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. So that has many salespeople wondering how to successfully sell in the summer?
In fact, salespeople are so curious on how to stay productive in the summer months that my guest spot, “It’s Summertime…Let’s Sell More!“, on the Sales Coaching Chalk Talk radio program was the most listened to show in the entire history of Sales Chalk Talk at the time.
To Sell in the Summer, You Need Prospects
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. This is especially true in slower years like the one we are experiencing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
You can still sell during the summer, you just need to make sure that you have enough hot prospects on the go. That way, 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, build more LinkedIn relationships, and knock on more doors now, you will glad you did at the end of August.
How Sales Reps Should Organize Their Time (With Template and Example)
Sales Managers Need to Plan Ahead
As a sales manager , it’s never too early to plan ahead and help your sales team pack their prospect lists. If your sales team does not have enough prospects in their funnel in May, it can be a very difficult to make your sales goals once July and August rolls around.
A great way for your team to generate many new prospects in a very short period of time is a blitz day. A blitz day is essentially when everyone on the sales team sets aside time to prospect all at the same time, either on the telephone, on social media, or face to face prospecting.
Blitz Days a great way to quickly create an influx of new prospects. They can also be great for team building as well. You could plan a contest around the number of calls made or the number of prospects generated. Afterwards, present prizes at a team party afterwards. You could also pair a junior rep with a senior one. Then the day also becomes an excellent training opportunity in addition to a lead generating exercise.
Think about it. If your business requires only a 30 day selling cycle, to make it through the summer, your sales team has to start packing their prospect lists today.
Summer is a Great Time for Business Development
Ahh, the “lazy days of summer. Many sales representatives use the phrase as an excuse to hit the golf course. In reality though, summer 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. Some believe that prospecting in the summer is a waste of time because so many people are on holidays. Others however, 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.
How to Sell in the Summer? You Need To Need to Manage Your Summer Sales Funnel
In addition to ramping up your lead generation program during the slower summer months, 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 (or voicemail if you are using the phone) 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.
Take Time to Invest in Yourself
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). You could even 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 Smart phone at the office!
Remember, when it it comes down to how to successfully sell in the summer, it’s all in the planning. After all, as Winston Churchill once said, “Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning.“
“… what I can tell anyone, is simply this – If you want to learn and understand sales, talk to Susan.”
Do you have a question about sales? You’re not alone. Most salespeople have questions like this on how they can sell more. For the right answers, check out my book, Ask the Sales Coach-Practical Answers to the Questions Sales People Ask Most.
Whether it's accelerating your LinkedIn networking, creating an email drip marketing campaign, making your introductory phone calls, or a combination of the above, B2B Sales Connections develops the most effective lead generation program, customized for you to grow your business.