter great, contact me for a free 30-minute consultation. I’ll share with you, the steps you can take right now to grow.
Thanks for the following comments. I’d like to hear your feedback and suggestions.
“Very insightful. A lot of sales competition stops selling in Q4 because they made their budget, maxed out their compensation. They start holding sales back to get a jump start on the next fiscal.”
Christopher Perego – Industry Sector Manager – BASF