Are Your Summer Sales Slow?
I don't know about you, but sometime around the July the 4th business slows down and then after the holiday, it seems to stop! We do have business, of course - very much like you - but the pace of business, the new leads and the urgency of the first half of the year seem gone.
Summer happened, that's what. As I speak to clients and colleagues (who aren't on their family vacations) they tell me the same thing - many of their bosses, co-workers, suppliers or business partners are either on vacation, just coming back from a vacation, or just about to take a vacation.
In fact, many people I know are taking as much as three to four weeks off! (I just spoke with a potential coaching client, and when I asked him when he was thinking of starting our coaching relationship, he told me it would be after his month long vacation in August. He and his wife will be back right before Labor Day.
So there you have it. Business is seasonal. Kids get out of school. The weather changes. People have worked hard and are now ready to take some time off. Business changes and people seem to relax.
Does this mean companies aren't buying or planning for the fall? Of course not. It just means that they are going to begin doing things on their time table, not yours.
So here's what you can do to not only make sales now, but also set yourself up for the best finish of any year you've ever had:
1) Don't let up. Keep working hard - if not harder. Make more calls. Send more emails, stay later and come in earlier. The time you put in now may not seem to pay off right away, but in the fall you'll see the fruits of your labor.
It reminds me of the "dog days of summer" in NFL training camps. I still remember what Bill Parcells told his players in late December when they were about to begin a drive that would determine whether they got into the playoffs or not. He looked at his exhausted linemen and said: "This is why you lift all those damn weights!"
The effort you put in now will make the difference at the end of this year.
2) Connect with established clients. This is the perfect time to send a card, to make a call, and to talk with clients about things other than business. For example, where are they going for summer vacation?
Face it, if things are slow for you, they are probably slow in their business as well. How about asking what they are doing to deal with this period and what they are doing to get ready for the fall. And how about asking how you can help them do that? Set yourself to work with them when they'll be ready.
3) Work on improving your skill set, new product development or other part of your business that will make a difference in the second half of the year. If any of you have thought about developing a greeting card campaign to stay in front of your customers and prospects, this is the perfect time to do it!
4) Make goals for September through December and develop a plan of action to accomplish them. Develop an affirmation card and goal sheet of what you're going to earn, what it's going to feel like over the holidays to have accomplished it and begin smiling each day as you feel the feelings of having done it.
Remember, "Fear Pushes, but Vision Pulls." Use this time to create a compelling vision of the rest of the year for yourself and let that vision pull you through the summer.
5) Feed your mind a positive diet. This is the time to feed your mind every single day (and many times in the day as well). My favorite book to re-read during each summer is: "Beyond Positive Thinking" by Dr. Robert Anthony. You can get it on Amazon.com
I'll bet you have your own list of positive reading material you'd like to finally read. Pick one book tonight, put it on your desk and commit to reading it before Labor Day. That alone will make a huge difference for you.
The most important thing to remember during the summer is that "This too shall pass." If business has slowed down, that will change. And if you take advantage of any of the five suggestions above, you'll be the most prepared to prosper when it does.
About the Author
Mike Brooks, Mr. Inside Sales, works with business owners and inside sales reps nationwide teaching them the skills, strategies and techniques to improve their performance.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of the author. CPSA does not endorse any of the companies, products and services mentioned within this article.