Summer is here! Like it or not, once the kids are out of school, business tends to slow. If a prospect isn’t on vacation now, chances are he is about to, or is covering for someone who is.
To be successful in the summer months, you have to have a packed prospect list. In fact, you should probably have double or even triple the number of prospects on the go to reach the same sales goals during the summer than you normally would during the busier months in the fall. You can still sell during the summer, you just need to make sure that you have enough hot prospects on the go that when one is going on vacation, another one that you can sell to is returning. If you take the time to make more prospecting telephone calls, send more emails, and knock on more doors now, you will glad you did at the end of August.
Despite the fact many sales representatives use the phrase “the lazy days of summer” as an excuse to hit the golf course, this is a great time to develop new business. If the decision maker is away, at least you can obtain that valuable contact name to call in the fall. Although some believe that prospecting in the summer is a waste of time because so many people are on holidays, others believe that they can obtain better information on each call as gate keepers have more time to provide it. You can even dress in business casual clothing when prospecting, as it seems that everyone has a more casual mind set this time of year.
Not sure if you have enough prospects on the go? Download our free Monthly Prospecting Activity Calculator from the from the B2B Sales Connections Free Download Centre here.
In addition to generating new leads, don’t forget to continue to manage the sales opportunities already in your pipeline. Ensure that you know the timing of the sale for each company on your hot prospect list. Ask your prospects if they are taking a vacation this summer, and if so, ask when. Once you know this information, you can plan your follow up activities accordingly.
Spend some time and visit your current customers as well. Even if your contacts are away, always leave a business card so that they know you were there. Although you may not meet with them, just the fact that you took the time to stop by can increase customer loyalty. If you do manage to see your contact, ask for a reference letter and a list of referrals while you are there. Again, these are great prospects to call in the fall.
The summer is also one of the best times to invest in you. Brush up on your product knowledge, read a good sales book (click here for some book recommendations), or you could take a sales course to improve your skills. If you learn just one new sales technique that improves your sales performance over the long term, then your summer months would be considered very productive.
Why not take some time off too? After all, the best time to take a break is when your customers are doing the same. A week of vacation can recharge your batteries and make you more productive in the long run. Even an extended weekend can do a world of good. The key is to really get away though. By real, we mean when you are unplugged, be truly unplugged. Research suggests that you’ll healthier if you take all of your vacation time, and more productive overall. So set your auto-reply email, change your voice mail message and leave the Blackberry at the office!
If you would like to know more ideas as to what you can do today to sell more tomorrow, check out Action Plan For Sales Success. It includes specific techniques and tools that you can use to impact your sales results immediately.
Or if you would like specific action items on how you can be more successful in sales this summer, schedule a free strategy session with me here.