I have written several times before
about summer slowdown, a lull in sales during the summer months, seasonal selling
even in professional services, and ideas on how to avoid these scenarios. While
this doesn’t occur to some sales organizations in different parts of the
country, here in Northeast Ohio it has become routine. But, it doesn’t have to
I’m not going to rehash past posts,
rather I’ve been asked for a few reminders, as it seems we are now in the
height of the summer slowdown. It is mid-August and as I look at my own
personal schedule, I’m working closely with my wife as we plan the final couple
of weeks before the kids go back to school. We are trying to cram one more
weekend away, enjoy one more cookout, squeeze in the back-to-school shopping,
all while still trying to balance work, sales and client relations.
Recognizing this hectic, end of summer
coming soon scenario, can open your eyes to what your own clients and
prospective clients are going through. So, you recognize it, but what can you
do about it and keep a consistent selling schedule?
First thing to keep in mind is that the
client or prospective client is most likely going through the same thing as
you. With that said, and knowing how tough schedules are at this time of the
year, it doesn’t hurt to ask for a meeting. The client/prospect still has a job
to do and can commiserate with you about scheduling difficulties. This is where
being creative with the calendar will come in handy.
If you are like me, and your kids want
to do everything under the sun before going back to school, then your creative
scheduling will accommodate everyone. So, here are a few reminder tips on
getting through this period, and I know they’ve worked well for me. First off,
plan your personal activities and make sure you outline carefully where and
when you need to be some place. Second, once you have your personal schedule in
place, put the “housekeeping” work items onto the calendar. Try to have your
work day end at 4:00 PM. Now, comes the fun part, reach out to each and every
client and prospect you want to meet with, and work to fill in the gaps.
This may be easier said than done though
due to this time of year, so begin each call with something along the lines of “if
your schedule is like mine, a meeting may be quite tough to get on the
calendar, but we still have to get some work done”. Generally I’ve found that clients and prospects respond well to this opening, and then your own
creativity will continue, by scheduling early morning meetings. Clients and prospects
will want to end their days a little early too, in an effort to satisfy work
and personal needs, so target the 7:00 AM breakfast meeting (or coffee).
You will be surprised at how responsive the client/prospect will be.
It all comes down to creative
scheduling. You can lean on many excuses because of the time of year, but a
true ‘A’ level sales person will fight through, not make excuses, and will
continue to outsell their peers.