Saturday Morning Sales

Kevin Latchford

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The Height of the Summer Slowdown - August 15, 2015

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 be so.

 

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.

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