Todd Martin

Todd Martin

Sales Strategy

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Sales Slow in the Summer? How You Can Use Your Bonus Time

May 31, 2016

Take advantage of your down time this summer.

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Unless you sell in an industry that’s really hopping in the summer, you’re probably looking at three months of slow sales. I don’t have a study to back this up, but I imagine this is a fairly common phenomenon for salespeople. At the very least, your prospects and customers are taking long weekends. They’re either getting ready for their vacations or recovering from them. Or they’re gazing out their windows at a glorious summer day and not answering your voicemail.

So what do you do? Keep at it? Send that email for a fourth time and try once again to come up with a phone message that will get their attention? Start dropping in on local customers? Announce a blowout sale on social media and hope to get some takers?

Summer Sales

That last one isn’t a bad idea, actually. We’re only halfway through the year, so businesspeople aren’t necessarily panicking about the budget yet. You could consider shedding some of those items that aren’t selling well, and at the same time, telling your audience that you’re trying to make room for fall’s new products.

If you sell and market technology, like I do, that’s a different story (unless you deal in hardware). Software can be discounted, but cloud-based applications generally have a fixed monthly subscription fee. Look at the offers you make at other times of the year when sales are slumping and see what you can do.

There are other ways to use your bonus time this summer that can have impact on your performance and productivity. For one thing, take a vacation yourself. Workers don’t do that as often as they used to. And when they do, they’re still plugged in to the office, so their relaxation is scattered. (There are studies to back this up.)

Are you as up to speed on your company’s products and services as you could be? Think Todd 060915 image 1about re-educating yourself if not. Learn what you can and write some blog posts, Q&As, tutorials, etc. Put things in your own words. Writing about something is one of the best ways to learn it. You might even want to put them online somewhere.

Clean up your CRM files

I’ve found that summer is a good time to focus on my CRM solution and its voluminous data. When you were working at top speed last spring to get as much done as you could before your customers took off for Bimini or Switzerland or wherever, you may have let your regular maintenance slide.Here are some suggestions: See if they might work for you.

  • Go through your customer and prospect profiles. If you haven’t had contact with someone for a year or so, determine why not, and think about reconnecting.
  • Complete the incomplete profiles as much as you can.
  • While you’re browsing profiles, scan through their connected social media streams. You may run across a lead or an idea or a tie-in that you hadn’t before.
  • Look over your calendar for the first five months of the year. Who didn’t you follow up with? Were you scheduling enough face-to-face meetings with clients? How about your sales team and other peers – were you getting the personal and professional networking support that you needed? Congratulate yourself for the hard work you’ve done and look for gaps that you can start filling.

Todd Martin 100115 imageWhile you’re completing specific cleanup tasks in your CRM solution, ask yourself these questions:

Is this the best application for my needs?

Am I using it as effectively as I could?

What additional information can I supply/retrieve?

Depending on the answers to these questions, you may want to invite your sales team to have an informal discussion about your choice of CRM systems. Making the transition to another is a royal pain, but limping along with an application that isn’t right for you and isn’t working as hard as you do isn’t a good option.

Enjoy the summer! I’ll still be here.

Stock images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

 

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