No matter how much we wish it wasn’t so, business slows down during the summer. If a prospect isn’t on vacation, chances are he is covering for someone who is. If you don’t have enough prospects in your funnel today, it can be a very difficult to make your sales goals once July and August rolls around.
First and foremost, 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 and knock on more doors now, you will glad you did at the end of August.
In fact, you should continue to do so throughout the summer. Despite the fact many sales reps use the phrase “the lazy days of summer” as an excuse to do nothing but hit the golf course, it’s a great time to prospect. If the decision maker is away, at least you 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.
Also, 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. This way you can plan for it.
Spend some time and visit your current customers. 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, why not 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. Perhaps you could brush up on your product knowledge, read a good sales book (we have plenty of great book and eBook suggestions on our website), 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. The key is to actually get away though. So set your auto-reply email, change your voice mail message and leave the Blackberry at the office!
Remember as Winston Churchill once said, “Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning.” More motivational quotes here.
Do you need a better elevator speech? Download “Creating Your Unique Value Proposition” from the B2B Sales Connections Free Download Centre today!
Would you like to know more common sense sales tips that can have an immediate impact on your results? Download Action Plan for Sales Success. This sales training program includes the techniques used by today’s top producing sales professionals and comes with 100% money back guarantee. It’s also available as a sales training eBook.