With the new financial year beginning on April 1st, it is a critical time to lay the foundations for your sales success in the year ahead. Here are three key things you can do at the start of a new financial year to get your sales rolling.


The first quarter of the calendar year is often tough in the NZ market. Christmas morphing into public holidays, and then suddenly it’s mid-February. With an early Easter this year, March in New Zealand now has the same number of business days as that short month February!

If you got off to a positive sales start for 2024 – good for you! Even if you didn’t, this new financial year has new opportunities.

Spending more money is not your customers’ greatest priority right now. With all the talk about economic challenges, they’re more likely wanting to cut spending, cut corners, save as much as they can.

Assess your customers from last year. Anybody still showing signs of business life needs to become your top priority:

  • Who’s still advertising?
  • Who is still marketing or running events?
  • Who sent you a Christmas card?
  • And best of all – Who has something positive to say about the year ahead?

These are the customers to focus on in 2024.


There might be a recession happening, but not everybody is in recession. Think about that for a moment.

Yes – there is still budget out there for the urgent priorities in your customers’ business. You just need to carefully identify who still has budget.

Don’t be afraid of the season we are in. There’s still a space for you to flourish. Think of gardens at the height of a hot, dry summer drought when the grass goes dries up and dies off – remember that dandelions continue to flourish.

Why is this? Dandelions have a long, tap-root that goes at least 15cm, often up to 40 cm deep into the hard ground (depending how long you’ve left the garden unweeded!).

To flourish in a recession, we need to go deep – just like a dandelion in a summer drought.

For anyone in sales, that means going deep on your important customer relationships, especially those customers who are still moving forward in their business.

Anyone whose entire customer base looks to be struggling, you have a tougher job where you will need to look harder for opportunities. Persevere. The amazing thing about opportunities is that when you go looking for them, you usually find them.

So – how do you go deep with those important customer relationships?

  • Make sure you are in regular communication with the key decision-makers and influencers at your top 20 clients. If you don’t know who these people are, it’s time to find out.
  • Get to know all the key decision-makers across other parts of the business and connect to them on social media. Then if somebody leaves, you have strong relationships to help retain the work for your business. Plus, you will have an easier road into a new company (your new potential customer) via that person’s new role.
  • Put them on a regular visit and call cycle – in-person visits where possible, and phone calls.
  • Build relationship with the person in charge of paying your invoice. Send them a handwritten card, send them a couple of chocolates. The point is to thank them for being a loyal customer and paying their invoice on time.


Whatever your belief about the economy, there truly are pockets of opportunity.

There are two groups of customers who love your business:

  1. Those who have budget.
  2. Those who do not have budget.

Your job is to identify the customers who love your business and who still have budget.

Those with budget are likely hiding in plain sight, sitting on their hands, thinking just a little more carefully before committing. It’s time to launch your trust-building sales campaign:

  • Develop a referral strategy to leverage opportunities from existing customers.
  • Get into the habit of asking for client testimonials and Google reviews.
  • Deepen your networks of businesses who are happy to refer business to you. These businesses will share the same customer base, but in a non-competing area.
  • Keep showing at networking events. Keep building relationship and talking to others in your business community. Whenever there is a loss of trust in the economy, word of mouth becomes a stronger factor in buying decisions. So, get word of mouth working in your favour.
  • Stay active on the social media channels where your target market like to hang. If you’re in the B2B space, this is probably LinkedIn. Again – regularly showing up, interacting with others’ posts and comments, posting a bit yourself and adding value will remind your customers who you are and how you can help them.

Those who come through this season in the best shape will have the support of deep networks and relationships.

Are there gaps where your business networks should be? It’s never too late to take proactive steps to build relationships and trust.

Will this be easy? No, probably not. But that is another reason you should do it – because it is going to take dedicated time and effort, and most of your competitors simply will not bother.

So – start today. Make one phone call. Send one card.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step (Chinese proverb). Stay focused on your revenue goals and keep building those positive relationships for a great year ahead.

Mary Crampton is the founder of Magnify Consulting.

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