As the temperature continues to rise, schools let out for the summer, and family vacations begin, it is essential that salespeople prepare in advance for any time off they plan to take.

A one or two week vacation can be relaxing, but if you don’t prepare for both before and after your vacation from work, not only will you have a headache upon your return (and possibly during your vacation) but you may have left some sales opportunities hanging in limbo with the potential to be lost.

Below are some steps you can take in order to set yourself up for sales success both before AND after your vacation.

Preparing for Sales Success Before Vacation

1. Make sure you do not have any appointments or check-ins scheduled during your vacation time.

Did a prospect ask you to call them back in a couple of weeks that now falls on your vacation? Did you book a meeting 6 months out before you planned your trip? Make sure there is nothing on your calendar that is important before you check out for vacation. If you have a weekly, monthly, or quarterly check-in scheduled with your team, decide whether you want to reach out to them either before or after your trip. Double and triple checking your calendar before you leave can prevent needing to hop on a call you forgot about while you’re on your trip. Do the necessary work before you leave so that you can relax in the sun!

2. Know who is covering for you, and make sure they have what they need.

Fortunately, in the world of sales, reps can oftentimes cover for one another when they are out of the office. Before you leave for your vacation, make sure the salesperson that is responsible for covering for you is able to access any information they need, as well as access to your contact information should an emergency come up. Whether they are checking your voicemails or responding to emails on your behalf, make sure your inbounds are being acted on right away.

3. Leave an out of office message.

Have you ever tried emailing someone numerous times, only to find out they weren’t responding because they were on vacation or otherwise out of the office? Don’t be one of those people! Leaving an out of office message will not only prevent you from receiving excessive calls and emails during your time away, but also notifies the people trying to get a hold of you that they need to either reach out to someone else in your absence, or that you are set to return at a future, given date. By failing to set up an out of office auto-responder, prospects may think you are ignoring them, resulting in a missed opportunity.

Preparing for Sales Success After Vacation

1. Check all voicemails and emails and prioritize them by importance.

Coming back from a vacation to hundreds of emails and over a dozen voicemails can be overwhelming. Your instinct may be to start opening your messages from oldest to newest. However, this is not necessarily the best practice here. First, listen to your voicemails (more often than not, people will call and leave a message for urgent matters). Then, move on to your inbox. Go through and star the important and time sensitive messages as you go, so that you can tackle your inbox in an organized manner.

2. Allow time to play catch up.

If you are going to be out of the office for a couple of weeks, or are typically one to come back with a flooded inbox, block off time on your calendar the day you return to catch up. As much as we like to think we can just pick up where we left off, this is not always the case. Even if it takes up your whole morning, it is better to spend one morning catching up as opposed to an entire week. Blocking off this time also can help you ease back into your routine. Remember, you just got back from a vacation!

3. Check in with management and your co-workers

If another sales rep was covering for you while you were away, make sure to connect with them to learn what you missed. Make sure you review any notes they took for you with relation to prospects who may have phoned or emailed you. Although a few days or even a week may seem like a short time, check in with your colleagues and management team as well about the month’s sales goals and any important meetings or updates you may have been absent for. It is good to know where you and the team stand so that you can make sure you hit your numbers for the month. Remember, it’s your responsibility to seek out updates and play catch up, not your manager’s.

It’s natural to have the urge to check your inbox and answer your phone on vacation, I’m sure we’ve all done it once or twice. However, if you prepare the right way both before and after your vacation, you can truly use your time off to relax and recharge!