It’s coming: the summer sales slump. When everyone’s hearts turn toward vacation and a much-needed break, it can get very hard to continue to fill the funnel with new business. Here are some tactics to get you through the summer doldrums.
In B2B, without a strong strategy for summer, sales tend to slump. It’s one of those things that is challenging to explain and prove, but we’re all aware of it. So, the best thing we can do is prepare and push into the season with some good strategy.
Keep in Touch
The best thing we can do in this time is to avoid “going dark.” Although the emails and calls are never returned, it’s worth filling each email and call with information and value for your potential customer to keep the conversation going as best as we can. Every interaction is important in the overall conversion conversation.
So what do you do on those calls? The way to answer that question starts by changing your goals for the call. If you take off the pressure of getting a meeting or discussing a proposal, what’s the point of a call? It’s to plant seeds of success and discuss problems that detail the future for your customer.
It’s very likely that your customer’s Q1 strategies are solved or underway. So by this time in the year, your potential customer is lacking in real understanding of gaps or challenges that exist. They feel like they are “on-top” of the situation and not in a problem solving mode.
What our goal in planting seeds would be towards looking into the future, Q3-Q4 and what challenges lie ahead. Are they prepared for growth? Do they have a sustainable strategy? Talk about what might lay ahead for them and how they might be able to avoid some pitfalls in some creative ways.
Lastly, send materials they can review on their own. As sick as it is, American’s don’t vacation any more. The annual survey by Glassdoor shows that less than half Americans actually take their vacation days, and even if they do they are connected to work in some way. So why not take advantage of that window to send them something worth reading?
Lastly, a certain level of acknowledgment of the situation can be healthy. Discussing and staying aware of your prospect’s vacation schedule can be good if you plan to use it.
Get meetings set up for after summer vacation. Find out when they return, and propose a time for a week after they’re back. Energy will hopefully be high on return and you’ll get a better chance at attention. Make sure you have a good agenda and the prospect is ready.
Additionally, you could do the same after your vacation. Schedule meetings after you return and bring a small gift from your travels. It will show some intentionality and thoughtfulness – both of which are lacking in our current sales climate.
Enjoy the Summer with Them
Lastly, the summer is a great time to ramp down and enjoy life a little. It’s a great time to take a prospect out to lunch, play a round of golf, shoot some pool, and enjoy the season. It can show a human side and build some connection. Why not take advantage of the overall joy of the summer season and use it for you and your prospect?