In the annoyingly immortal words of Noddy Holder, “It’s CHRIIIIISTMAS!!!” Or at least it’s nearly Christmas! It’s cold, my coffee has turned into a gingerbread latte and every other advert is promoting the virtues of decadence! It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!While retailers are hiring temporary staff and staying open late to cope with the increased customers, Christmas can be one of the slowest times of year for many organisations. So how can you make the most of the period to ensure you kick off the New Year with a Sales Bang?The most important part of any sales strategy is to plan! You may have your mind on finding the final few presents for your friends and family, but it’s certainly not too early to be planning next year’s sales activities. There’s nothing worse than coming back from a break to a mess, so if you want to make 2013 the best year yet, you need to start in 2012.Look Back: What were the highlights and lowlights of last year? It’s important to make sure you know what you want to develop next year, and what you need to never do again! Write a list if it helps: ‘naughty / nice’, if you will. There will always be a few points on the ‘naughty’ list, and it’s important to think about these. If you just ignore them then far from going away, they’re likely to repeat themselves. Think about what it was that went wrong, and then think how you’re going to get it onto the ‘nice’ list next year.Celebrate with staff: Hopefully your ‘nice’ list will have a few really strong points on (if not, why not?). After you’ve spent some time correcting this year’s mistakes, take time to celebrate the good bits. Who landed that top sale? Who implemented a new system that’s saving you time? Who discovered a great new brand of coffee for the office? Take some time out to thank your staff for the work they did and celebrate with them. You need to make sure they come back after Christmas motivated to do an even better job next year.Celebrate with clients: While you’re thanking your staff for all their hard work, don’t forget that without your clients there would be no hard work to do. Did they sign a new contract with you this year? Did one of your contacts recommend someone that turned into a new client? Thank them for it. Why not take the time send some cards? But give it a personal touch- get them branded and hand-write a message in each one. While a printed Christmas message might say you’ve thought of them, writing it by hand shows you value them.Get new customers: How long does it take between someone agreeing to meet with you to discuss your product/service and them signing a contract with you? Getting new clients takes time. So if you want more business next year, you have to go out and find them this year. Everyone will be busy in January, it’s the time of the year where everyone makes plans but no one has time to carry them out. You need to get yourself booked into their diary now and follow-up with a reminder in the New Year. You’ve then jumped the queue in front of everyone else that will be competing for their time but left it until after Christmas to ask for it.And while it’s quiet: Now’s the perfect time to get on with all those little things you’ve been too busy to do throughout the year. Does your website need updating? Does your inbox need cleaning out? Do you have a massive pile of paperwork that really should be filed or binned? Get on with it; it’ll only get harder if you leave it till next year.Happy Selling and Happy Christmas!