You may be experiencing the dreaded summer slowdown. Most companies see some sort of summer doldrums as customers are on vacation, and are more motivated by the beach and a good book than they are by a meeting with you, their favorite field sales rep.
However, there is reason to be encouraged! According to the most recent research from Kiplinger, for the full year in 2017, a 3% to 4% increase in total business spending is expected in for the year. A good bit of that spending will happen in summer months. So, how can field sales teams keep momentum during the dog days of summer? Consider these strategies.
Don’t participate in the slows
The summer slowdown can be exacerbated by a “slowdown” state of mind. “It’s because of the summer slowdown” is a common phrase, heard in weekly sales meetings across all industries. To make sure you and your field team is still in the game during summer months, start each day with clearly defined goals and a list of activities that will put you in front of customers. Keep the dialogue with customers going through the hot summer and into the fall. Now is a great time to use Geo-Productivity Software to schedule visits with customers and to do face to face prospecting that will yield business when the weather cools.
Work your base
Stay connected and know when your best customers are at the beach, and when they’ll be in the office. Get in front of the summer slowdown by letting your customers know that you’re available at their convenience. Target anyone who has engaged with you in the past few months, and let them know that you’re still open for business. If your product or service makes their life easier or saves them time, find out what you can do to assist as they prepare for vacation or shorter summer work days. If possible, position your product or service as a “vacation readiness” tool.
Target prospects whose business remains busy in the summer months
Look at your target list. Are there buyers or prospects whose business thrives in the summer, or who provide a commodity service that is needed regardless of the season? Those are the customers and prospects most likely to be available to meet with you during the summer months. During the summer, offer something extra. Send them a picnic umbrella or a beach towel with an offer to make their job easier so that they can get into the summer sun or spend time at the ballpark easier.
Be creative with value-added bundles and promotions
If possible, bundle products and services in a way that increases the average selling price of your products so that you can maintain profitability and commission income, even if deal volume slows in the summer. Also consider Buy-Now, benefit later types of bundles or services. Maybe deals that are completed in the summer months can have delayed payment until the business is in full swing in the fall again.
Summer is the season for service
Go to your customer and prospect. Make it easy for them to meet with you and buy your product. Face-to-face visits, at convenient times and in convenient locations can make the difference when customers are not in the office to read emails or take sales calls as much. Be willing to travel the extra mile, or provide that extra level of service to get on your customer's’ calendar. Using GPS, you can schedule meetings, optimize drive times, schedule face to face prospecting meetings, and update CRM, all while on the road.
The summer can be a challenging selling season. However, the sales professional that goes the extra mile in the summer will see success, even in the dog days of summer.
Learn more about the 2017 State of Field Sales by downloading our recent eBook,“Reaching State of the Art Performance for Field Sales Organizations.”
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Chief Revenue Officer at MapAnything